Convenors: Lieven D’hulst (KU Leuven) and Yves Gambier (University of Turku)
Contact email: wg-large-projects[at]historyandtranslation[dot]net (delivers to the convenors)
Translation history has reached a mature stage, characterized by heightened self-reflection, as evidenced by numerous recent studies. This development is further underscored by a closer interaction with various branches of disciplines in both the humanities and sciences, as well as the emergence of dedicated journals and book series. Another outcome is the growth of large-scale enterprises, such as multi-author overviews, encyclopaedias and histories.
This WG will focus specifically on these large-scale enterprises. It brings together three groups of field experts:
- historians of linguistics and translation studies scholars who will discuss several key concepts, including the epistemology and historiography of translation knowledges and cross-cultural comparison;
- translation studies scholars pioneering new tools that they will assess for historical applicability;
- translation historians who have been tasked with conceiving, carrying out or taking part in one of these enterprises and who are invited to reflect on the major challenges posed by the running of these projects.
The WG aims also at articulating the three main subdomains: concepts, tools and practices.
Concepts: this subdomain will focus on the clarification of underlying, or more explicit, theoretical concepts involved in history-making. These include: Presuppositions of translation historians’ agendas, epistemology, historiography of a discipline in the humanities, comparison and exchange.
Tools: while new tools have made their way in translation history during the last few decades, their applicability in large-scale projects is less conspicuous, it seems, than within well delineated areas, periods, languages and domains. The WG will reflect on the potential offered by these tools for the further elaboration of such projects: a.o. big data, materiality, technology/digital humanities, anthropology.
Practices: this entry brings together translation historians who have been tasked with conceiving and contributing to a large-scale project and who are invited to reflect on the major challenges and outlooks posed by the concrete realization of these projects. The entry unfolds in two parts: writing histories and running or recently achieved projects, in the fields of both translation and translation knowledges or studies:
- language-based histories, area-based histories, domain-based histories, nation-based histories, translator-oriented and scholar-oriented micro-histories, cross-cultural histories;
- running and recently achieved projects.
The activities of the WG are being planned as follows:
- The third theme (Practices) will be the subject of a panel during the Graz 2024 conference.
- During the same conference, a WG-meeting will discuss procedures to launch research on the first and second themes.
- Electronic meetings on a regular basis will monitor the activities of the working group in 2024 and 2025
- The conveners will publish the research results with an international publisher in the course of 2026.
Membership of the WG is open to anyone, including non-members of HTN; though, it makes sense for participants to join the Network so that they can have full access to the resources of the website.
Anyone interested in joining this WG and contributing to one of its subdomains is kindly invited to write to: