VII Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture

Global Translations

Lisbon, June 26 – July 1, 2017

Deadline for submissions: January 30, 2017

Translation is a concept, and a practice, at the heart of contemporary experience. The legacies of the past, along with modern-day technology and worldviews, have allowed for, indeed have invited, the coming together of multiple identities, through various languages and a plurality of cultures. Nowadays, translation inhabits the world in new and irrevocably radical ways, and any definition of globalization – hegemonic, utopian or imaginary – must involve translation.

Etymologically meaning ‘the activity of carrying across’ (Tymockzo, 1999: 20), translation may be the actual epitome of the global world, particularly if one accepts the broadest definition of ‘globalization’, i.e., that ‘“globalization” refers to the processes by which more people across large distances become connected in more and different ways’ (Lechner and Boli, 2012: 1) – a ‘global village’ needs translation, and translation is, of course, never innocent, as linguistic translation can help imposing hegemony or promoting resistance. Thus, translation, or the rejection of it, has been used as a political tool in every meeting of others, be it in the colonial past or in the post-colonial or neo-colonial present.

Translation has always meant, to a greater or smaller extent, displacement, and is never a one-way process and always involves beings as well as goods-in-transit. This translatedness of people and things, either voluntary or forced, has come to change the world, in practical as well as conceptual terms. The 21st century may well prove to be the age of migration, with millions – of people, goods, ideas, dollars – getting translated every day. These are Appadurai’s ‘objects in motion’ (2001) in ‘a world in flows’ (1996). Reinforced by long-distance technology (media, transports, etc.) and overreaching hegemonies, translation becomes a metaphor for modern-day experience, and a practical and a conceptual tool to better negotiate the world around.

To understand how cultural phenomena are affected and shaped by translation is, therefore, a task for culture studies, as the recent ‘translation turn’ may attest (Bassnett, 1990; Bachmann-Medick, 2009). This turn in culture studies testifies to the crucial impact of ‘difference’ – be it in the sense of Paul Gilroy’s convivial cosmopolitan worldview (2004) or the rather more pessimistic take of Zygmunt Bauman’s ‘liquidity’ (1998, 2011) or of Appiah’s interrogative musings (2006) – has on the imaginings of culture, on cultural performativity, on the ability to negotiate meanings, values, beliefs and practices and potentially raising what be called ‘cosmopolitan empathy’ (Beck, 2006). ‘Cosmopolitanization’ as a process which ‘comprises the development of multiple loyalties as well as the increase in the diverse transnational forms of life’ (Beck, 2006: 9) must be inhabited by translation in a radically intimate way – a translation that is both an act of love and disruption, and that begins at home with oneself. As Emily Apter put it, ‘[c]ast as an act of love, and an act of disruption, translation becomes a means of repositioning the subject in the world and in history; a means of rendering self-knowledge foreign to itself; a way of denaturalizing citizens, taking them out of the comfort zone of national space, daily ritual, and pre-given domestic arrangements’ (2006: 6). Seen as such, every form of translation begins with self-translation.
The Summer School invites proposals by doctoral students and post-docs that address, though may not be not be strictly limited to, the topics below:

• The globalization of art and art markets
• The monolingualization of economics and economic practices
• Migration as translation
• Cultural mediation and negotiation
• Fear and the absence of translation
• The invention of the ‘other’ in and through translation
• Translating ideas, methods, policies across the world
• (Un)Translatability and the rise of demotic media and politics
• (Translated) Identities in the global world
• Nationalism and the global village
• Self-translation and critical thinking in the global world
• Cosmopolitanism, cosmopolitanization, and globalization


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Michael Cronin (Dublin City University)
  • Sandra Bermann (Princeton University)
  • Alexandra Lopes (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)
  • Uwe Wirth (Justus-Liebig University)
  • Rui Carvalho Homem (Universidade do Porto)
  • Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff University)
  • Aamir Mufti (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Hanif Kureishi (British writer and filmmaker)

Master Classes

  • Alison Ribeiro de Menezes (University of Warwick)
  • Knut Ove Eliassen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • Adriana Martins (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)


The Summer School will take place at several cultural institutions in Lisbon and will gather outstanding doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from around the world. In the morning there will be lectures and master classes by invited keynote speakers. In the afternoon there will be paper presentations by doctoral students.

Paper proposals
Proposals should be sent to no later than January 30, 2017 and include paper title, abstract in English (200 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning ongoing research.
Applicants will be informed of the result of their submissions in the beggining of March. 

Rules for presentation
The organizing committee shall place presenters in small groups according to the research focus of their papers. They are advised to stay in these groups for the duration of the Summer School, so a structured exchange of ideas may be developed to its full potential.

Full papers submission
Presenters are required to send in full papers by May 30, 2017.

The papers will then be circulated amongst the members of each research group and in the slot allotted to each participant (30’), only 10’ may be used for a brief summary of the research piece. The Summer School is a place of networked exchange of ideas and organizers wish to have as much time as possible for a structured discussion between participants. Ideally, in each slot, 10’ will be used for presentation, and 20’ for discussion.

Registration fees
Participants with paper – 265€ for the entire week (includes lectures, master classes, doctoral sessions, lunches and closing dinner)
Participants without paper – €50 per session/day | 165€ for the entire week (lectures and master classes only)

Fee exemptions
For The Lisbon Consortium students, the students from Universities affiliated with the European Summer School in Cultural Studies and members of the Excellence Network in Cultural Studies there is no registration fee.

Organizing Committee
• Isabel Capeloa Gil
• Peter Hanenberg
• Alexandra Lopes
• Paulo de Campos Pinto
• Diana Gonçalves
• Clara Caldeira

The Lisbon Summer School for the Study of Culture is an annual meeting organized by the Lisbon Consortium, a collaborative research network between the Master and PhD programs in Culture Studies at Universidade Católica Portuguesa and the main cultural institutions in Lisbon.

The MA in Culture Studies is ranked no. 3 in the world by the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking in Arts Management.

For further information, please contact us through

%d bloggers like this: