Translating Women: breaking borders and building bridges in the English-language book industry

Translating Women: breaking borders and building bridges in the English-language book industry
31 October 2019, 9.15am - 1 November 2019, 8.00pm
Conference / Symposium
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Olga Castro, University of Warwick

Helen Vassallo, University of Exeter

Margaret Carson , City University New York

Nicky Harman , 

Rosalind Harvey , University of Warwick

Aysun Kiran , Marmara University

Jean Anderson, Victoria University of Wellington

Aviya Kushner, Columbia College Chicago

Clémence Scalbert Yücel, (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Yaser Ali , (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Farangis Ghaderi , Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Rinat Harel, (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter

Eva Moreda, University of Glasgow

Catherine Davies , Institute of Modern Languages Research

Éva Cserháti , 

Richard Mansell, University of Exeter

Anna Menyhért, University of Jewish Studies, Budapest

Négar Djavadi , 

Ariana Harwicz , 

Godela Weiss-Sussex , University of Cambridge and IMLR

Chantal Wright , University of Warwick

Margaret Carson , City University New York

Meytal Radzinski , Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Salwa Benaissa , City University of London

Nadia Georgiou , University of Surrey

Oisin Harris , 

Muireann Maguire , University of Exeter

Şule Akdoğan, University of Warwick

Corine Tachtiris, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Olivia Hellewell, University of Nottingham

Pâmela Berton Costa , São Paulo State University (UNESP)

Monica Manolachi, University of Bucharest

Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

Leticia de la Paz , University of Almería

María Ayete , University of Salamanca

Carolina Orloff , University of Edinburgh

Annie McDermott, 

Keynote speaker:
Dr Margaret Carson, co-founder of the Women in Translation tumblr 

Translated literature notoriously accounts for only 3.5% of published literature in the English-language book market, and less than one-third of this is women-authored. Women writers in translation occupy a difficult border space in literature, variously affected by lack of recognition in their home country, fewer women being entered for literary prizes, and less criticism and column space dedicated to women writers. Yet, recent phenomena such as Kamila Shamsie’s call for a ‘Year of Publishing Women’, Meytal Radzinski’s advocacy of ‘Women in Translation month’ each August, and the creation of the Women in Translation Tumblr and the ‘Warwick Prize for Women in Translation’ indicate the urgency of confronting the lack of gender equality in the English-language publishing industry with regard to translated literature.

This conference will explore the circuits of translation of women-authored literature into English, with the aim of promoting synergies between academic and publishing contexts. By questioning the power dynamics of the English-language book industry, it seeks to offer fresh insights into the cultural, social, economic and political implications of making foreign women writers available to English-speaking readers, considering where ‘borders’ lie in translated literature, and how and why women might destabilise them. Our feminist perspective challenges the lack of recognition and influence of women writers, and our transnational and geopolitical focus encourages a cross-cultural understanding already fostered by translation and by the pioneering work of organisations such as English PEN and Literature Across Frontiers. We aim to break through ‘borders’ – both real and figurative – and build ‘bridges’ between research areas and industry initiatives, bringing together representatives from all key groups of stakeholders to discuss and redress the imbalance affecting women writers in translation.

Programme (pdf)


Registration for the conference is now closed. Registration is still open for the two evening events: 'Authors and translators in conversation'

Two special 'In Conversation' events will be held on Thursday and Friday evenings (details below). If you would like to attend these in addition to the conference, please follow this link

For hotel suggestions visit:

Freelancer tickets

The conference offered a limited number of free places for freelance translators on a first come, first serve basis. Unfortunately, no more of these places are available.

Authors and translators in conversation

We are delighted to include as part of the programme two events with acclaimed women writers and their translators which are free and open to all, but registration is essential. 


Author Négar Djavadi (Disoriental, 2018) and translator Tina Kover.


Author Ariana Harwicz (Die, My Love, 2017; Feebleminded, 2019), and translators Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott.

Click here for more details about the evening talks. 


Dr Olga Castro (University of Warwick), co-editor of Feminist Translation Studies (Routledge, 2017).
Dr Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter), principal investigator of the Translating Women project.

This event is organised by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, Aston University and the University of Exeter, and is supported by the Cassal Trust. It is part of the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand. You can find out more about the OWRI project by visiting our website or following us on Twitter.

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