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Call for Abstracts:

The Possibilities of Prose Translation

Translation Panel, annual SCS meeting in Chicago, 2021

Proposed by: SCS Committee on Translations of Classical Authors

Organizers: Diane Rayor and Deborah Roberts

Both translation theory and writing on the craft of translation have tended to focus on poetry, regularly represented as difficult or impossible, but prose (as Antoine Berman and others have argued) presents challenges of its own and invites characteristic “deformations” (to use Berman’s term). This panel seeks papers that focus on the translation of ancient prose authors; possible areas of focus include but are not limited to:

  • Impacts of historical context on translation
  • Translation in times of crisis
  • Political or cultural use of translation
  • Translation history of a particular prose text
  • Linguistic registers in both source text and translation: archaism, colloquialism, obscenity, dialect
  • Translation of key terms in philosophical and other writing
  • Translating for specific audiences (the classroom, the general reader)
  • Theoretical approaches to the translation of prose.

Abstracts for papers should be submitted electronically as Word documents by March 1, 2020 to Donald Mastronarde (, preferably with the subject heading “abstract_translation_SCS2021”. All abstracts will be judged anonymously and so should not reveal the author’s name, but the email should provide name, abstract title, and affiliation. Abstracts should be 400 words or fewer and should follow the guidelines for individual abstracts (, except that works cited should be put at the end of the document, not in a separate text box.