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Circulating Translations in the 19th century from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea: Texts in practice

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 9:00am to Friday, September 22, 2017 - 5:00pm
Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford
Seminar Room

Circulating Translations in the 19th century from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea: Texts in practice
University of Oxford
Wed-Fri 20-22 September, 2017

Translation and adaptation were vital to the dynamic cultural life and intellectual ferment of the 19th-century from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea, contributing to key debates on the shape of indigenous modern societies. The region’s publishing hubs were the stage for translations and circulations of texts from western European languages into Middle Eastern languages and, within the Mediterranean /Middle Eastern region itself (and further to the east), works were translated from and amongst the region’s languages, notably Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Greek, Hebrew, Armenian, and Karamanlidike. Indeed, many texts published first in Arabic were quickly translated into Turkish and Persian, while works produced in Europe might be translated near-simultaneously into Arabic, Turkish and Persian as well as Greek, Armenian, Hebrew, and other languages. The abundance of textual transmission, or publications, translations and circulations of texts between Europe and the Middle East and within eastern Europe/western Asia have been the subject of increasing scholarly interest. Such work has made it possible to think beyond aggregate spatial-historical description of the field of translation and commonly accepted geographical and linguistic frameworks, and to elucidate practices of translation and adaptation by working microcosmically on specific texts. 

This workshop, organised under the auspices of the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, will bring together scholars of translation and intellectual history in the nahda period to work intensively on single texts or authors or translators, working between any relevant language pair (or trio, such as Arabic/Persian/French). This collaborative workshop follows a first workshop, held at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, University of Edinburgh, December 2015, funded by the AHRC Language-Based Area Studies programme.

This workshop is organised by Marilyn Booth, Khalid bin Abdallah Al Saud Professor for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, University of Oxford ( and Claire Savina, Research Associate, University of Oxford, Université Paris-Sorbonne (


Contact name: 
Claire Savina
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