Women, Language(s) and Translation in the Italian Tradition

A conference entitled Women, Language(s) and Translation in the Italian Tradition will take place on 7-8 November, in the Riley Auditorium, Gillespie Centre, Clare College, Cambridge.

This two-day conference intends to explore women’s roles in the circulation of ideas and the dissemination of knowledge in the Italian tradition, across the centuries, by means of translations. It focuses on the role of women as translators, as well as, more broadly, agents of all kinds (e.g. translations for women, commissioning of translations by women) in the production and circulation of translations. It also discusses the translations of Italian women writers’ works into other languages.

Translation has at times been deemed a compromise between women’s artistic aspirations and the perils of authorship of imaginative literature, a way for women to leave their mark in an otherwise hostile literary environment. In fact, research on the topic has shown that this understanding of the role of translation for women is limiting. Crossing linguistic and cultural boundaries, women have translated a variety of genres, from poetry, novels, and plays, to history, biography, conduct literature, economic and legal texts, religious and devotional writings, scientific and philosophical works.

In the last few decades an expanding corpus of scholarly works and research activities have greatly contributed to extending our knowledge of women’s roles in the history and cultures of translation, especially with reference to England, France, and Germany, whereas in the Italian tradition, the topic has so far not received the scholarly attention it deserves.

This conference aims to offer a contribution to the cultural history of translation in Italy in a ‘gendered’ perspective, also taking into consideration the complex and varied linguistic situation of the peninsula.


The conference is generously sponsored by a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant, as well as by the Section of Italian at Cambridge University, the Modern Humanities Research Association, the Society for Italian Studies, Il Circolo Italian Cultural Association, and CIRN, the Cambridge Italian Research Network.



Guests of honour and key-note speakers:


Professor Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

Dacia Maraini, novelist, essayist, playwright, and translator

Professor Jane Tylus, Yale University



Conference speakers:


Ms Elisa Baccini, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Dr Maria Belova, University of Warwick

Prof. Susanna Braund, Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia

Dr Alessandro Cabiati, King’s College, London

Dr Eleonora Carinci, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Dr Iulia Cosma, University of West Timisoara

Dr Teresa Franco, University of Oxford

Dr Sara Giovine, University of Padua

Dr Paul Howard, University of Bristol

Ms Ivana Lohrey, University of Augsburg and University of Lorraine

Dr Monica Miniati, Independent Scholar

Prof. Martina Ožbot, University of Ljubljana

Dr Caterina Paoli, Independent scholar

Dr Martina Piperno, University College Cork

Ms Marta Riccobono, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa

Dr Andrea Rizzi, University of Melbourne

Prof. Gabriella Romani, Seton Hall University

Mr Andrea Romanzi, University of Reading and University of Bristol

Dr Tobia Zanon, University of Padua

Mr Luca Zipoli, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa



A full programme is available on this page.


Registration Details:

Registration is now open. The full fee is £39 per day, and we are happy to offer a reduced rate for students and unwaged of £28 per day. The attendance fee covers the costs for lunch and refreshments (a buffet lunch and 3 refreshment breaks per day). Please use this link to register online: Conference Registration.

Conference registration will close by 31 October 2018.


A number of public engagement events, open to the general public (and free), have been organized in relation to the event. Click here for more details.

Spaces for the public engagement events can be booked when registering for the conference. The events are free of charge – though we would be very grateful if you could let us know immediately should you no longer be able to attend, as there will be a waiting list.


Conference venue:

The conference will be held in the Riley Auditorium, Gillespie Centre, Clare College, Cambridge (access from Clare College, Memorial Court, on Queen’s Road). Click on this link for more information on how to get there: http://clareconferencing.com/information/how-to-find-us/

For information on travel and accommodation: see this page

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