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Figures of Polyglossia in British Early Modern Culture

Posted By Agnes Lafont, Monday, July 20, 2020
Updated: Monday, July 20, 2020

This panel, which is part of the “Translation and Polyglossia” project (https://tape1617.hypotheses.org/), wishes to explore ways in which polyglossia is inscribed textually as well as pictorially in early modern books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and other ephemera. It aims at investigating how common European knowledge was not only translated but adapted and naturalized in English book history. Emblems, woodcuts, engravings, broadsheets, dictionaries, and annotated or edited material in which several languages are co-present on the page may serve as examples. How was polyglossia made visible and marketed in early modern Britain? How did the figuration of polyglossia help transmit knowledge in a specific manner?

The study of the representation of polyglossia will interrogate:

  • The respective roles of various languages on the page
  • The different relationships to auctoritas that the use of a language other than English may induce (through the use of quotations, the reuse of engravings and woodcuts, etc.)
  • The functioning of a moving hermeneutics by an author (who imagines her or his text in various languages), by a reader (who annotates or makes comments in the margins)
  • The sociology of milieus who are conversant in several languages, have a shared erudition, use coded language, hieroglyphs...

Topics for consideration include:

  • annotated books and manuscripts
  • emblem books
  • polyglot dictionaries
  • polyglot documents produced by women
  • documents of performance
  • broadside ballads
  • pamphlets, periodicals, and ephemera

All types of documents may be brought to the discussion as long as they circulated in the British Isles in the early modern period, including books not printed in England but with attested circulations.

Please submit the following materials to organizers Agnès Lafont (agnes.lafont@univ-montp3.fr) and Laetitia Sansonetti (l.sansonetti@parisnanterre.fr) by August 7th to be considered for inclusion: paper title (15 words maximum); abstract (150 words maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300 words maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.

Tags:  Book History  Comparative Literature  Emblems  English Literature  European literature  Literature  Material Culture  Multilingualism  Print  translation 

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