Conference - Writers’ Tongues: Shaping Literary Selves in Eighteenth-Century Multilingual Europe

Datum: 22 maart 2024

Een conferentie over meertaligheid en het vormen van een auteursidentiteit bij 18e eeuwse Europese schrijvers. De keynote zal worden verzorgd door Dr Gillian Dow. van de University of Southampton.

De voertaal tijdens deze conferentie is het Engels, de tekst hieronder gaat dan ook verder in het Engels.

This conference will approach the intellectual and authorial self-fashioning of eighteenth-century European writers from a multilingual perspective: it seeks to understand the importance of the writers’ “tongues” to their self-representation and identity/ies. It inquires into the influence of language alternations (at the level of the (para)text or the oeuvre as a whole) and, more broadly, the influence of reflections on translation and multilingualism on processes of identity construction. How did early modern writers’ cultural, social, political… identity, their values, and relations affect their language decisions? To what extent did they utilize their “tongues” to comply with, contribute to, dissent from, subvert or manipulate behavioral patterns and power structures to forge their self-representation? As Burke (2004) highlights, an individual’s language use is an ‘act of identity’, a performance depending on the situation; multilingualism and translation can therefore also be understood as tools which underscore the mutability, discordance and heterogeneity in the creation and the representation of the literary self. Conference participants are encouraged to reflect upon the theoretical concepts used in authorship, translation and literary multilingualism studies. The aim is to stimulate awareness of the importance of literary multilingualism and translation to eighteenth-century conceptions and realities of authorship.

The keynote lecture will be delivered Dr Gillian Dow. She is an Associate Professor in English at the University of Southampton, and Head of Admissions for the Department. Dow’s current research project links her long-standing interests in eighteenth-century literature and culture, translation and reception history, and European women writers and readers. It examines British women writers and translation in the 1750-1830 period.

More information can be found here. Registration is open till the 12th of February.


The Faculty Club
Groot Begijnhof 14 
3000 Leuven

poster met praktische informatie welke ook in de tekst