Cfp: Translation meets Book History: Intersections 1700-1950

Special Issue of Comparative Critical Studies

Guest Edited by Alice Colombo (University of Bristol), Niall Ó Ciosáin (NUI Galway) and Anne O’Connor (NUI Galway)

Book history and translation studies have significantly enhanced our understanding of print culture. Although driven respectively by bibliographic and comparativist linguistic interests, the two fields have converged into a shared perception of texts as cultural and social products controlled by interconnected networks of agents. Efforts to delve deeper into the nature of these networks and into the mobility of printed texts have led to fruitful cross-disciplinary intersections. As a result, translation scholars are becoming increasingly receptive to the relevance of textual materiality while book historians are turning to comparative approaches and the transnational side of publishing. On a general level, texts and their trajectories are more and more frequently analysed by integrating conceptual, methodological and theoretical frameworks originally developed in either book history or translation studies (see for example Heilbrom 2008; Bachleitner 2010; Freedman 2012; O’Sullivan 2012; Armstrong 2013; Littau 2016; Belle & Hosington 2017). The success of this interdisciplinary approach is leading to a growing awareness that further dialogue between studies and book history is needed to achieve more accurate representations of the transnational life of print culture. This special issue aims at exploring and further promoting intersections between the two fields with a particular focus on the multifaceted international publishing panorama that characterised the period between 1700 and 1950.

Contributions are especially encouraged on thematic areas including:

  • The materiality of translation
  • Translations’ paratext and translation of paratext
  • Translation and the transnationalisation of print culture
  • Translation and the sociology of texts
  • Translation and textual bibliography
  • Agents involved in the production and distribution of translations and their relation on a national and international level
  • Translation of popular literature and ephemera
  • Translation and book illustration
  • Translation, religion and book history
  • Translation and musical texts
  • Terminology of the book across languages
  • Translation and the transformation of reading habits and attitudes
  • Research methodologies in translation studies and book history

Instructions for authors

Submission instructions

Articles will be about 7000 words in length, in English (including notes and references)

Abstracts of 500-700 words (including references) should be sent together with a short biographical note to the guest editors at


28 February 2018 – deadline to submit abstracts and biographical note to the guest editors

23 March 2018 – deadline for decisions on abstracts

31 August 2018 – deadline for submission of articles

23 November 2018 – submission of final version of papers

June 2019 – publication of the issue

All articles will be reviewed by two readers.

For information please contact Alice Colombo at

For information about the journal please visit


  • Armstrong, Guyda. 2013. The English Boccaccio: A History in Books. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Bachleitner, Norbert. 2010. “A Proposal to Include Book History in Translation Studies. Illustrated with German Translations of Scott and Flaubert.” Arcadia (44) 2: 420-440.
  • Belle, Marie-Alice, and Brenda M. Hosington. 2017. “Translation, history and print: A model for the study of printed translations in early modern Britain.” Translation Studies (10) 1: 2-21. doi: 10.1080/14781700.2016.1213184.
  • Freedman, Jeffrey. 2012. Books without Borders in Enlightenment Europe: French Cosmopolitanism and German Literary Markets. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Heilbron, Johan. 2008. “Responding to Globalization: The Development of Book Translations in France and the Netherlands”. In Beyond Descriptive Translation Studies: Investigations in Homage to Gideon Toury, edited by Anthony Pym, Miriam Shlesinger, and Daniel Simeoni, 187-197. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  • Littau, Karin. 2016. “Translation and the Materialities of Communication.” Translation Studies 9 (1): 82–113.doi: 10.1080/14781700.2015.1063449.
  • O’Sullivan, Carol. 2012. “Introduction: rethinking methods in translation history.” Translation Studies (5) 2: 131-138. doi:10.1080/14781700.2012.663594.

Posted by The Editors on 24th Dec 2017
in Call for Papers

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