Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency – Call For Papers

Translators and Printers in Renaissance Europe: Framing Identity and Agency
IMLR, University of London
29–30 September, 2016

The European Renaissance witnessed a new significance accorded to the tasks of textual translation, and the printing and dissemination of the resultant works—whether religious tracts, literary or historical works, or popular manuals of instruction. As a consequence, the same period saw a dramatic increase in the importance, even prestige claimed by translators, both women and men, for their skills.

Translators and printers made these claims in frontispieces, prefaces, letters of dedication, and the like. In their direct appeal to the reader, such framing devices yield rich information about the material culture of sixteenth-century books, and the scope of translators’ endeavours.

This international conference explores the self-presentational strategies of sixteenth-century European translators and printers, and the tensions and ambiguities therein. Through analysis of paratextual material, this two-day event aims to illuminate the self-views of sixteenth-century translators, and their own accounts of their role as authoritative agents of cultural exchange, national and transnational acculturation.


  • Guyda Armstrong (University of Manchester): Materiality, agency, and the book-object in early modern printed translations
  • Douglas Biow (University of Texas at Austin): Vasari’s Professions
  • A. E. B. Coldiron (Florida State University): Presenting the Translator: Visibility and the author-function(s) in early modern translators’ portraits

You are invited to submit a paper title, an abstract of 150 words, 3 keywords, and a 300 word curriculum vitae directly to before the 31 March, 2016. The outcome of the submission will be communicated before the 15 April, 2016 and the conference programme will be announced shortly afterwards. Please note that papers should not be longer than 20 minutes.


More details on the conference and on how to register will soon be posted on:

Please note that registration will be £25 (regular) or £15 (students).