CFP | Many minds: Theories of Mind in Translation

ICTIC 3 3rd International Conference on Translation, Interpreting & Cognition, Campus of the Università di Bologna, Italy, June 28-30, 2021.

Call for paper

Panel Many minds: Theories of Mind in translation

org. by Annie Sturm & Riccardo Raimondo

Being the main agent in an «other-directed act» (Robinson 2001:8), the translator has to metarepresent two other cognitions during the translation process: the minds of the source text author and target audience. Metarepresentational capacities can thus be considered a core component of translation competence (Gutt 2004:13). Developmental psychologists call the human capacity to represent another person’s mind ‘Theory of Mind’ (ToM). This term has recently joined simulation, imitation, imaginative immersion and empathy among the concepts trying to explain how translators deal with the content of other minds. How and when do translators attribute mental states to author and audience and how does this influence the translation process? ToM could work as a platform concept to answer this question since it brings together several strands of research, both philosophical and evidence-based. ToM develops throughout life (Kobayashi 2008) just as our pragmatic competence continues to evolve until adulthood (Cummings 2007). Bilingualism is found to have an influence on ToM performance in children (Kovács 2009). In monolingual individuals, reading and writing are found to train ToM (Djikic & Oatley 2014; Djikic et al. 2013) and one of the milestones in the acquisition of translation competence is the understanding that translation is a psychological and social activity (Kiraly 1995; Mossop 1983, 2011). Furthermore, research in psychology and foreign language acquisition studies provide evidence for the role of translation tasks in the acquisition of metacognitive skills in general (Bruneau & Saxe 2012; Salles Rocha 2010; Shatz et al. 2006). Despite the central role of mental state attribution in translation, only few theoretical studies have been dedicated to this subject and very little research has been done to develop its interdisciplinary potential. The present panel proposes to «mind» this gap by exploring the different concepts about metacognition in translation, their function in the translation process, their traces in the translation product and their importance in the acquisition of translation competence.

We invite the submission of papers on any type of mental state attribution in translation, be it theoretical, historical and methodological research into the subject, including:
-imitation, simulation, empathy, ToM
-philosophy of mind
-literary translation
-corpus studies

Submission guidelines

Abstract submission will open on November 1, 2020 (0:00 CET) and will close on January 31, 2021 (23:55 CET).  Please note that there will be no extensions. Abstracts should be between 250 and 300 words. Do not include a reference list. You may use references in the body of text. Only accepted abstracts will be invited to send their full references.

For further information about the submission guidelines, please visit the ICTIC  website.



– BRUNEAU, Emile G. & Rebecca SAXE. 2012. The power of being heard: The benefits of ‘perspective-giving’ in the context of intergroup conflict @ Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48: 855-866. DOI 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.017.
– CUMMINGS, Louise. 2009. Clinical Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
– DJIKIC, Maja & Keith OATLEY. 2014. The art in fiction: From indirect communication to changes of the self @Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts 8/4: 498-505. DOI 10.1037/a0037999.
– DJIKIC, Maja, Keith OATLEY & Mihnea C. MOLDOVEANU. 2013. Reading other minds. Effects of literature on empathy @ Scientific Study of Literature 3/1: 28-47. DOI 10.1075/ssol.3.1.06dji.
– GUTT, Ernst-August. 2004. Challenges of metarepresentation to translation competence @ FLEISCHMANN, Eberhard, Peter Axel SCHMITT & Gerd WOITJAK, eds. 2004. Translationskompetenz. Tagungsberichte der LICTRA: 77-89. Tübingen: Stauffenberg.
– KIRALY, Donald C. 1995. Pathways to translation: Pedagogy and process. Kent: Kent State University Press.
– KOBAYASHI, Chiyoko. Gary H. GLOVER & Elise TEMPLE. 2008. Switching language switches mind: linguistic effects on developmental neural bases of ‘Theory of Mind’ @ Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 3/1: 62-70. DOI 10.1093/scan/nsm039.
– KOVACS, Agnes Melinda. 2009. Early bilingualism enhances mechanisms of false-belief reasoning @ Developmental Science 12/1: 48-54. DOI 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00742.x.
– MOSSOP, Brian. 2011. Seeing translation from inside the translator’s mind @ ALVSTAD, Cecilia, Adelina HILD & Elisabet TISELIUS, eds. 2011. Methods and strategies of process research: 57-66. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
– MOSSOP, Brian. 1983. The translator as rapporteur: A concept for training and self-improvement @ Meta 28/3: 244-278.
– ROBINSON, Douglas. 2001. Who translates? Translator subjectivity beyond reason. New York: State University of New York Press.

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