Self-translation was a widespread phenomenon in early modern Europe, but remains largely uncharted in modern scholarship. There have been isolated studies of important figures – mainly literary authors such as Leon Battista Alberti, Joachim Du Bellay or John Donne. However, we do not know enough about the activities of self-translators in other domains, including those of philosophy and science.

Organised by David Lines, University of Warwick, and Sara Miglietti, Warburg Institute, ‘Writing bilingually in early modern Europe’ will begin to fill this gap. It will investigate the practice of self-translation in fields such as natural and moral philosophy, medicine, politics and religion.

Prominent European thinkers from this period will be studied comparatively in order to identify similarities and idiosyncrasies in their respective self-translative practices, but also to address more general questions. What functions did self-translation fulfil in producing and disseminating knowledge among different reading publics? To what extent did self-translators engage theoretically with contemporary debates on language (questione della lingua, querelle de la langue)? Why did they translate themselves, for whom, and in what contexts (institutional sites, intellectual networks, economy of the printed book)? And how did self-translating affect the reception of their works?

Confirmed speakers are:
Sietske Fransen (Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome), ‘Translating a bilingual medical author: the case of J.B. van Helmont’

Mario Turchetti (Université de Fribourg), ‘The bilingual political vocabulary of Jean Bodin’s République / De republica’

Dario Tessicini (Durham University), ‘Giordano Bruno’s cosmological poems between self-translation and reuse’

Cecilia Muratori (University of Warwick), ‘The physiognomic corpus of Giovan Battista Della Porta: a web of translations and translators’

Jean-Louis Fournel (Université Paris 8), ‘Tradursi o non tradursi: Tommaso Campanella e le frontiere dell’autotraduzione’ (‘To self-translate or not to self-translate: Tommaso Campanella and the boundaries of self-translation’) [NB: this paper will be delivered in Italian]

This event, which takes place from 10.30am–6 pm, is free and open to all. It is co-sponsored by the: Society for French Studies; Society for Renaissance Studies; British Society for the History of Science; and the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick.

Date: 14 June, 10.30am–6pm
Who: Warburg Institute
Where: Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

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