Translation in Exile: Motives, Effects & Functions

The research project Exil:Trans is dedicated to the systematic research of translators in exile, into which they were forced due to Nazi persecution. The translational practice of the individuals in focus is diverse and complex, especially with regard to the connection between exile & translation. Flight and exile can mean the beginning, interruption or end of translational activity; working languages and forms of collaboration can change; sometimes translation takes place but remains unpublished, to name just a few facets.

Previous Exil:Trans conferences have covered and compared places of exile and translational action and focused on the networks and institutions of translators in exile. Building on this knowledge of translators’ biographies and the conditions of translation in exile, we now want to draw more general conclusions about translation in exile.

The third conference, to which we hereby cordially invite you, is therefore dedicated to the motives, effects and functions of translation under the conditions of exile. The motives out of which translation occurs are manifold and go beyond the mere overcoming of language and cultural barriers; they shape the translation process and the translation product. Therefore, the motives as well as the effects and functions of translation in the context of exile shall be studied, compared and distinguished from each other.


We invite you to submit contributions on both these and related questions:

  • What were the motives for translation in exile? On what economic, political, social and other factors did translation motives depend?
  • What effects did translation in exile trigger? Were they short-lived or of lasting influence on the target cultures?
  • What functions did translation and specific translations in exile fulfill? Did they “merely” serve interlingual communication? Can other, even exile-specific translation functions be identified? Are there differences between the fields of literature and academia in this respect?
  • What do empirical findings on translation in exile tell us about the relationship between motives, effects, and functions? What insights can be gained from them?

Deadline and further info

The deadline has been extended to February 10, 2022!

Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words + references) by February 10, 2022 to Ideas for additional program items are also welcome.

Conference languages are German, French and English.

A publication of selected contributions is planned.

There is no conference fee for presenters.

The conference is planned to take place on site.