ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms

ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms

Wednesday-Saturday, October 31-November 3, 2018

Bloomington, IN
Keynote: Caridad Svich

The three P’s of the ALTA41 theme are intended as bridges to several closely linked domains that often remain unacknowledged or underexplored in translation practice. While performance has sometimes been used as a metaphor for the act of translation, discussion of performance itself, particularly theatrical performance, has tended to remain on the margins. Also on the periphery has been attention to the props translators use extensively for their work, from dictionaries and historical reference works to discussion forums and Internet searches. In many cases, these props have improved dramatically in recent years, but they are also unfortunately available to only a small percentage of the world’s languages, often at the exclusion of indigenous and less-commonly studied languages. Also deserving of attention are the platforms for our work, and the radical transformations they have undergone in this digital age, toward online journals and digital printing, audio, and video.

These theme-words are of course linked by more than just their initial plosive. Performances, props, and platforms all pertain to voice or the lack thereof. Fundamental to the various laboratories, vehicles, and stages for our work as translators, these three P’s can help shape the image of another culture, or merely keep it in darkness. In light of this, we invite panels, readings, roundtables, and workshops that use one or more of these thematic rubrics as a way of looking at our work anew. In the most concrete terms, these forums might address the practical questions of translating for the stage, of using dictionaries or translation software, or of creating and maintaining platforms for the dissemination of translated work. Beyond this, we are interested in questions of inclusivity, ability, and access to platforms, the way our tools help or hinder, and, as always, celebrate diverse and vital works from around the globe.

Get conference updates, plan local events, and look for roommates in our ALTA 2018 Facebook Group


Conference sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 1, 2018, and conclude at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018. There is an opening reception at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. There is a closing reception in the evening of Saturday, November 3, 2018. Browse the descriptions of the panels, roundtables, and workshops featured at ALTA41 here.

Flash Sessions for Editors and Translators

ALTA is delighted to present Flash Sessions for Editors and Translators (formerly Editor-Translator Speed Dating) at our 41st annual conference!

Interested translators will have the chance to discuss a short sample of their work with an editor from prominent publications, such as Open Letter Books, Words Without Borders, Graywolf Press, The Common, The Kenyon Review, AmazonCrossing, Tupelo Press, and more. Translators will be paired with a participating editor for a 10-15 minute mini-meeting to receive feedback on up to two pages of their work. For the first time, this year translators are also welcome to submit query letters for feedback (please note that this is not meant to be a pitch meeting). Translators are also welcome to submit guiding questions for specific feedback.

Applications will open on our Submittable page on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 and will close at 11:59pm EST on Friday, September 27, 2018.

Special thanks to our ALTA41 partners:

Academic Studies Press


Bloomsbury Publishing

Bread Loaf Translators' Conference

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Columbia University School of the Arts

David R. Godine, Publisher

Edinburgh University Press

Lavender Ink / Diálogos

​The National Endowment for the Arts

PEN America

Play for Voices

The Polish Cultural Institute New York

Slavica Publishers

The Spain-USA Foundation

Stone Bridge Press 

Syracuse University Press

Transference Literary Journal

Vermont College of Fine Arts International MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation

and the following departments at Indiana University:

The Associate Vice Provost for Arts and Humanities

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, College of Arts and Sciences, IU

The Departments of Comparative Literature, Slavic and East European Languages & Cultures,

Spanish & Portuguese, and Theatre, Drama, & Contemporary Dance

The Office of International Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences

The Dorit and Gerald Paul Fund for the Arts, Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program

The Office of the Provost

  • January 8, 2018: Sessions proposal applications open
  • January 8, 2018: Nominations for the NTA, Stryk, IPTA, and Becker Prize open
  • February 12, 2018: Bilingual Reading series applications open
  • February 22, 2018: Hotel block open
  • April 16, 2018: Session proposal deadline
  • April 16, 2018: Nominations for the NTA, Stryk, IPTA, and Becker Prize deadline close
  • April 16, 2018: ALTA Travel Fellowship applications deadline
  • Early May 2018: Session applicants notified
  • May 8, 2018: Bookfair orders open
  • May 8, 2018: Conference registration available online
  • May 14, 2018: Bilingual Reading series application deadline
  • Late May 2018: Bilingual Reading series applicants notified
  • June 1, 2018: Deadline for A/V requests, scheduling requests
  • July 2018: Conference schedule available online
  • August 17, 2018: Deadline for bookfair orders
  • August 17, 2018: Deadline for program advertisements
  • September 14, 2018: Deadline to apply to volunteer
  • September 18, 2018: Volunteer applicants notified
  • September 30, 2018: Deadline for early registration rate
  • October 16, 2018: Deadline for online conference registration