ALTA45: Value(s)

ALTA45: Value(s)

April - November 2022 (virtual)

We know that many people in our community have been looking forward to finding out more about the format of this year’s ALTA conference. We are excited to let you know that this year, after considering the ever-evolving pandemic, attendance at our last two conferences, and survey feedback from ALTA members, ALTA’s Board and staff are bringing you something new: rather than a conference, we will be providing you with an exciting year-round series of virtual programming from ALTA. The theme for ALTA’s 45th year is “Value(s).”

Some things that you’ll be able to look forward to are:

  • Monthly Bilingual Readings, paired with an informal social hour for networking
  • Twice-monthly panels and roundtables on literary translation topics
  • Multilingual translation workshops led by experienced translators held twice this year, in April and in August
  • Pitch sessions (an ALTA member benefit) with editors from some of your favorite translation presses, held twice this year in May and in September 
  • Three in-person public events in Tucson in the fall; more details at Arizona Translates!
  • And new membership benefits!

Read our full announcement here. While we anticipate returning to an in-person conference in 2023, we’re looking forward to connecting with you throughout 2022! 

view past 2022 events

view the alta45 program book

IMPORTANT: We send Zoom links in the confirmation email you receive from Eventbrite when you register for an event. Please read your confirmation emails from Eventbrite carefully, and save these links.

Programming Theme & Call for Proposals

No one would question that the field of literary translation is valuable, but our ideas about what exactly is valuable about it multiply and diverge. The very concept of value is multifold, comprising notions that range from a thing’s perceived importance, esteem, or usefulness; material or monetary worth; the fair return for effort, time, and goods; principles or standards of behavior; morals and ethics. Value suggests the myriad opportunities and challenges facing the literary translation community when defining, determining, and shaping the role of the literary translator in producing translated works, as well as literary translation’s role in the cultural marketplace, the academy, society, and the world writ large. 

The ALTA45 theme of “Value(s)” provides an opportunity to explore all definitions relating to concepts of merit, worth, ethics, usefulness, and the market, as well as appreciation, evaluation, and assessment, by inviting members to submit proposals for panels and roundtable discussions around this theme. Some possible avenues to explore include: 

  • The value of literary translation in the world;
  • Values, norms, and ethics in the craft of literary translation;
  • Value as it relates to recognition and respect for translators’ work, and which translators’ work is valued and how;
  • Value as it relates to money, remuneration, and compensation for translators’ work;
  • The evaluation and devaluation of translation in terms of prizes, reviews, etc., and the work of assigning value to certain translations and certain source texts and cultures; 
  • Aesthetic, artistic, and cultural value of translation in the literary marketplace;
  • Translation praxis and theory as they intersect with human values such as diversity, sustainability, economic and social justice;
  • Value of professional organizations, collectives, and other communities for translators.

The session proposal deadline was: June 27, 2022

As always, all participants (panelists, readers, roundtable participants) must purchase a registration to take part in ALTA45 programming.

The annual tradition of the Alexis Levitin Bilingual Readings will continue virtually this year as a monthly series. Reading slots will be first-come, first-served, with priority given to current ALTA members. Signups will take place each month via the link in the newsletter and on ALTA’s website. Please be prepared to share the name of your author, title of the text, genre, your bio, and a brief description of the work. 

ALTA is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in our community and programming and to modeling those values as we support and advocate for translators. We are interested in sessions that explicitly engage with these values, and that support inclusive participation across lines of race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, age, and religion.

We welcome everyone to our conference and are committed to making our programming and events accessible and to making arrangements that allow all attendees to participate in the conversation. Please view our Accessibility web page for more information. Contact: Kelsi Vanada, ALTA Program Manager

In accordance with ALTA conference policy, we ask that participants not read papers. Rather, participants prepare talking points and examples based in the practice of literary translation.

Special thanks to our ALTA45 partners:

Academic Studies Press

Book*hug Press

The College of Humanities at the University of Arizona

Columbia University School of the Arts

Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts

The Kenyon Review

The Library of Arabic Literature

Mawenzi House Publishers

MOCA Tucson (Museum of Contemporary Art)

The National Center for Interpretation at the University of Arizona

PEN America

Program in Translation and Interpreting Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Schaffner Press

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award

Ugly Duckling Presse

The University of Arizona Department of English

The University of Arizona Poetry Center

The University of Arizona School of Art

The University of Iowa MFA in Literary Translation Program

Visit Tucson

Words Without Borders

Key Dates

  • March 31, 2022: Sign-up Deadline for Spring Multilingual Translation Workshops
  • April 12, 2022: The call for session proposals opens
  • April 25-30: Spring Multilingual Translation Workshops
  • April 26, 2022: First Bilingual Reading (readings will take place on the last Tuesday of every month)
  • May 2022: Spring Pitch Sessions
  • June 27, 2022: Session proposal deadline
  • June - November, 2022: Bimonthly panels and roundtables on literary translation topics
  • August 2022: Fall Multilingual Workshops
  • September 2022: Fall Pitch Sessions
  • November 4-6, 2022: Arizona Translates!