First Call for Papers: Sport and Translation – International Conference 29-30 May 2014, University of Bristol, UK

sport-and-translationAcross the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, sport has become a considerable object of academic interest in recent years. In June 2014, the FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil, for the first time since 1950. Two years later the Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Much research has been carried out to locate these games within their global social, cultural, political and economic histories, paying particular attention to the role of visual cultures, mega-event organisation, nationalism and even individual sportspeople in shaping the spectacle.

Very few studies have paid attention to the role of Translation as an obstacle or opportunity in global sports history, politics or cultural studies. But translation is an essential process in almost every sporting encounter. During the Brazil World Cup in 2014, for example, how will the rest of the world understand the games being played and the images being displayed, viewed on their televisions, mobile devices, tracked online or commented upon on their radios? Multiple translations, linguistic and otherwise, will shape these processes. Furthermore, how will commentators, interpreters, producers, journalists and academics translate Brazil for foreign audiences? And how will footballers from across the world interpret Brazil – and how will this affect their performances?

On the eve of the World Cup, this conference will draw together scholars for an interdisciplinary conference to examine this new set of research questions, across history and in the present day. Questions which might be considered by conference participants include:

  • How is sport translated across cultures, and how does this differ today from in the past?
  • Do multilingual players/teams compete more successfully away from home than their monolingual counterparts?
  • How have sporting ideologies been translated across cultures?
  • Does sport transcend translation because of its hybrid nature and its global origins in histories of migration?
  • Are some sports untranslatable?
  • How do art and visual media translate sport across linguistic boundaries?
  • How have radio and television translated sport across nations and around the world?
  • How have colonialism and colonial legacies shaped sporting translation?
  • Is there a Universal Language of Sport?
  • What is the relationship between Twitter, sport and translation?
  • Might the England team be more successful at Brazil 2014 if they employed as many translators and interpreters as nutritionists and coaches?

We welcome paper proposals (maximum 500 words) from any discipline that aim to uncover links between sport and translation. Please send to

The principal language of the conference will be English. We welcome paper proposals in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Russian. We may be able to offer some assistance with interpretation depending on pending funding applications.

  • Deadline for Paper Proposals: 10 December 2013
  • Confirmation of Acceptance: 20 January 2014

The conference will bring to a close a year-long programme of events on Sport and Translation at the University of Bristol, including workshops on Sport and Interpreting, and Sports Writing and Translation, as well as work with local Bristol schools and public engagement activities. Sport and Translation was generously supported by a grant from the University Research Strategy Fund.

Conference organising committee: Matthew Brown, Jonah Bury, John Foot, David Goldblatt, Gloria Lanci, Mike O’Mahony, Carol O’Sullivan, David Perkins, Aris Da Silva, Ana Suarez.

Further information on the conference and programme will be posted at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.