Polyglot Communities, Paris Nanterre, April 2019

Polyglot communities in Early Modern Britain

Université Paris Nanterre, 5-6 April 2019

Room B16 (bât. Pierre Grappin) –  campus map & info: https://www.parisnanterre.fr/presentation/venir-a-paris-nanterre-146044.kjsp?RH=4217759892242460


5 April

9.30                   Welcome coffee

Session 1: Traces of polyglot encounters [chair : Patricia Palmer (Maynooth)]

9.50-10.30        John Gallagher (Leeds), Urban multilingualism in early modern England
10.30-11.10        Chantal Schütz (École polytechnique & Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle), Polyglot musical communities in London (1610-1629)
11.10-11.50         Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon), Speaking in tongues in Virginia: Interlinguicity in the contact zone

12-13.45            Lunch break

Session 2: Multilingual dialectics of assimilation [chair: Agnès Lafont (Montpellier 3)]

13.45-14.25       Patricia Palmer (Maynooth), Adversarial polyglossia: Gaelic poetry and the Tudor conquest of Ireland
14.25-15.05       Ladan Niayesh (Paris Diderot), Translatio imperii? Polyglot attempts at integrating the Turks into a European classicised community in early modern writings

15.05-15.20       Coffee break

Session 3: Communities on the page  [chair: John Gallagher (Leeds)]

15.20-16            Sarah Knight (Leicester), ‘Gallemaufry of speech’ and ‘Heterogeneall languages’: the multilingual comedies of Thomas Tomkis
16-16.40            Anne Geoffroy (Versailles St-Quentin), Pietro Aretino in early modern England: literary and cultural postures
16.40-17.20       Laetitia Sansonetti (Paris Nanterre & IUF), How Gabriel Harvey read his Castiglione(s): marginal polyglot communities

17.30-18.30       Round table: Digital humanities – What they can do for you, what you can do with them

6 April

9.30                   Coffee

Session 4: Translating communities [chair – Sarah Knight (Leicester)]

9.50-10.30        Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise (Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle & IUF), Mary Sidney within the Protestant polyglot community
10.30-11.10        Susan Baddeley (Versailles St-Quentin), ‘Bad’ translations from French into English, 1500-1600
11.10-11.50         Mylène Lacroix (Angers), ‘Il veut la France instruire / A parler bon Anglois’: teaching English to the French-speaking refugee community in Jacques Bellot’s The Englishe Scholemaister (1580) and Familiar dialogues (1586)

Polyglot communities poster


This conference is part of the “Translation and Polyglossia in England” project (https://tape1617.hypotheses.org/, funded by Institut Universitaire de France). The aim will be to study how literary polyglossia, i.e. the co-presence of several languages within one printed text, whether those languages are set in parallel or intertwined, is linked to a feeling of community in Renaissance England. Printed texts will be considered both as the products of communities and as producing communities, defining identities (delineating them, binding and bounding them).

Polyglossia will be understood as a shared experience that is constitutive of communal identity: if speaking the same language binds people, whether they live in the same place or not, being a polyglot means one can belong in several communities, shift from one to the other, and thus elude simplistic categorisation. Printed polyglot texts alter the dialectics of inclusion and exclusion that characterises the building and functioning of communities, because the page becomes a meeting place for virtual communities which can transcend spatial boundaries. How do these virtual communities relate to actual physical communities of people living in the same place and bound by spoken exchanges (monolingual or multilingual)? The linguistic factor in defining communities will be crossed with other elements that can be taken to constitute identity, such as class, gender, profession, race, or religion.

Select bibliography:

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities (London, Verso, 1983, 2016)
Belén Bistué, Collaborative Translation and Multi-Version Texts in Early Modern Europe (Farnham, Ashgate, 2013)
Peter Burke, Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2004)
Anne E. Coldiron, Printers Without Borders. Translation and Textuality in the Renaissance (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015)
Massimiliano Morini, Tudor Translation in Theory and Practice (Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006)
Neil Rhodes, Common: the Development of Literary Culture in Sixteenth-century England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018)
Alexandra Shepard and Phil Withington, Communities in Early Modern England: Networks, Place, Rhetoric (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2000)