ALTA42: Sight and Sound

ALTA42: Sight and Sound

Thursday-Sunday, November 7-10, 2019

Rochester, Ny
Hyatt Regency Rochester & Joseph A. Floreano riverside convention center
Keynote: Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner, Flying Words Project

Words are not simply containers for meaning. As translators, we know that we cannot separate the sense of words from their musicality, from the way they look on the page, from the way they are spoken or signed, or from the cultural and historical contexts in which they appear. The theme for ALTA42 allows us to attend to the visual, aural, oral, gestural, kinetic, and performative aspects of language and literature that shape translation practice. We invite panels, readings, roundtables, and workshops that address the theme “Sight and Sound,” broadly conceived. 

These forums might consider topics such as: translating rhythm, rhyme, and repetition; translating form; translating ekphrasis and synesthesia; translating dramatic and spoken word texts; translating visual spectacle in theatre; translating screenplays; translating graphic novels and illustrated texts; translating oral literatures; translating lyrics; translating to, from, and between sign languages; empowering language through translation, regardless of language modality.

We also welcome topics that approach the theme of “Sight and Sound” conceptually, culturally, or politically: the translator as performer; the translator as camera; promoting translation’s visibility in the wider literary field; advocating against the silencing of certain groups in the translation community; and supporting certain authors, literatures, or cultures in their efforts to be seen or heard in translation.

The theme “Sight and Sound” resonates with our ALTA42 conference venue of Rochester, New York, home to Eastman Kodak, the Eastman School of Music, the National Technical Institute of the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, the Rochester School for the Deaf, Writers & Books, and the Visual Studies Workshop.

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

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.

Conference sessions begin at 9:00a.m. on Friday, November 8, 2019, and conclude the evening of Sunday, November 10. There is an opening reception in the evening on Thursday, November 7, 2019, and a closing reception on the evening of Sunday, November 10. 


View Conference Schedule Now!

Special thanks to our ALTA42 partners:

Academic Studies Press

Amazon Crossing

Boston University MFA in Literary Translation

The Center for Engaged Storycraft at Rochester Institute of Technology

City of Asylum

City Lights Publishers

Columbia University School of the Arts

The Department of English at Rochester Institute of Technology

The Feminist Press at CUNY

Kenyon Review Translation Workshop


Lavender Ink/Diálogos

Library of Arabic Literature

Liverpool University Press

The National Center for Interpretation at The University of Arizona

Open Letter Books

PEN America

PRA Publishing

Review: Literature and Art of the Americas

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

The Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester

Stone Bridge Press

Syracuse University Press

The University of Arizona College of Humanities

Vermont College of Fine Arts

Visit Rochester

Wunderbar Together

Key Dates

  • January 15, 2019: Sessions proposal applications open
  • Mid-January 2019: Nominations for awards open
  • February 11, 2019: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading series applications open
  • March 11, 2019: Conference Hotel block opens
  • April 15, 2019: Session proposal deadline
  • April 15, 2019: Nominations for awards close
  • April 15, 2019: ALTA Travel Fellowship applications deadline
  • May 4, 2019: Dramatic Translations application deadline
  • Mid-May, 2019: Bookfair requests open
  • Mid-May, 2019: Conference registration available online
  • Mid-May, 2019: Session applicants notified of status
  • May 28, 2019: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series application deadline
  • Mid-June 2019: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series applicants notified
  • June 7, 2019: Deadline for A/V requests and scheduling requests
  • Mid-July 2019: Conference schedule available online
  • August 13, 2019: Flash Sessions applications open
  • August 13, 2019: ALTA’s Work Exchange Program applications open
  • August 16, 2019: Deadline for program advertisements
  • August 20, 2019: Pitch Sessions applications open
  • September 13, 2019: Deadline to apply to volunteer with ALTA’s Work Exchange Program
  • Mid-September, 2019: Work Exchange Program applicants notified
  • September 22, 2019: Deadline for bookfair requests
  • October 7, 2019: Deadline for early registration rate
  • October 18, 2019: Conference hotel block closes
  • October 21, 2019: Deadline for online conference registration