ALTA43: In Between

ALTA43: In Between

Notice: ALTA43 is moving to a virtual platform.
Click here to read a statement from ALTA Board President Ellen Elias-Bursać.

Click here to read a statement from ALTA staff about changes to session and reading proposals

Wednesday-Saturday, November 11-14, 2020


Translation is neither here nor there. It exists in a space between languages, cultures, texts, authors, and readers. The ALTA43 theme “In Between” invites participants to consider the ways translation and translators function not as mediators between fixed points—“source text,” “original language,” “target culture”—but rather in a constant state of betweenness. Translation as an in-between practice seeks not to cross borders (whether real or artificial) but to transcend and dissolve them, to show how language, cultures, and texts are never singular and always in process. This theme also resonates with our conference venue of Tucson, Arizona, ALTA’s current home and a territory that reminds us of the continuous shifting and arbitrariness of borders and the power of the nuances of language.

We invite panels, readings, roundtables, and workshops that address the theme “In Between,” broadly conceived, including topics such as: translating from a place of multiple belongings, translating migrant writing, translating code-switching, translating heritage, translating indigenous languages, translating beyond gender binaries, and translating hybrid genres.

We also welcome topics that approach the theme of "In Between" as it relates to the experiences of literary translators: translators who are somewhere between "emerging" and "established"; translators who find themselves midway along the path of an academic or freelance career; translators who acknowledge that, while recognition of translation and the work of translators has come a long way, there is still room for improvement. 

The “in between” has long been theorized in regards to translation. Proposals might seek to engage with historical and/or contemporary conceptualizations of the "in between" as it relates to translating and the position of the translator. Proposals might also consider the location of translation within and outside of the academy or the role of translators working between scholarship and the practice of translation.

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 panels, roundtables, and workshops 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. 

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.

Due to the current health crisis, ALTA has shifted to a virtual conference this year. Please see the revised Proposal Guidelines for the Virtual 2020 ALTA Conference to learn more.

Propose a Session or reading 

Special thanks to our ALTA43 partners:

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arizona

The University of Arizona College of Humanities

The University of Arizona Poetry Center

Key Dates (NOTE: Key Dates are subject to change due to ALTA's shift to a virtual conference in 2020)

  • January 13, 2020: Session proposals open for submissions
  • Mid-January 2020: Nominations for awards open
  • February 10, 2020: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading series applications open
  • Mid-March, 2020: Conference Hotel block opens
  • April 20, 2020: Session proposal deadline
  • April 20, 2020: Nominations for awards close
  • April 20, 2020: ALTA Travel Fellowship applications deadline
  • Mid-May, 2020: Bookfair requests open
  • Mid-May, 2020: Conference registration available online
  • Mid-May, 2020: Session submitters notified of status
  • May 26, 2020: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series application deadline
  • Mid-June 2020: Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series applicants notified
  • June 7, 2020: Deadline for A/V requests and scheduling requests
  • Mid-July 2020: Conference schedule available online
  • August 11, 2020: Flash and Pitch Sessions applications open
  • August 11, 2020: ALTA’s Work Exchange Program applications open
  • August 14, 2020: Deadline for program advertisements
  • September 18, 2020: Deadline to apply to volunteer with ALTA’s Work Exchange Program
  • Mid-September, 2020: Work Exchange Program applicants notified
  • September 21, 2020: Deadline for bookfair requests
  • Early October, 2020: Deadline for early registration rate
  • Mid-October, 2020: Conference hotel block closes
  • October 26, 2020: Deadline for online conference registration