Picturebooks and Graphic Narratives in Education and Translation

by Karen Bennett, 7 July 2021

The international conference on Picturebooks and Graphic Narratives in Education and Translation: Mediation and Multimodality (convened by Karen Bennett and Sandie Mourão) finally took place online, between June 24th and 26th this year, after having been postponed in 2020 in the hope of better days. Organised by the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (CETAPS) of Nova University of Lisbon, it was a great success, bringing together researchers from 28 different countries across various time zones (a real challenge for timetabling!). To our delight, specialists from the different fields readily mixed together to exchange insights and ideas, despite the fact that there were three strands running in parallel throughout the three days – education, translation and multimodal mediation.

There were also keynote lectures by picturebook specialist Evelyn Arzipe (Professor of Children’s Literature at the University of Glasgow) and Federico Zanettin (Associate Professor of English and Translation at the University of Perugia, specialist in the translation of comic books), and a remarkable storytelling performance by Portuguese actress and storyteller Ana Sofia Paiva which left everyone profoundly moved .

Actress and storyteller Ana Sofia Paiva giving her performance The silence that speaks…
André Caetano’s workshop invitation

On Friday evening, there was a workshop by illustrator André Caetano in which delegates were invited to design their own comic book page. The whole conference closed with a roundtable involving three specialists from different fields (Lettie Dorst, translator trainer from the University of Leiden; Ana Margarida Ramos, educationalist from the University of Aveiro, and Alec Williams, storyteller and specialist in library design) who came together to discuss the challenges raised by multimodality for trainers in these different areas.

We are now launching Calls for Papers for two publications on the theme of the conference – a special issue of our journal Translation Matters devoted to Picturebooks and Graphic Narratives in Translation, and an interdisciplinary volume on the subject to be published in Routledge’s Studies in Multimodality series.

Further information is available on our website: https://picbookseducation.wordpress.com/

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