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Registration Now Open!

Registration for the conference is now open here

There is no conference fee, but if you intend to come to the conference dinner, please select this option at registration and pay upfront.

Please ensure that you have registered by 16 May.

Postgraduate Bursary

The Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland is generously sponsoring a competitive postgraduate bursary (€100) for those traveling from outside of Cork.

To apply for the bursary please email us a short blog post (200-300 words) about any aspect of the relationship between medieval poetry and modern translation by April 7 2014.


We have just been awarded a generous grant for the conference from the Irish Research Council in addition to funding already awarded by The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, University College Cork’s School of English and Information Services Strategic Fund. The Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland is also generously sponsoring a postgraduate bursary for speakers at the conference.

Irish Research Council  http://www.research.ie

The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature  http://mediumaevum.modhist.ox.ac.uk/ 

School of English, University College Cork http://www.ucc.ie/english

Information Services Strategic Fund http://www.booleweb.ucc.ie

Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland http://www.fmrsi.wordpress.com 


Poetry event

To conclude the conference we are hosting a poetry reading featuring a number of leading academic and literary translators. This public event will allow a modern audience to experience some of the most accessible and accomplished translations of recent decades. As many of the original texts were composed to be recited orally and enjoyed as part of a communal experience, this event offers a great opportunity to hear the translations performed as intended. It will serve as a fitting end to a conference that is concerned with remediation and the dialogue between poets and academics, and will allow for a greater appreciation of the relationship between the original material, the investigator, the interpreter and the contemporary audience.

Plenary speakers

Confirmed speakers include Professor Hugh Magennis (Queen’s University Belfast), Dr Carolyne Larrington (University of Oxford), Dr Chris Jones (University of St Andrew’s) and Dr Heather O’Donoghue (University of Oxford), as well as the acclaimed poets Bernard O’Donoghue, Trevor Joyce and Eamon Carr.


From eald to new: Translating early medieval poetry for the 21st century 

 6 – 7 June 2014

School of English, University College Cork 

In recent years, the shelves of commercial bookshops have been graced with accessible translations of medieval poetry from the Old English, Old Irish and Old Norse traditions, including Heaney’s award-winning rendition of Beowulf. Many of these reworkings give a contemporary flavour and immediacy to medieval texts, and they are increasingly being adopted for introductory courses on medieval literature. But what place do literary translations have in the academy, and should they be taught as creative works in their own right? How are the latest translations adapting to the needs of students and teachers? What exactly do we lose, and gain, in the translation of medieval texts?

This conference will explore the ideology of translation, the subtleties of the translation process, and the teaching of translation in modern university settings in relation to memory, adaptation and remediation. It will examine the cultural and historical inflection of individual translations, the ways in which the student’s experience of medieval literature is affected by the translation adopted for study, and the particular challenges related to the translation and reception of early medieval vernacular poetry.

We invite abstracts for 20 minute papers from both individuals and panels. Abstracts of approx. 250 words should be emailed to Dr Tom Birkett or Dr Kirsty March at ealdtonew2014@ucc.ie.

Topics may include:

  • Audience, cultural specificity and local idiom
  • The meeting place of literary and academic translations
  • Past translations, constraints of precedence, and suppression of difference
  • Ideas of ownership, authorship and canonicity
  • Teaching the translation of medieval languages in the academy
  • Problematic poetry: translating verse forms, metrics, poetic language
  • The potential of new media to change our relationship to the translated text
  • Translation theory applied to medieval texts

The closing date is 15 December 2013

This conference is kindly supported by an Irish Research Council New Foundations Grant, The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature (SSMLL), The School of English UCC, and the Information Services Strategic Fund, UCC. A graduate travel bursary was kindly provided by the Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland.

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