This conference is part of the “Translation and Polyglossia in England” project (, 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 another, 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.
 Papers will deal with the way literary polyglossia creates communities of authors and readers by studying texts issued by members of a particular community who can nevertheless circulate between communities thanks to their mastery of several languages. Comparisons between the Latin or Greek form of polyglossia typical of humanist exchanges and vernacular polyglossia, and between printed and manuscript texts, will be welcome.
Communities studied may include (but need not be limited to): merchants, explorers, ambassadors, Continental exiles (exiles from and on the Continent), translators, publishers and printers, language teachers, university students, mythographers, musicians, painters, craftsmen…
 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)
 Please send your abstract (about 250 words) and a short bio (about 100 words) to Laetitia Sansonetti: by 1 February 2019.