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Welcome to 'Translating Ancient Greek Drama in the Early Modern Period'

We are glad to announce the opening of the Call for Papers for the conference Translating Ancient Greek Drama IV (1600-1800), which will be held at University College London on 24 June 2022, organised by Giovanna Di Martino (Oxford) and Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13), with the support of University College London, the Leventis Foundation, the Centre for Early Modern Exchanges (UCL), Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, and the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (Oxford).


The conference will be both online and in person, please specify whether you would like to attend online or in person in the registration form.

For any questions, please contact


Scientific Committee:  

Malika Bastin-Hammou (Grenoble), Giovanna Di Martino (UCL), Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13), Fiona Macintosh (Oxford). 



The present Call for Papers aims at exploring the reception of ancient Greek drama in translation practices and theories between 1600 and 1800, in Europe and the colonial Americas. This is the fourth event in a series spanning translation in the early modern period (click on 20202019, and 2018 to see previous programmes).  


Early modern translation theories and practices need to be discussed in relation both to ancient theory and performance, and to early modern theatre theories and practices. This complex nexus requires a cross-cultural, multilingual and collective effort. In the three previous Oxford-Paris conferences, it has become amply evident that it is imperative to distinguish between ‘translation’ and ‘translating’. Whereas translation should be understood as the production of a full-length target text, often (but not necessarily) the work of a scholar, acts of ‘translating’ can be found in texts that are not necessarily conceived of as ‘translations’ nor as explicitly drawing on ancient Greek material. ‘Translating’, in this sense, represents the intertextual reworking of one, or the fragmentary combination of different, ancient Greek and early modern sources in a dynamic and creative way, typically, though not exclusively, by a playwright or poet. 


Both ‘translation’ and ‘translating’ of ancient Greek drama in this period should be understood as acts of interlinguistic and intersemiotic transactions which, in addition to involving two linguistic systems, also encompass a reassessment of both the source’s and target’s contextual and cultural meanings as well as a recodification of the source’s cultural and theatrical conventions. The implications of recodification are brought to the fore when these texts are explored through the lens of their dramaturgical potential: i.e., as translations of dramatic texts and thus (if only ideally) conceived for the stage, but also as themselves dramaturgical acts of understanding and assembling meanings, ancient and modern alike, in a mutual relationship of influence. 


This fourth conference in the series invites submissions which may include, but should not be limited to, the following topics:  

  • The presence of ‘translating’ ancient Greek drama in theatres and other forms of performance, whether courtly, commercial, academic, or private 

  • The translators’ own definition of their work and the circulation of their texts 

  • Translation and translating of ancient Greek drama and their contribution to, place within, the scholarly world 

  • Translation theories and their application to translation practices in performance 

  • Translation and translating in the construction or subversion of national dramatic repertoires and/or social practices 

  • Translation and translating in the superimposition/challenge/resignification of the cultural meanings of the source and target dramatic practices and local forms of theatre  

  • the dramaturgical potential of early modern translation and translating of ancient Greek drama, which can be presented in the form of demonstration-performance papers 


To participate, please send a 250-word abstract and a short biography to by 8th April

Papers should be 20 minutes’ long; demonstration-performance papers can take up to 40 minutes.  

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