Call for Chapters: Edited Book ‘Conversion and Transcreation: African Literature in Translation’

Ed. Ghirmai Negash

Vernon Press invites contributions from translation scholars and translators for a book provisionally titled ‘Conversion and Transcreation: African Literature in Translation’, edited by Ghirmai Negash, Ohio University, and scheduled for publication in October/November 2022. 

The project is conceived around the central ideas of ‘conversion’ and ‘transcreation’ that have been key in translation studies and practices. It seeks to contribute to growing debates, examinations, and controversies on some important theoretical and practical issues on the different models, modes, and procedures—ranging from direct conversion to adaptation and transcreation—that translators use in the task of translating literary texts. The notion of conversion expresses the ideal and possibility of rendering texts from and into each other with a maximum level of structural and conceptual parallelisms, while various genres of direct translations involve more complex operations in the process. Transcreation refers to a constellation of oblique procedures and techniques used in more complex situations where the occurrence of significant structural and conceptual differences between the languages and cultures in question dictate the task of the translation.  

New research and translations from/into/within African languages are generating new understandings of how literary texts from the continent are rendered by innovative methods, but also interventionist approaches with claims that, in ideal conditions, such mediations open up new political, cultural, and aesthetic spaces in benefitting ways to “both foreign and domestic interests” (Lawrence Venuti, 2004: 502).  The book is intended to understand how translators make these choices and the related permitting and/or  limiting options, alternatives, and preferences that inform those choices. The volume also aims to provide insights into the kinds of furthering and/or circumscribing elements that define the circulation and reception of African literary texts in translation, both in the source-language-culture and global contexts. In this regard, some of the important questions to think about are: exploring the impact of globalization on translation or the bearing of translation on globalizing culture and examining the dynamics of how translated texts enter mainstream culture as localized and new genres of world literature. 

We are interested in contributions focusing on any literary text(s) in translation. The essays can be theoretical and/or more practice-oriented. We also very much welcome meditative essays by experienced translators that offer unique perspectives on the art of translation and African literature. 

Specific themes and sub-themes for chapters include, but are not limited to:

--Analyses of  theoretical/historical questions relating to translation

--Methods, procedures

--Language, diction, stylistic choices,  including on the use of “endnotes and glossary” 

--Translating into and from Pidgin languages

--Untranslatability/Impossibility of translation

-- Foreignization and domesticating in translation 

--Transcreation, adaptation, over-translation

--Translation and power (gender, linguistic inequalities)

--Translation as linguistic/cultural border crossing

--Machine translation and the future of translation

Scholars interested in contributing a chapter should email a 300-word abstract and recent bio to Ghirmai Negash, via email: 

Important dates: 

  • Abstracts deadline: July 10, 2021
  • Contributors can expect to hear acceptance decisions within 14 days 
  • First draft of Chapters: February 15, 2022
  • Publication Date: October/November 2022. 

Please forward all correspondences to Ghirmai Negash at 


This proposal is due on July 10th 2021.

Page last updated on June 16th 2021. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.