Thursday 16th March 16:30—18:00

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Overview of programme

Keynote lecture



Seminarraum 1


Pavlína Rychterová

Title and speaker:

Framing the Reader: Translations, Readers and Religious Learning

Sabrina Corbellini

Framing the Reader: Translations, Readers and Religious Learning

Sabrina Corbellini

The paper will take its start from the idea that the translating of religious texts is just the starting point of a process of transfer of religious knowledge to a new public of readers and users. In order to ignite a process of religious acculturation the translators or other authors belonging to their intellectual networks did provide the new readers with instructions how to approach the text, either in the prologue or in the specific choice of paratextual apparati or through the composition of pastoral letters and treatises. This practice of framing the readers and promoting a specific reading habitus is an essential point for understanding translation as a social and cultural practice and for contextualising the oceanic translation movement (Delcorno) that characterizes the fourteenth and the fifteenth century.

Although the paper will explore a wide range of sources, literary genres and vernacular languages, a specific thematic, chronological and geographical focus has been chosen. The presentation will thus primarily discuss translations of religious texts (in the widest sense of the word) from fourteenth and fifteenth century Italy. As a matter of fact, the abundance of manuscript and early printed material from late medieval Italy allows for a broad and diversified investigation of textual material and for a discussion of several strategies for the “framing the reader”. Moreover, the access to religious material for lay readers (in the sense of non-religious and non-Latinate readers) is, in spite of the significant changes in attitudes from the traditional Church, one of the most discussed issue in the panorama of late medieval literature. Translation is in this specific case the result of a linguistic but also a very strong and complex social and cultural process of negotiation and transformation, which is made evident by the need to create a specific “reading habitus”.