CfP: “Audiovisual Translation and Computer-Mediated Communication: Fostering Access to Digital Mediascapes” 7-8 October 2021, University of Palermo

5th International Edition  

Translation Symposium 

Audiovisual Translation and Computer-Mediated Communication: Fostering Access to Digital Mediascapes 

 7-8 October 2021 

Call for papers 

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic and in the wake of the decision of the Rector of the University of Palermo to cancel conferences and cultural events to be held at the institution, we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone the symposium to 7-8 October 2021. Stay connected for further news. 


Department of Humanities – University of Palermo 

PhD in Studi Umanistici – Department of Humanities – University of Palermo 

Department of Political Sciences and International Relations (DEMS) – University of Palermo Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures – University of Bergamo Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS), University College London (UCL) 

Postgraduate course in Subtitling for the Deaf and Audio Description for the Blind (SOSAC-PALERMO) 


University of Palermo – Department of Humanities 

Complesso Monumentale Sant’Antonino/Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri 

Piazzetta Sant’Antonino, 1 – Palermo 

Confirmed Speakers 

Patricia Bou-Franch (University of València); Paola Catenaccio (University of Milano “Statale”); Larissa  D’Angelo (University of Bergamo); Jorge Díaz Cintas (University College London); Elena Di Giovanni  (University of Macerata); Eleonora Federici (University of Ferrara); Gian Maria Greco (University of  Warsaw); Iris Guske (Kempten School of Translation & Interpreting); Anna Jankowska (University of  Antwerp); Maria Olalla Luque Colmenero (University of Granada); Irene Ranzato (University of Rome  “Sapienza”), Maria Grazia Sindoni (University of Messina); Nuria Sanmartín Rincart (Universidad de  Valencia). 

With the participation of Gabriele Uzzo (PhD student, University of Palermo, Accessibility Manager,  SudTitles), Maila Enea (Hogarth), Maria Luisa Pensabene (Audiodescriber, and Contract Lecturer,  University of Palermo), Silvia Torta (Project Manager, Transperfect).

Organising Committee 

Jorge Díaz Cintas (University College London), Stefania Maci (University of Bergamo), Giulia Adriana  Pennisi (University of Palermo), Alessandra Rizzo (University of Palermo), Cinzia Spinzi (University of  Bergamo), Marianna Lya Zummo (University of Palermo). 

Scientific Committee 

Rocío Baños, University College London, Lindsay Bywood, University of Westminster, Floriana Di Gesù,  University of Palermo, Frederic Chaume, Universitat Jaume I, Jorge Díaz Cintas, University College London,  Sabine Hoffmann, University of Palermo, Arista Kuo, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Stefania  Maci, University of Bergamo, Serenella Massidda, University of Roehampton, Josélia Neves, Bin Khalifa  University, Qatar, Jan Pedersen, University of Stockholm, Giulia Adriana Pennisi, University of Palermo, Nina  Reviers, University of Antwerp, Alessandra Rizzo, University of Palermo, Pablo Romero-Fresco, University of  Vigo, Oleg Rumyantsev, University of Palermo, Maria Grazia Sciortino, University of Palermo, Cinzia Spinzi,  University of Bergamo, Agnieszka Szarkowska, University of Warsaw, Iván Villanueva, Universidad Peruana de  Ciencias Aplicadas, Juan Zhang, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China, Antonino Velez, University of  Palermo, Marianna Lya Zummo, University of Palermo. 


Research on (audiovisual) translation, computer-mediated communication, technology and accessibility  has gained momentum in recent years (Díaz Cintas & Massidda 2020). Accessibility, understood as the  set of procedures, mechanisms and practices aimed at the provision of inclusive services addressed to a  general public, has grown as a methodological and theoretical framework in academia. For many, it should  be entrenched in society as a human right (Rizzo 2019; Greco 2018), since its ultimate goal is to facilitate  universal access to knowledge, thus breaking not only linguistic and cultural barriers but also sensory  ones (Di Giovanni 2018). 

Against the backdrop of digital mediascapes, accessibility has become an instrument of mediation and  communication across a variety of discursive perspectives (Catenaccio 2018; Federici 2019), and its  function is guaranteed and strengthened by the vast array of audiovisual translation modes practised in  the industry as well as by the proliferation of visual and linguistic performative narratives on the web 

(Bou-Franch 2019; Sindoni 2013). In the digital space (i.e. websites, blogs, web collectives, social  networks), accessibility guarantees the provision of some measures that make discourse more accessible  for all users (Luque, Soler, 2019). These rapid and encompassing developments are increasingly affecting  education and translation training (Spinzi 2019). 

The combination of two domains, namely, audiovisual translation and computer-mediated  communication, to secure accessible digital platforms, entails both usability and inclusion, specifically  conceived for the design, creation and development of (audio)visual digital spaces that are addressed to  all citizens and make knowledge universally accessible. Such an approach has opened up new horizons  of global interaction, which cannot but involve interlingual activities. Among them, practices like amateur  translation, fandubbing and cybersubtitling (Díaz Cintas 2018a) have become crucial to the construction  of digital networks for the spread of computer-mediated knowledge (Zummo 2018; Díaz Cintas 2018b).  In broader terms, the promotion of access services to information in digital settings recognises the need  for adapting, simplifying, reinforcing, manipulating and/or translating written and spoken messages in  order to make them accessible to anyone, thus, including people with different (temporary or contingent)  cognitive abilities, speakers of other languages, sensory-impaired persons, and regular citizens. In light of  recent scholarly research in audiovisual translation and thanks to the “affordabilities of information and  communication technologies and their alleged democratising power” (Díaz Cintas 2018a: 127), the  symposium aims to explore the links between new forms of translation and the language of the multiple  digital discourse types inhabiting the cyberspace (Maci 2013). Encouraging knowledge dissemination  while at the same time challenging conventional media, the event is open to students, academics, teachers,  and professionals interested in the role and potential of access services, of which interlingual translation  is a component, in the promotion and propagation of digital discourses. 

Call for Papers 

We welcome contributions that reflect on the intersections between digital mediascapes and audiovisual translation, including accessibility to the media. 

Send your abstracts (300 words) to: 

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1st June 2021 

Notification of acceptance: 1st July 2021 

Registration fee: 60 euros. 

Publication: a selection of papers will be published in a special issue of the peer reviewed and indexed  journal Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts (John Benjamins).  

Link to the website: Symposium-Audiovisual-Translation-and-Computer-Mediated-Communication-Fostering-Access-to Digital-Mediascapes–00001/ 


Catenaccio, P. 2018. “Web-mediated stakeholder communication in the biotech industry: the discursive  construction of dialogic illusion”. Altre Modernità, pp. 48-63. 

Díaz Cintas, J. 2018a. “Subtitling’s a carnival’: New practices in cyberspace”. Journal of Specialised Translation, issue  30, pp. 127-149. 

Díaz Cintas, J. 2018b. “Audiovisual Translation in Mercurial Mediascapes”. In Meng J. and Michael O. (eds), Advances in Empirical Translation Studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 177-197. Díaz Cintas J., Massidda S., 2020. “Technological advances in audiovisual translation”. In O’Hagan M (ed.), The  Routledge Handbook of Translation and Technology, pp. 255-270. 

Di Giovanni, E. (2018). “Participatory accessibility: Creating audio description with blind and non-blind children”.  Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 1(1), pp. 155-169.  

Federici, E. (2019). “Translating the ‘Other’ for the Western World for more than a Decade: Incredible India!  Campaigns”. In “Mind the Gap in Tourism Discourse: traduzione, mediazione, inclusione”, Altre Modernità, 21,  pp. 124-139.  

Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, P., & Bou-Franch, P. (2019). Analysing Digital Discourse: New Insights and Future Directions,  Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Greco, G.M. (2018). “The nature of accessibility studies”. Journal of Audiovisual Translation, 1(1), pp. 205-232.  Jankowska, A. (2015). Translating Audio Description Scripts: Translation as a New Strategy of Creating Audio Description,  Frankfurtam Main: Peter Lang.  

Luque, M. O., Soler, S. (2019). “Training audio describers for art museums”. Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series:  Themes in Translation Studies, 18, 166–181. 

Maci, S. (2013). Tourism Discourse: Professional, Promotional and Digital voices. Genova: ECIG.  Rizzo, A. (2019). “Museums as disseminators of niche knowledge: Universality in accessibility for all”. Journal of  Audiovisual Translation, 2(2), pp. 92-136. 

Sindoni, M.G., Spoken and Written Discourse in Online Environments: A Multimodal Approach, London and New York,  Routledge, 2013. 

Spinzi, C. (2019). “Training the Future Cultural Mediators”. Cultus, 12, pp. 8-14. 

Spinzi, C, Rizzo, A., Zummo M.L. (2018) (eds). Translation or Trasncreation? Discourses, Texts and Visuals, Newcastle  upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 

Zummo M.L. (2019). “Performing Authenticity on a Digital Political Stage Politainment as Interactive Practice and  (Populist?) Performance”, Iperstoria, 15, 2020, pp. 96-118.


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