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Paul Celan Fellowships for Translators 2008 / 2009

CAS 20/02/2008

1. Objective

The Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, IWM) and ERSTE Foundation (ERSTE Stiftung) jointly invite academics to translate important works in the Humanities, Social Sciences and in the field of Cultural Studies from an Eastern to a Western European language, or vice versa, or from one Eastern European language to another.

The IWM started its translation program in 1987. After almost two decades of successful work ERSTE Stiftung has joined in 2005 as a new partner for the Paul Celan Fellowships for Translators. IWM and ERSTE Stiftung take this cooperation as an opportunity to adapt and expand the program according to the recent changes in the intellectual landscape of Europe.

2. Idea

The exchange of ideas and the reception of scholarly literature in today's Europe suffer from various deficits and asymmetries:

* The division of Europe deeply impaired the East-West reception of literature and debates in the Humanities and Social Sciences for decades. The effects are still felt today.

* Since the end of the Cold War conditions in Central and Eastern Europe for intellectual production have significantly improved. Meanwhile, important works were published which in the West, however, have not found the attention they deserve.

* With their transdisciplinary and comparative approach, Cultural Studies have established one of the most productive and innovative fields of contemporary research, meanwhile successfully expanding to Eastern Europe. Although Cultural Studies are especially conducive to intercultural understanding, translations of key texts are still very few in both directions, East and West.

* Works written by women scholars are generally underrepresented on the translation balance sheet between East and West.

Paul Celan Fellowships for Translators want to help overcome these deficits and fill gaps in the relevant literature on both sides and thus improve access to and exchange between formerly isolated cultures.

The program supports East-West, West-East and East-East translations of classical texts and contemporary key works in the Humanities and Social Sciences as well as in the field of Cultural Studies. Special emphasis is put on translations of relevant works written by East European authors and/or by women scholars.

To date, more than 80 translators from 16 countries have been invited to work at the Institute. An overview of translations published under the auspices of the Paul Celan Fellowships for Translators in the last years is available at www.iwm.at/translations.htm.

The program bears the name of the poet and translator Paul Celan (1920-1970) whose work – perhaps more than any other’s in the 20th century – thrives on the diversity of European cultures and also mediates between them.

3. Conditions

Paul Celan Visiting Fellows will be invited to spend three to six months at the IWM in 2008 / 2009 to pursue their translation project while working in residence at the Institute. The fellows will receive a stipend to cover living expenses, travel, health insurance and incidentals. The IWM will provide Paul Celan Visiting Fellows with a guest apartment, an office, a personal computer and access to e-mail and Internet, in-house research facilities and other relevant sources in Vienna. The fellows will participate in the scholarly community and activities of the IWM.

4. Application Procedure

The application consists of the following materials (in English or German):

1. the application form (please download here)
2. a curriculum vitae with a bibliography of translations and other relevant publications
3. the author and work to be translated (from the original language) and an explanation for the choice thereof
4. the exact number of pages
5. a contract with a publisher for the publication of the translation or a letter of intent from a publisher
6. proof that the translator / publisher holds the rights to the translation and its publication (or has an option for them)
7. the planned date of publication
8. information on the program of the publishing house

Works which are thematically related to the IWM's research fields (see more details) will receive preferential treatment.

Deadline for Application is April 11, 2008

Please send the application by mail to:

Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen
Fellowship Coordinator
Spittelauer Lände 3
1090 Wien

Advance copies by e-mail are accepted:

fellowships [at] iwm [dot] at
Subject header: Paul Celan Fellowships

5. Jury

The finalists will be selected by a jury of experts consisting of:

5. Jury The finalists will be selected by a jury of experts consisting of:

* Christine Böhler,Program Director “Culture”, ERSTE Stiftung, Vienna

* Gottfried Boehm,Professor of Modern Art History, University of Basel; Non-Resident Permanent Fellow of the IWM

* Endre Bojtar, Literary Scholar and Head of the Department of Central and Eastern European Literature, Institute of Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest

* Peter Demetz, Sterling Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature, Yale University, New Haven

* Klaus Nellen,Permanent Fellow, IWM

* Martin Pollack, Writer and Translator, Vienna / Bocksdorf

* Diana Mishkova,Director, Centre For Advanced Study, Sofia; Associate Professor/DPhil of Modern Southeast-European History

6. Notification

Applicants will be notified of the jury decision in spring 2008; the jury is not required to publicly justify its decisions.

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