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Recent studies have begun to shift attention to the vast historic and cultural significance of translation in early modern Europe, with the aspiration of repositioning the study of translation within cultural studies in order to balance tendencies to look at translated texts from a solely linguistic or literary perspective (Hermans 1985, 1997; Burke, Po-Chia Hsia 2007; Hosington 2015).
The aim of this conference is to consider the presence and circulation of some of the most significant texts of the Pre-Renaissance and Renaissance in Northern Europe, with a special focus on connections among Italy, the British Isles, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. The early modern translation practices in these Northern regions show a similar drive to contribute to the linguistic and cultural enrichment of their vernacular languages, at a time when vernaculars all over Europe were seeking to establish a primary role for themselves in the emerging process of construction of national identities. Such processes must inevitably engage in dialogue and confrontation with the prestigious models of Latin, Italian, and French culture, both through imitation and opposition.
The conference papers will take a closer look at the textual relationships among Italy, the Netherlands, the Scandinavian countries and the British Isles in the early modern European context, within a multidisciplinary perspective involving linguistic, literary and cultural analysis. Relevant authors and texts preceding the Renaissance will also be taken into account if they have a role to play within the cultural circuit of the early modern period. As elsewhere in Europe, contact with Italian culture enables the introduction of genres, old and new, within the literary system, as well as the development of a vernacular aspiring to the role of scholarly language, and fosters disputes and debates in different branches of knowledge.

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