National Repositories of Shakespeare Translations: (Dis)assembling the Black Box

Convener: Anna Cetera-Włodarczyk (Warsaw University)

Panelists: Pavel Drabek (University of Hull) and Jesús Tronch (University of Valencia), Panel Sara Soncini (University of Pisa) and Beatrice Montorfano (University of Pisa).



The aim of the panel is to discuss the construction, operation and scholarly usefulness of the electronic repositories of Shakespeare translations. In particular, the panellists aim to offer an overview of the existing European repositories of Shakespeare translations and discuss their content, editing policies, and available research tools.


Spurred by the developments in Translation Studies in recent decades, Shakespeare translations have been subject to intense scrutiny, revealing the interpretative potential of the originals as well as the ideological and aesthetic preferences of the hosting culture. The reinvigorated interest has brought into light hundreds of Shakespeare (re)translations, adaptations, abridgements, imitations etc., extant in print and in manuscript, settled in national canons or stored in theatrical archives. Needless to say, pulling together national resources reveals a wealth of new material, elucidating the hitherto neglected histories of the native culture. Yet, apart from an insight into the rewriting practices of previous ages, the repositories bear witness to the internal dynamics of the corpus with distinctive patterns of influence, imitation and denial, well-exceeding the apparently monolingual or monocultural lines of inquiry.


The panel allows for the brief presentations of various national projects followed by the discussion focused on the practicalities of the enterprise, the significance of free content repositories for the native and foreign researchers, and the means of making them compatible with other online resources and accessible to researchers investigating pan-European trends. The discussion shall focus on problems such the selection of the material to be included in the repository, the editorial instability of the translations, the site architectures, data format, and the relation with adjacent disciplines such as translation theory, theatre history and corpus linguistics.