The 2nd International Conference on Intersemiotic Translation


8-11 December 2020, University of Tartu, Estonia



Irina Rajewsky, Free University of Berlin

Thomas Leitch, University of Delaware

Anthony Pym, University of Melbourne



Peeter Torop, University of Tartu

 Lars Elleström, Linnaeus University



Following the 1stInternational Conference on Intersemiotic Translation, held in November 2017 at the University of Cyprus, this conference aims to address the theoretical and practical challenges that the shift away from the logocentric to increasingly intersemiotic, intermedial and transmedial culture poses for the relevant fields, which are consequently forced to re-examine their concepts, methods as well as objects of study.

Concurrently with the developments that have led many disciplines (translation studies, adaptation studies, intermediality studies, semiotics, among others) to look at processes and products that cross media borders, we have also witnessed the appearance of a plethora of concepts describing such phenomena: from rewritings and refractions to intermedial translationsadaptations and appropriations to remediationstransmediations, transformations, transcreations, and (medial) transgressions, to name but a few. All these terms acknowledge the radical transformations that can occur when texts produce offshoots that transgress the borders of the language, genre, medium or platform of the original text. Recognizing that all terms have their different backgrounds and sometimes conflicting usages, this conference has chosen as one of its key terms the notion of ‘transmedia’ – not necessarily in any one of its specialised senses as used, for instance, by Henry Jenkins in the context of transmedia storytelling or by Peeter Torop and Maarja Ojamaa, who regard transmediality as the complex interrelations between texts in the mental space of culture – but rather as an umbrella term. We foreground ‘transmedia’– with its prefix trans– meaning ‘across’, ‘beyond’, ‘through’ – as a marker to highlight the ubiquitous processes and phenomena of media crossovers that share some common features (such as fictional world, character, plot).

It is our understanding that with such high concentration of transmedial practices and concepts currently underway in culture and in academia, the time is ripe to see this as a general ‘turn’ not to be ignored. Although related to the ‘technological turn’ of the 2000s in translation studies as described by Michael Cronin, the ‘transmedial turn’ goes beyond the technological one: while the latter is defined by the changes in technology, the term ‘transmediality’ foregrounds a major operational logic of culture that has become especially explicit in this era of new media developments. At the same time, the notion of transmediality can shed light and contribute to the study of the respective practices of the past prior to the more recent technological changes.

The aim of this conference is to look at the various transmedial practices historically and in comparison with the changes that have taken place during the last decades as a result of an explosive surge in intermedial and transmedial practices. The discussion will seek to investigate potential ways to account for these changes theoretically and map the implications they might have on the level of practice. The conference intends to bring together scholars from various disciplines, which over the recent years have moved extensively beyond their traditional borders in terms of both their study objects and their approaches. We hope that such a joint effort will offer valuable insights to the conceptualisations of transmedial practices across different cultural contexts at different points in time and bridge theoretical as well as methodological gaps.


We would like to open up the discussion on the following:

  • The movement of texts across different times and different media: from intertextuality to intermediality, from intermediality to transmediality;
  • The analysis and mapping of transmedial processes and products;
  • Transmedial practices in translation and adaptation history;
  • Theoretical models and methods to account for transmedial phenomena across disciplines;
  • The potential to find common ground on terminology in media-centred discourses across disciplines;
  • The concepts of ‘translation’ and ‘adaptation’ revisited in the framework of transmediality;
  • Translators, adaptors, refractors: the network of agents involved in the production of transmedia;
  • Transmedial entanglements of literature, theatre, film etc. and their influence on the conceptualisation and practice of translation and adaptation;
  • Changes in the distinction between professional/non-professional and individual/collective in transmedial practices;
  • Power relations and ethics in transmedial practices.



The conference will include individual paper and practical workshop sessions. In addition to academic papers on the conference theme, we invite practitioners to share their experience with and insights on transmedia-related topics in workshop format.

The presentation time for individual papers is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion.

To submit a proposal, please send an abstract (up to 300 words plus references) as a separate file (.docx or .rtf) to transmedia@ut.eePlease include names and institutional affiliations. Abstracts will be reviewed by the conference academic advisory board.

The working language of the conference is English.



  • 15 March 2020: Extended deadline for presentation proposals
  • 15 April 2020: Notification of acceptance
  • 15 August 2020: Registration opens



While we are fully committed to organising the conference on 8-11 December 2020, due to current global situation we are now heading towards an online conference.

Registration form and information in available here.