International Studies Conference

Stage words: inter-semiotic and inter-linguistic translation of dramaturgic, literary and theatre theory texts
Bologna, 6-7 February 2020

Ideated and organised by:
Donatella Gavrilovich, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome
Gabriella Elina Imposti, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna
Claudia Pieralli, University of Florence


With the patronage of:
Alma Mater Studiorum - University di Bologna
University of Florence
“Tor Vergata” University of Rome
Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada
CNRS/ Eur’ORBEM, Paris, France


This multi-disciplinary conference originates from the necessity, expressed by a group of Russian-Sovie theatre philologists and scholars, of meeting and debating about the issues arising from the translation of dramaturgic, literary, theoretical texts, and, particularly, from the interpretation of the theatrical terminology. In this respect, the conference intends to draw attention on various reflections on terminology, e.g., on Modernism and Realism, on the lexicon of the acting systems (the Stanislavskij system and those derived from it), and on their evolution and/or transformation when a work is transferred and adapted to the cultural tradition of another country, that is, when cultural transferts are activated in the enculturation process. In our belief that the above issues, which are so pressing in the area of Russian theatre, also apply to other disciplinary branches, we have decided to expand and deepen the debate through the involvement of scholars of languages, literatures and theatre of other cultural-linguistic areas, and with the inclusion of dancing, visual, musical, scenographic arts, etc., in the discussion.


The investigation will be circumscribed to the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries through “problem- solving”, comprehensive presentations followed by workshops. Each workshop will focus, at a conceptual and methodological level, on the issue introduced during the general conference to discuss, elaborate on, and deal with the problem, with the intent to examine it in depth, and/or attempt to develop a possible solution.

The conference will focus on the following subject matters:

1. Stage words: literary and dramaturgic translation. Problems and strategies in the translation of French, English, and Russian, twentieth-century plays, as well as, possibly, of works from other cultural-linguistic realms.

2. Critical and historical lexicography of theatrical aesthetics. Semantic shifts in the meaning of theatrical terminology and criticism. This point is an attempt to explore the deviations from the original meaning of the technical-theoretical word – due to the influence of a given historical-cultural context - in the passage from a philological translation of the term to its critical interpretation to, possibly, its application to the stage in different linguistic areas and periods.

3. Interpretation of the technical theatrical term(s) by scholars of languages and literatures and by historians of theatre. Examples of distortions, misconceptions and inappropriate use of terminology: consequences.

4. The novel and its transposition to the stage: intercultural comparisons focusing on specific and relevant cases. Given the wide scope of the subject, the analysis has been limited to the works of Great Russian, English and French authors active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

5. The translation into Italian, English, French, and Russian of theatrical works written in regional languages, dialects, patois, aboriginal languages, and in “untranslatable words” (slang).

6. The transposition of plays to opera or dance librettos, or to musical scores.



• Translation and circulation of contemporary authors’ dramaturgic texts. The Eurodram e MEO experience: from translated text to staging.

• Translation of opera and dance librettos.

• Audio-description: translation of musical terms for the stage.

• Methodological proposals for the creation of a Multilingual Atlas of Theatrical Terms in Open Access interactive modality.


The Conference is part of The « États Généraux » of the Performing Arts project (ideated and coordinated by Donatella Gavrilovich, of the “Tor Vergata” University in Rome). URL :
Dates and venue of the Conference: 6-7 February 2020

Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna
Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Via Cartoleria 5, Bologna


Scientific Committee:

Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu, CNRS/ Eur’ORBEM, Paris, France
Donatella Gavrilovich, “Tor Vergata” University of Rome
Gabriella Elina Imposti, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna
Claudia Pieralli, University of Florence
Donato Santeramo, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada


The languages of the Conference are Italian, French, and English.
Proposed contributions (whose title and abstract must not exceed 1000 characters, spaces included), accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae, shall be submitted to the Organisational Committee Secretariat by and no later than 15 November 2019 for evaluation by the Scientific Committee. The evaluation result will be communicated to the proponents by 15 December 2019. The e-mail address of the Secretariat is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.