(updated on January 23, 2018)

On June 30 and July 1 of 2016, the third symposium dealing with the the relationship between philosophical hermeneutics and translation studies took place in Cologne, Germany, at the Technische Hochschule in Köln. The symposium, which was initiated and organized by John Stanley, was attended by about 30 scholars and researchers from various countries around the world.  Key note speakers in the plenary on the first day were Anthony Pym on modes of Erlebnis within translation knowledge, Holger Siever on complex thinking as a challenge for translational hermeneutics, and Radegundis Stolze on the connectivity of hermeneutical thinking within translatology.
During the afternoon of June 30th, four parallel sessions took place on issues concering how to apply hermeneutical translation methods, on creativity in translation, and on the link between translation and subjectivity; reports on hermeneutical and phenomenological research projects were given at this time. The first day was concluded with a panel discussion on how to develop a practical methodology for empirical research into translation and interpreting. The panel discussion provided valuable stimuli for further research in the coming years. After the panel research the large majority of the particpants boarded a charter bus and traveled to John Stanley's house in Bonn, where the symposium dinner was served. This was an enjoyable evening with much amiability and a strong academic exchange.


A major theme on the second day of the symposium was commemorating the hundredth birthday of Fritz Paepcke. Radegundis Stolze reported from the commemorative celebration that was held in Budapest, the place of his last activity, and read a word of greeting by Mary Snell-Hornby. Then Larisa Cercel explained a basic principle in Paepcke’s translational hermeneutics, namely seeing and translating. Philippe Forget, a former collaborator of Paepcke at Heidelberg talked about limits and potential of Paepcke’s hermeneutics.

Following the commemorative activities, Douglas Robinson delivered a paper on the influence of ancient Daoism and Confucianism on German romantic translation hermeneutics.
The afternoon also featured two parallel sessions on historical research. The symposium was borght to a close by a paper on hermeneutics and theology (Brian O’Keeffe) and a presentation on contextualizing communication within language games (John Stanley). Further research will be grounded on these foundations.

The Second Conference on Hermeneutics and Translation Studies

Translational Hermeneutics  - Applications in New Areas

The 2nd “Hermeneutics and Translation Studies Symposium” took place at the CUAS in Cologne on 11 – 12 July 2013. About 50 participants heard high-level scholarly lectures on the subject of Translational Hermeneutics. The president of the university personally welcomed the audience and stressed the great interest of the university in such an event, underlining how the CUAS – with its focus on applied sciences – was interested to see how the conference and Translational Hermeneutics in particular would come to bear on the practice of translation and interpreting.

Hermeneutics and Translation Studies
Conference on May 26 and 27, 2011
ITMK, University of Applied Sciences in Cologne


With speakers from various European countries, USA, and China, the first Hermeneutics and Translation Studies Conference, held on the 26th and 27th of May, 2011, was a ground breaking event.
With a rich conference program, the papers presented covered a wide range of topics including literary and specialized translation, the place of individual knowledge and experience in translational hermeneutics, the role of hermeneutics in the Muslim tradition of exegetics and translation, the question concerning the possibility of an hermeneutical method, the role of any given “pre-understanding” of history and/or culture in the process of interpreting and translating, etc. In particular questions concerning the proper place and definition of “subjectivity”, "phenomenology" and “method” in translational hermeneutics emerged as the primary points of contention. The conference also provided ample opportunity for networking – especially at the evening dinner  at the Stanley residence – and thus fostered continued research in the area of translational hermeneutics.