Part 9: UCL / SOAS (Online) Global Translation Lecture Series 2020-21

08 June 2021, 10:00 am–11:00 am

Rita Wilson's lecture

Prof. Rita Wilson (Monash University, Australia), ‘Translational narratives of migration, cultural memory and belonging’

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Kathryn Batchelor


The complex intermingling of languages and cultures resulting from transnational migration flows has given rise to an increased interest in the multiple connections between translation and migration. The ways in which new settlements have changed the identity of their new locations, and have affected the feelings and practices of migrants and their new neighbours are particularly visible in local sites that are ‘in translation’, belonging to no single, discrete language, cultural or ethnic group. In these transcultural neighbourhoods, hegemonic languages and narratives often crowd out alternative voices and memories. Likewise, immigrants may be expected to leave their memories behind in order to become integrated, hence accepted, into adoptive cultures. This paper focuses on translation as a key concept in our approach to questions of memory and migration. Through a reading of contemporary transcultural narratives concerned with the representation of multi-ethnic urban scenarios in Italy, I examine the interplay between language, identity, place, and cultural memory. It will be argued that these narratives contribute to understanding the central role of translation in the discursive negotiation of social and cultural identities in global multilingual landscapes.


Rita Wilson is Professor in Translation Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University and Director of the Monash Intercultural Lab. Her current work contributes to the strand of research in Translation Studies that explores the connections between migrant cultural studies, translation, and intercultural studies. Most recently, she has published on identity and culture in migratory contexts, on practices of self-translation and on narratives of mobility and place-making. With Loredana Polezzi she is co-editor of The Translator.

About the Speaker

Prof. Rita Wilson

at Monash University, Australia