Lectures and Research Seminars

All Forthcoming Events (2019-20 onwards)

Online Lecture Series

  • We will be running two series of online lectures in 2020-21:
    -    Translation and Technology Lectures
    -    UCL/SOAS Global Translation Lectures 

We are very excited to be welcoming speakers from four different continents, and warmly invite you to join us. Further details will follow soon.

Past Research Seminars Series


6 March 2019 Translating the Cultural Translation in Japanophone Taiwanese Literature

 Dr Tzu-yu Lin

This study seeks to elaborate the definition of “postcolonial translation” by investigating the translation of the Japanophone Taiwanese literature, which has been written by bilingual or multilingual authors who translate themselves into becoming writers of coloniser’s language, from the coloniser’s language (Japanese) tothe “pre-colonial” language (Chinese) that Susan Bassnett and Harish Trivedi in their edited book Post-colonial Translation (1999) have not yet explored.  From 1920, Japanese became the common language of a diverse range of ethnic groups in colonial Taiwan, and a high percentage of Taiwanese literary works during the late years of the Japanese colonial rule (the Taishō to the Shōwa period, 1920-1946) was writtenin Japanese (Matsunaga, 1998). However, in the immediate post-war years, the body of Japanophone Taiwanese literature was “torn off” from Taiwanese literary history in the name of “de-colonisation” (Marukawa, 1998). It was not until when the 38-year periodof martial law was lifted that Japanophone Taiwanese literature was finally reintroduced to the post-war Taiwanese generations in Chinese translation. In terms of translating a colonial “other,” translation has often been accused of its involvement with an imperialist gaze that serves the (former) colonial audience, whilst the translation for the purpose of restoring, reinventingand reconstructing a memory for those who have not experienced colonial rule has remained under-explored. By comparing the different purposes of the “postcolonial translation” in the original works of Japanophone Taiwanese literature and those in translation, this project hopes to offer a better understanding of how colonial memory andcultural identity can be reinvented and reconstructed in order to influence the young generations imagining the future.

20 February 2019 Collaborative models in audiovisual translation: Insights from the Stanley Kubrick Archive

Dr Serenella Zanotti (Roma Tre University, Italy)

Film translation is a context where forms of collaboration are especially present. Despite the burgeoning literature on audiovisual translation, collaboration remains a largely neglected aspect, as studies on the process through which foreign language versions come into being are still very limited. The collaborative dynamics that unfold between participants in decision-making processes, especially when it comes to film directors’ involvement, remain largely underexplored (Romero-Fresco 2013, 2014). In this talk I will report on the findings of a research project aiming at investigating translation-related material in the Stanley Kubrick Archive (University of the Arts, London). I will concentrate on the collaborative dimension that characterized Kubrick’s approach to film translation, showing how practices of co-creative decision-making processes involving film directors and translators have been in place in some sections of the film industry.

6 February 2019 Community Engagement and Translator Training: “I didn’t know translation was so complex”

Dr Federico Federici (UCL)

The paper focuses on a community translation project (Federici & Cadwell 2018) that involved culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) and was managed by the Red Cross (Shackleton 2018). The project entailed training bilingual members of CALD communities to attain an essential understanding of translation; hence it challenged trainers on providing ethically-acceptable definitions of translation principles. The project also highlighted the social challenges of providing CALD communities with trustworthy information in preparation to respond to crisis situations (O’Brien et al. 2018). Firstly, the paper will show how the translation project was viewed as an activity intended to reinforce processes of integration (Taibi 2006; 2016), thus colouring the process of material design for the training. Secondly, it will reflect on the difficulty of explaining translation processes to commissioners, users, and institutional audiences who need translation but may not know what translating means and what translation entails.

16 January 2019 Frantz Fanon’s Les Damnés de la terre [The Wretched of the Earth]: Exploring Irish Connections

Professor Kathryn Batchelor (UCL)

Frantz Fanon’s 1961 work, Les Damnés de la terre, was first published in English in 1963 by the Paris-based publisher Présence Africaine under the title The Damned. The same translation would go on to be published in the USA and the UK as The Wretched of the Earth. Some aspects of the story of Fanon’s translation into English are well known, such as the enthusiastic take-up of Fanon’s ideas by the Black Power movement in America. Other aspects, such as the reception of Fanon in other Anglophone spheres, remain under-researched. In this paper, I present some of the findings of a recent collaborative project that investigates how, when, where and why the works of Fanon were first translated and read (Translating Frantz Fanon across Continents and Languages, 2017). Specifically, I present my historical research into the identity of the 1963 translator, Constance Farrington, and assess the evidence for Homi Bhabha’s (2004, xxix) claim that ‘Fanon’s incendiary spirit may have set alight IRA passions’.