shutterstock_41124580The AHRC’s themes provide a funding focus for emerging areas of interest to arts and humanities researchers. In recognizing that interdisciplinary and collaborative research often requires particular forms of support to develop its full potential, themed funding is particularly supportive of developmental activity, partnership-based activities, and innovative approaches.

The ‘Translating Cultures’ theme addresses the need for understanding and communication within, between and across diverse cultures in a world seen to be increasingly characterized by transnational and globalized connections. It funds research that studies the role of translation, understood in its broadest sense, in the transmission, interpretation, transformation and sharing of languages, values, beliefs, histories and narratives.

A symposium on ‘Translating Cultures’ will be held at Senate House, University of London, on 28/29 March 2014 to present and explore projects linked to the AHRC theme. Invited speakers include leading translation scholars Susan Bassnett, Jean Boase-Beier and Anthony Pym. The event will also include presentations by members of all three teams recently awarded large grants under the theme, who will outline their research and also reflect on the ways in which they intend to act as ‘beacons’ for the theme. The symposium will additionally act as a showcase for a number of the research networks and fellowship awards from across the spectrum of Arts and Humanities disciplines associated with ‘Translating Cultures’.  The event will provide an opportunity for attendees to explore and develop the theme’s key aims and ambitions, to network with award holders and other delegates, and to share thoughts on the theme’s subsequent development.

Whilst this is a public event, preference for registration will be given to researchers, postgraduate students, and those working outside academia in fields directly related to the Translating Cultures theme and its projects. We particularly welcome registrations from representatives of relevant policy and third sector bodies as well as private enterprises with an interest in the theme. Upon completion of the registration form, accepted attendees will be notified by email.

There is no charge for attendance, but numbers are limited and advance registration is required.


Friday 28 March

10.30am: introductory comments, Dr Ian Lyne (Associate Director of Programmes, AHRC); Professor Charles Forsdick (Liverpool; AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow, ‘Translating Cultures’)

11.00am: opening presentation (plenary 1), Professor Susan Bassnett (Warwick), ‘Translation and Culture’ — chair: Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool)

12 noon: large grant presentation 1, Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities (PI, Professor Angela Creese [Birmingham]; Professor Adrian Blackledge [Birmingham]; Professor Zhu Hua [Birkbeck]; Dr Frances Rock [Cardiff]; Professor Kiran Trehan [Birmingham]; and Professor Li Wei [Birkbeck])

1.00pm: lunch

2.00pm: panel session 1—translation zones, mobility, space: libraries and diplomatic cultures–chair: Dr Ian Lyne (Associate Director of Programmes, AHRC)

Dr Abigail Brundin (Cambridge), ‘National Trust libraries: an untapped resource’

Dr Jason Dittmer (UCL), ‘Diplomacy as translation: British foreign policy as a techno-cultural assemblage’

Dr Tracey Sowerby (Oxford), ‘Textual Ambassadors – Cultures of Diplomacy and Literary Writing in the Early Modern World’

3.30pm tea

4.00pm: large grant presentation 2, Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language: the Body, Law and the State (PI, Professor Alison Phipps [Glasgow]; Tawona Sithole [poet in residence]) — chair: Professor Catherine Davies (Nottingham; member, AHRC Translating Cultures Advisory Group)

5.00pm: reception

Saturday 29 March

10.00am panel session 2—intercultural creativity, transcultural exchange–chair: Professor Charles Forsdick (Liverpool; AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow, ‘Translating Cultures’)

Djurdja Bartlett (University of the Arts London), ‘From Tsarist Grandeur to Bolshevik Chic: translating Russian sartorial heritage’

Dr Manuella Blackburn (Liverpool Hope), ‘Intercultural creativity in electroacoustic music: Integrating Indian music cultural sound emblems into new works’

Dr Jay Prosser (Leeds), Dr Gabriel Koureas (Birkbeck), Leslie Hakim-Dowek (Portsmouth) and Dr Colette Wilson (Westminster), ‘Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and transcultural Memories’

11.30am: coffee

12 noon: plenary 2, Professor Jean Boase-Beier [UEA]), ‘Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust’

1.00pm: lunch

2.00pm: large grant presentation 3, Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures (PI, Professor Charles Burdett [Bristol]; Dr Loredana Polezzi [Warwick]; Dr Naomi Wells [Warwick]; and Dr Marco Santello [Warwick]) — chair: Professor Bill Marshall (Director, Institute of Modern Languages Research)

3.00pm: closing presentation (plenary 3), Professor Anthony Pym (Universitat Rovira i Virgili), ’Languages for integration or mobility?’ — chair: Professor Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow)

4.00pm: concluding remarks

4.30pm: close of symposium

If you would like to register your interest in attending, please visit here. For other information, please contact

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