Translation, Development, and Social Cohesion: From Language Indifference to Inclusive Practices

Translation, Development, and Social Cohesion: From Language Indifference to Inclusive Practices

A Centre for Translating Cultures seminar
Date14 October 2020
Time15:30
PlaceMicrosoft Teams

Translation, Development, and Social Cohesion: From Language Indifference to Inclusive Practices Speaker: Loredana Polezzi

Speaker Loredana Polezzi is Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies in the Department of European Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Stony Brook University (USA). She previously held positions in Italian and in translation studies at the Universities of Warwick and Cardiff, in the UK. Her research interests combine translation studies and transnational Italian studies. She has written extensively on Italian travel writing, colonial and postcolonial literature, translingualism and migration. Her current work focuses on memory, mobility and translation in transatlantic Italian cultures. She has specialist interests in Italian American studies and in translation and the visual arts. With Rita Wilson, she is co-editor of leading international journal The Translator and she is the current President of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS). She was a co-investigator in the research projects ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages’ and ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Global Challenges’, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council under the ‘Translating Cultures’ theme and Global Challenges Research Fund. She is one of the editors of the ‘Transnational Modern Languages’ book series, published by Liverpool University Press.


Abstract

‘Leave no one behind’ is the central principle of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim ‘to eradicate poverty in all its forms, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind and undermine the potential of individuals and of humanity as a whole’. The role played by languages in all of these areas, however, is often underestimated. Limited attention, in particular, is paid to how translation and interpreting can support social cohesion and social justice in increasingly multilingual communities – or how the absence of inclusive language policies can undermine the achievement of those goals. The need to remedy this lack of attention has become all the more evident in the light of the recent pandemic and of debates on inclusivity raised by the BLM movement. Drawing on the experience of working with different constituencies, from school children to health professionals, in Namibia, this talk will draw attention to translation as a constitutive practice of our everyday lives and to translation awareness as a vital citizenship skill as well as a form of resistance against ‘language indifference’.

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