European Languages in Translation: Cultural Identity and Intercultural Communication

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Main Hall, Taylor Institution – St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3NA
September 25-26, 2014
Registration is open until Sunday 21st September, or until fully booked
Conveners: Martin McLaughlin and Javier Muñoz-Basols
(For enquiries please contact
In recent decades we have witnessed an ever-increasing exposure to new cultures and languages. Ease of travel, migration flows and increased opportunities to interact with foreign media have resulted in an interweaving of cultural transmissions. In this sense, translation, acting as a facilitator of intercultural communication, is key to enabling an understanding between languages while contributing, with greater or lesser success, to representing cultural identities. Variables present in a source text such as age, gender, class, religion, ethnicity, regional or national identity, etc., are conveyed in multiple ways, and often reframed, reshaped or even omitted in the target text, putting the role of translation as a facilitator of communication in the spotlight.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the mechanisms that contribute to highlighting cultural identity and how these can be identified in a text from a linguistic, literary, rhetorical, pragmatic or sociological perspective through the lens of translation. To this end, we will draw attention to ways in which translation can preserve or modify cultural identity as part of its goal of enabling intercultural communication. Using theoretical approaches and practical case studies, we will analyse how meaning is negotiated between cultures and how translation can contribute to preserving, reshaping or distorting the values of a given culture.
The European Humanities Research Centre (EHRC) of the University of Oxford is organizing this second workshop, which will be held on 25-26 September 2014, following the success of the inaugural workshop on History, Ideology and Censorship in Translation, held in 2013. This second workshop will be devoted to translation, cultural identity and intercultural communication within the European context and beyond.
This workshop is part of the EHRC’s three-year project on European Languages in Translation, financed by the John Fell OUP research fund.


Thursday 25th September 2014

1.45-2.15 REGISTRATION (Room 2)
2.30-3.30 Plenary 1
Christina Schaeffner (Aston University)
Intercultural Competence, Ethics, and Conflict
3.30-4.00 COFFEE (Room 2)
4.00-5.30 Session 1
Intercultural Communication: From Ethics to Manipulation
(Chair: Christina Schaeffner)
Carol O’Sullivan, University of Bristol
To Whom Does the Subtitle Speak? Subtitling and Heterolingual Address
Cristina Marinetti, Cardiff University
Translation Ethics and Performance: Teatro delle Albe and Tara Arts
Roberto A. Valdeón, Universidad de Oviedo
From the Falklands/Malvinas to Margaret Thatcher’s Death: Translation and Appropriation in News Translation
5.30-6.45 WINE RECEPTION (Room 2)
(St Peter’s College)

Friday 26th September 2014

9.30-10.30 Plenary 2
Patrick Zabalbeascoa (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
A Babel of Laughs. Multilingual Humour in Film Translation
10.30-11.00 COFFEE (Room 2)
11.00-12.30 Session 2
Cultural Identity: Crossing Borders through Translation
(Chair: Patrick Zabalbeascoa)
Diana Cullell, University of Liverpool
Translating Cultures and Crossing Borders: Catalan Poetry and Identity in Translation
Matthew Reynolds, University of Oxford
Prismatic Translation
Jeroen Vandaele, Universitetet i Oslo
When Manolito Gafotas Needs a New Identity. Six Translations as Cultural Surgery
12.30-1.45 LUNCH (Room 2)
1.45-3.15 Session 3
Practicalities of Translation: Challenges in Cultural Mediation
(Chair: Martin McLaughlin)
Oliver Ready, University of Oxford
Translation as Theme and Metaphor in Crime and Punishment
Julia Waters, University of Reading
‘An Act of Lunacy’: Ananda Devi’s Inter-Cultural Self-Translation
Tom Kuhn, University of Oxford
The Practicalities of Becoming World Literature: The Case of Bertolt Brecht
3.20-3.40 Translation: The Publishers’ Perspective
Judith Luna, Oxford University Press