Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Home Research Conferences Languaging diversity Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers

3rd international conference Languaging Diversity 2016 at University of Macerata (UniMC) - Keynote speakers (Jorge Díaz Cintas, Ghirmai Negash, Uoldelul Chelati Dirar, David Katan). 3° convegno internazionale Languaging Diversity 2016 all'Università degli Studi di Macerata (UniMC) - Relatori ospiti (Jorge Díaz Cintas, Ghirmai Negash, Uoldelul Chelati Dirar, David Katan).

Meet the keynote speakers!


3rd March 2016

Jorge Díaz Cintas


DiazCintas JorgeProf. Jorge Díaz Cintas is the Director of the Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS) at University College London. Author of numerous articles, special issues and books on audiovisual translation, he was the president of the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation since 2002 until 2010 as is now one of its directors. He serves as Chief Editor of the Peter Lang series New Trends in Translation Studies, belongs to the international research group TransMedia and is a member of the EU LIND (Language Industry) Expert Group. He is the recipient of the Jan Ivarsson Award (2014) and the Xènia Martínez Award (2015) for invaluable services to the field of audiovisual translation.





Theme of the plenary lecture:
The Struggle for Power in Audiovisual Translation

Although the assertion of power tends to be visually linked to the use of brutal force and violence, power is naturally, and usually less conspicuously, enforced through language. Understood as a primarily linguistic activity, the practice of translation can be (mis)appropriated by social agents to act as a vehicle for the dissemination of certain socio-cultural and political values across cultures. In today’s digital society, audiovisual productions have been given a prominent position as a site of contact between cultures, making them an ideal and powerful device for the transmission, not only of factual information, but also of assumptions, moral values, commonplaces, and stereotypes that can be either translated ‘at face value’ or notoriously manipulated in this interlingual and intercultural voyage.

The aim of this paper is to provide an account of the main issues at stake when adopting a line of enquiry centred around the realisation that the way in which cultural values are translated depends not only on linguistic asymmetries between languages but also on fundamental decisions based on power, dominance, and ideology. Drawing on examples from professional translators as well as from groups of amateur subtitlers, this paper explores how audiovisual translation, and more particularly subtitling, is embraced by some as a powerful means for transformative change whilst some others will use it as a tool for the perpetuation and cultural reinscription of certain values and ideas.



4th March 2016

Ghirmai Negash in conversation with Uoldelul Chelati Dirar


4th march keynote

Dr. Ghirmai Negash is currently Professor of English & postcolonial African Literatures in the Department of English, in Ohio University. Before moving to the United States he was the founder-chair of the Department of Eritrean Languages and Literature at the University of Asmara (2001-2005).

His focus of research includes African literatures from the Horn of Africa and South Africa, critical theory, and translation both as theory and practice. His books include  A History of Tigrinya Literature in Eritrea (CNWS-Leiden University, 1999), AT THE CROSSROADS: Readings of the Postcolonial and the Global in African Literature and Visual Art, Lead Ed., (Africa World Press, 2014), and a translation of Gebreyesus Hailu’s novel The Conscript from Tigrinya into English (Ohio University Press, 2012). Originally written in 1927 and published in 1950 in Asmara, this stunning novel provides readers with an African literary response to Italian colonialism in Eritrea and Libya. Negash’s translation of the novel has been critically acclaimed for its elegance and for opening new theoretical space for the study of African-language literatures and their significance in and contribution to world literature.


keynote 4th

Prof. Uoldelul Chelati Dirar was born in Asmara (Eritrea). He has completed his secondary school and university studies in Italy. In 1998, after having earned a Doctorate in African history at the University of Cagliari, he went back to Eritrea where he has taught until 2003 in the Department of History of the University of Asmara. He has also been chair of the same Department from 1998 to 2002. In 2003 Uoldelul Chelati Dirar went back to Italy and is now Associate Professor of African History in the Department of Political Science, Communication and International Relations at the University of Macerata. For the period 2010 - 2013 he has been appointed Director of the Centre for International Relations of the University of Macerata. From January 2013 to 2016 he has been appointed Delegate of the Rector for International Relations, internationalisation of teaching activities and mobility.
Historian by training, Uoldelul Chelati Dirar has dealt mainly with the history of the Horn of Africa, particularly Eritrea, during colonial times. His research interests focus on the processes of elites formation and on the development of nationalisms in the Horn of Africa.


Theme of the plenary lecture

“I too Search the Sky for Rain”: Reflections on Exile, Shame, Language, and

In this keynote lecture, Dr. Negash will address issues of what it means to be an exiled writer-scholar within the new world paradigm increasingly being defined by mass migration, exile, and accompanying alienation from “home” cultures and languages. Based on his personal experience and drawing inspiration from the works of critical thinkers, such as Edward Said, Gloria Anzaldua, and Giorgio Agamben, he will shed light on strategies how people living on geographies of “bare life” develop alternative visions beyond difficult choices. While the phenomena of exile and refugeeism have horrendous effects on individuals and communities, Dr. Negash in this presentation will provide a particularly focused examination of the ambivalences and conundrums of exiled writers and scholars as they are caught up between split identities, already always determined by a deep sense of loss (linguistic and cultural), alienation (physical and psychological), and the knowledge of the impossibility of being able to write about those experiences without the feeling of shame.



5th March 2016

David Katan


Katan DavidDavid Katan is full professor of English and Translation at the University of Salento (Lecce).
He has over 70 publications, including Translating Cultures: An Introduction for Translators, Interpreters and Mediators (Routledge) now in its 2nd edition; the headword entry  “Culture” for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation (2008); “Translation as Intercultural Communication” for the Routledge Companion to Translation Studies (2009); entries for Benjamin’s Handbook of Translation Studies (2012, 2013), and “Cultural Approaches to Translation” in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2013).
More recently he has published on the use of creative subtitling to improve intercultural understanding. On this subject he was keynote speaker in 2015 at the Media4All conference in Sydney





Theme of the plenary lecture:
It takes two to Tango: cultural sharedness and the power to influence.

This lecture will explore how sharing “culture” fosters the ability to exert power, understood here as the ability to influence and instill change, whether this means a change in understanding or in behavior. Culture  will be understood as not only an essentialist label separating one group from another but also, following Milton’s (2010) co-constructional definition, as an “on-going collective generation of a world view, or way of organizing the world”. This collective generation  depends on the speaker/writer being able to access another’s cultural filter which may well unconsciously  delete or distort the intended message. So, change in a world view or model of the world can only take place when there are connections at various levels between the interlocutors.

The talk then will focus on how world views are constructed, and in particular how new ideas are filtered or ‘translated’ so that the unfamiliar can be connected to the familiar. This connection will be discussed, following behaviour change management theory in terms of the Mobius Strip, which uniquely allows for both commonality (the familiar)  and variation (the unfamiliar).

Examples will be taken from a variety of texts to show how insiders (cultural informers, mindful translators and good communicators in general) are able to build on specific shared worldviews to introduce new concepts for outsiders.   The examples will be ordered in terms of a Logical Levels model which links aspects of an individual’s worldview into a unified field. Once the insider has aligned the logical levels and demonstrated sharedness through language then trust is built, and s/he is in a position to influence.

2010. Milton, B. & P. Boylan (2010) “A conversation on cultural identity and integration: Milton Bennett interviewed by Patrick Boylan” Cultus 3, 15-41.