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3rd international conference Languaging Diversity 2016 at University of Macerata (UniMC) - Panels (list and themes). 3° convegno internazionale Languaging Diversity 2016 all'Università degli Studi di Macerata (UniMC) - Panel (lista e tematiche).

Selected panels


Panel 1: Directing the practice of translation: questions of directionality and power in translation pedagogy


Prof. Mirella Agorni (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart),

Power relations in translation studies do not only refer to acts of censorship at textual or ideological level, or publishers’ translation policies. Questions of power may subtly concern also translation pedagogy and the ways in which translation is taught and practiced. Power is meant here in the sense of prevalent and unquestioned practice. As early as 1998 Campbell claimed that “translating into a second language is very different from translating into the first language” (1998: 57), but several scholars have pointed out that the notion of directionality has not been paid enough attention in translation studies until recent years (Stewart 2008, 2011, Pavlovic N. 2007, 2013). Given the fact that native speakers are normally assumed to be more proficient in their mother tongue and more aware of the nuances of their own culture, direct or L1 translation, that is translation from a foreign into the native language has been taken for granted as the “natural” directionality (Newmark 1988, Hatim 2001). Yet, things have moved fast in the last twenty years or so, in the wake of the advent of the communicative approach to language learning, together with the digital revolution that has made a plethora of linguistic resources accessible in real time. This has eventually brought to the realization that “translation into English as a non-mother tongue has become a fact of modern life” (Snell-Hornby 2000: 37). The response to this state of affairs has been a thorough investigation of the phenomenon of inverse or L2 translation. It seems that a similar reappraisal of L1 translation has not taken place yet. Probably the main reason for this is given by the fact that the predominant role of this directionality has never really been questioned, in the sense that it is still unconditionally considered to be the default way of translating at all levels, both professionally and at amateurish level. This observation needs to be further explained: taken literally, it would appear that most translation theory and methodological thought are taking place in a vacuum. L1 translation is in fact the basis of all theoretical models of translation which leave the question of directionality aside. From a methodological point of view, on the other hand, things are slightly different: as soon as descriptions of translating processes come into view, the fact that the translator is supposed to work from or into a native language or a language of prevalent use comes to the fore. And yet the specific nature of L1 translating processes and the ways in which they may differ from the inverse directionality have never been analytically described. There are indeed works on L2 translation which proceed from a comparison between the two directionalities. Surprisingly, results point only to a slightly higher degree of effort required from translators working on L2 translation, as it seems that the problems involved in the two directionalities are very similar both in terms of type and frequency (Pavlovic T. 2013: 63, Fonseca 2015: 123). However, differences have been registered at the level of time management and revision: L2 translation takes more time and requires a higher degree of revising intervention (Pavlovic T., ibid.). In conclusion, it would seem that an adequate training would enable translators to “produce L2 translations of equal quality as L1 translations” (ibid.). These findings appear to put the ball back in the court of a specific translation pedagogy and find ways to encourage students to recognize the different patterns characterizing each translating directionality. Contributions are invited addressing questions of power, prestige, process and/or product quality in the context of translation pedagogy and L1/L2 translating practices.


  • Calvo E. (2011), “Translation and/or Translator Skills as Organising Principles for Curriculum Development Practice”, The Journal of Specialised Translation, 16: 5-25.
  • Campbell S. (1998), Translation into the Second Language. New York: Longman. Fonseca N. (2015), “Directionality in Translation: Investigating Prototypical Patterns in Editing Procedures”, Translation & Interpreting, 7 (1): 111-125.
  • Fonseca N. (2015), “Directionality in Translation: Investigating Prototypical Patterns in Editing Procedures”, Translation & Interpreting, 7 (1): 111-125.
  • Kelly D., Martin A., Nobs M.L., Sanchez D., Way C. eds (2003), La Direccionalidad en Traducción y Interpretación: Perspectivas Teóricas, Profesionales y Didácticas. Granada: Editorial Atrio
  • Pavlovic N. (2007), Directionality in Collaborative Translation Processes: A Study of Novice Translators, Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. Tarragona: Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
  • Pavlovic N. and K. T. Jensen (2009), “Eye Tracking Translation Directionality”, in Translation Research Projects 2, ed. by A. Pym and A. Perekrestenko. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group.
  • Pavlovic T. (2013), “Exploring Directionality in Translation Studies”, Exell, 1.2 : 149-165.
  • Pokorn N. (2005), Challenging the Traditional Axiom: Translation into Non-Mother Tongue. Philadephia: John Benjamins.
  • Stewart D. (2008), “Vocational Translation Training into a Foreign Language”, inTRAlinea, 10. URL:
  • Stewart D. (2011), “Translation Textbooks: Translation into English as a Foreign Language", inTRAlinea URL:

    Mirella Agorni obtained her PhD in Translation Studies at the University of Warwick. She lectured in Translation Studies at the University of Bologna, at the SSLMiT in Forlì and is currently Associate Professor at the Catholic University in Brescia.


    Panel 2: “Miss man”? The Linguistic Adventures of Gender


    Prof. Giuseppe Balirano (University of Naples L'Orientale),

    Prof. Oriana Palusci (University of Naples L'Orientale),

    Focusing on the social function of language, this panel aims to investigate the thorny relationship between gender, power and language in gender variant communities of practice. Power can be a very dangerous political and social activity, especially when it works at linguistically downplaying minority groups. As a consequence, language has the power to constantly strengthen and re-interpret the social, cultural and legal exclusion of less represented minority groups of our societies. Language, in particular, is a powerful instrument in the shaping of diversity through negative stereotypes. Ad-hoc biased images construed through linguistic exercises of power tend to depict transgender, gender variant, and gender non-conforming people within negative representations relating mainly to illness, monstrosity and death. Both power and gender are linguistically embedded in social practice since they derive their meanings from the human activities they refer to. The non-binary categorisation of gender practices, and the new possibilities opened by scientific advances and changing attitudes throughout the twentieth century, have proven a significant challenge to European languages, which had not previously been seriously demanded to accommodate areas between the two established genders. A new interest in the use of inclusive language, which means not misgendering people, is a novel linguistic practice which forces languages to amplify their binary gender lenses in order to encompass non binary gendered people. Gender non-conforming people have often been translators, interpreters, and multilinguals, yet, their cultural invisibility is witnessed by the fact that only few books about transgender people and their communities have been translated from language to language. The very notion of a transgender community of speakers, a relatively new social category, demands intellectual, political, social and linguistic investigation. Who can really define what gender variant means? How are transgender individuals construed and/or how do they construe themselves through language and in discourse? We invite original contributions on theoretical reflections from linguistic, translation, literary translation, and cultural studies scholars, as well as from academics in neighbouring disciplines, with an interest in the language of transgender people connected with the themes identified and produced in English speaking countries. Intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome.

    Giuseppe Balirano holds a PhD in English Linguistics, and is Associate Professor of English linguistics and translation at the University of Naples L’Orientale. He is the founder of a research consortium I-LanD, investigating language, identity and diversity. His main publications include Languaging Diversity (co-edited with M.C. Nisco, 2015); Variation and Varieties in Contexts of English (co-edited with J. Bamford and J. Vincent, 2012); and Indian English on TV (2008).

    Oriana Palusci è attualmente professore ordinario di Lingua e Linguistica Inglese presso l'Università degli Studi di Napoli 'L'Orientale', dove insegna anche Letteratura angloamericana. Ha insegnato precedentemente presso l'Università 'G. D'Annunzio' di Pescara, l'Università di Torino e l'Università di Trento. Tra le sue pubblicazioni si ricordano gli studi sul fantasy e la fantascienza delle donne, sui gender studies, sulle viaggiatrici vittoriane, sull'imaginario urbano, sulla letteratura canadese, sui postcolonial e cultural studies, su Englishes, sui linguaggi del turismo e sui Translation Studies.


    Panel 3: Negotiating power relations in Audiovisual (re)Translation


    Dr Margherita Dore (University of Rome "La Sapienza"),

    Audiovisual Translation is a fast growing field in Translation Studies, mainly due to the ongoing development of the technology used to create and translate audiovisual works. Indeed, the amount of films, TV series and shows that are being transferred across languages and cultures has increased enormously during the two decades. Countries that have traditionally dubbed or subtitled audiovisual works have also developed other captioning and revoicing techniques (e.g. partial dubbing, respeaking, etc.; cf. Chaume 2013). However, an interesting trend which has only been touched upon in TS is the issue of retranslating audiovisual material. There may be many reasons for proposing a new version of the same text (e.g. educational purposes, linguistic and cultural differences that characterise cultures sharing the same language; cf. for instance, the subtitling of the same foreign series in American, British and/or Australian English; cf. Dore forthcoming). Most importantly, some works may be redubbed and or resubtitled due to a new and, at times, more liberal approach to topics such as homosexuality and politics. For instance, some old movies whose original subtitling or dubbing was influenced by particular political situations at the time they were first produced (e.g. the Spanish and Italian dictatorships; cf. Zabalbeascoa 2010) are now being retranslated and made available to cinema-goers. In some other cases, audiovisual (re)translation may become a new way to question and/or interpret power relations. In this light, this panel wishes to bring the following issues to the fore: What are the linguistic and cultural implications involved in this type of diachronic and/or synchronic retranslations in terms of power relations? Is the audience’s perception and interpretation of these audiovisual works influenced by retranslation? Can any theoretical and methodological lessons be learnt? If so, can such lessons be systematically conceptualised to enhance AVT? Contributions are sough, but not limited to, around issue such as: Dubbing versus subtitling of films or TV series Retranslation as a way to challenge power relations Audience’s reception of retranslated audiovisual texts Corpus based analysis of retranslated audiovisual texts This panel is well suited to offer a set of presentations that aim to compare the various case studies presented by the prospective speakers. Hopefully, it will also foster a fruitful discussion among researchers and scholars, thus contributing to the theoretical and practical enhancement of AVT. The moderator will briefly present each contributor and lead the discussion.


  • Chaume, F. (2013) ‘The Turn of Audiovisual Translation. New Audiences and New Technologies’, Translation Spaces 2, John Benjamins Publishing Company, 105-123.
  • Dore, M. (forthcoming) "CAMILLERI’S HUMOUR TRAVELS TO THE UK AND THE USA" in Proceedings of the Translata II Conference, Innsbruck.
  • Zabalbeascoa, P. (2010) "Woody Allen's Themes through his Films, and Films through their Translation" in Chiaro, Delia (ed.) (2010) Translation, Humour and The Media. Volume 2, London and New York: Continuum.

    Margherita Dore holds a PhD in Linguistics (Audiovisual Translation) from Lancaster University (2008), an MSc in Translation and Intercultural Studies from UMIST, UK (2002) and a BA in English and Latin-American Studies from the University of Sassari, Italy. She was recently awarded a TESOL Diploma (2015) and TEFL Certificate (2013). She is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of European, American and Intercultural Studies and the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy. She also worked as Adjunct Lecturer in English at the University of Sassari (2013-2015) and the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” (2014-2015). In 2009-2010 she was Visiting Scholar at the National and Kapodistrian University in Athens, Greece where she carried out a postdoctoral research project in audiovisual translation comparing Greek subtitling and Italian dubbing. While studying for her doctoral degree, she taught Italian to undergraduate students at Lancaster University (2003-2007). Her research interests are in AVT, Humour Studies and Cognitive Linguistics. Since 2005, she has presented her work at several international and national conferences. She has published a series of papers relating to the AVT of humour. Dr Dore is the editore of the essay collection Translation Teories and Practice (fothcoming). She is also a professional translator and interpreter.


    Panel 4: The role of translation in crisis communication


    Dr. Federico M. Federici (University College London),

    Dr. Sharon O'Brien (Dublin City University),

    An emergency establishes a distinctive relationship of power between those in need of assistance and those who can provide it; in this unbalanced relation, the power of language is no exception especially in emergencies that more and more often take a multilingual dimension. Yet the role of language in the logistics and organization of international rescue operations or humanitarian responses to crisis seems to have been underestimated by those preparing for, operating in, and studying the aftermath of, natural disaster and human crises. Not only does meditating emergencies in multilingual scenarios deserve attention due to such dichotomic power relation, but it also opens up a wider debate on crisis communication. Coordination in relief and humanitarian operations depends on efficient and prompt communication, the lack of which is recognized as the most common obstacle to coordinating efforts and resources in responding to natural emergencies by the international community (Harvard Humanitarian Initiative 2011). The papers of this double panel engage with a select number of issues among those that concern communication and intercultural mediation in emergencies. The panel’s cohesion is created through a shared interest in the core research question: what is the role of translators and interpreters in unpredictable emergencies? How do they handle the power struggle intrinsic in the relationship between victims and their rescuers? The diversity of contributions in the double panel reflect the complexity of researching crisis communication in multilingual emergencies as there are extremely different yet equally poignant angles to assess the role of languages in mediating extraordinary situations, which by their own nature cannot be predicted or fully prepared for. By emphasizing the need to enlarge the multidisciplinary debate in which crisis communication needs to be studied, the panel illustrates forms of existing research in mediating emergencies focusing on both diachronic and synchronic approaches (Declercq and Filmer), but also on the issue of trust and lack thereof (Cadwell and Gaunt). The panel shows that investigating multilingual emergencies deserves different methodological approaches, and it highlights the need to fill the critical lacunae in existing studies (O’Brien & Federici) and to further understand the criticality of the professional practice in these contexts (Mustafa). The emergencies considered by the panellists refer to the current asylum seekers’ crisis and its intertwining origins (the conflict in Iraq and the Syrian context) by considering historical parallels (the Belgian refugees in the UK in WWII) and the role of multilingual individuals involved in mediating policing and administrative powers within the humanitarian operations. By offering an overview of the current position of interpreting and translation in relation to crisis communication in multilingual emergencies, the panel intends to highlight issues and research gaps that demonstrate increasing, yet still limited, academic interest in assessing the role of both professional and non-professional interpreters and translators in navigating social, cultural, and linguistic power relations in crisis communication. The panel will consider the extent to which (non-)professional mediation or lack of mediation shape the encounter of diverse cultural, political, and social systems in contexts of humanitarian operations and of prolonged crisis. The panel deals with both discourse on crisis communication and representation of multilingual and multicultural emergencies.


  • Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 2011. Disaster Relief 2.0: The Future of Information Sharing in Humanitarian Emergencies. Washington, D.C. and Berkshire, UK: UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Technology Partnership.

    Federico M. Federici lectures at University College London, UK. Previously he designed and directed the MA in Translation Studies at Durham University, UK (2008-2014), where he founded and directed the Centre for Intercultural Mediation. He was member of the Board of the European Master's in Translation Network (2011-2014). Among his publications, the book Translation as Stylistic Evolution (2009) and the volume co-edited with Dario Tessicini Translators, Interpreters and Cultural Mediators (2014). His research focuses on the translators as intercultural mediators and on reception of translated texts.

    Sharon O’Brien is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies of Dublin City University. She is interested in translation technology with a specific focus on Controlled Language, Machine Translation, Post-Editing and Localisation. She takes a primarily empirical approach in her research and has used keylogging and eye-tracking to research the cognitive aspects of human-translator interaction. She is also interested in end users of translation and in concepts such as translatability, usability, readability, comprehensibility and the measurement of cognitive load. Author of many articles in the areas above, she has recently co-authored books on research methods for and interdisciplinarity in research in translation studies. She has also collaborated on numerous projects with industry, specifically on the topics of machine translation, post-editing and the dynamic framework for quality assessment in the localisation industry. Her industrial collaborators have included Symantec, Alchemy, VistaTEC and the Translation Automation User Society.


    Panel 5: English as a medium of instruction: the power of language or the language of power?


    Prof. Lucilla Lopriore (University of Rome 3),

    Dr Francesca Costa (Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore),

    Over the past two decades many universities all around the world have increasingly adopted English-medium-instruction (EMI) to teach different subjects. The implementation of EMI courses is currently considered by university authorities as a strategy to increase students’ recruitment and to respond to internationalisation and to the growingly mobile university population (Björkman, 2013; Coleman, 2006; Coleman & Costa, 2013; Jenkins, 2014; Mauranen, 2012; Smit & Dafouz, 2012).  The use of the English language to teach academic subjects in countries or jurisdictions where the first language (L1) of the majority of the population is not English (Dearden, 2014) is an ‘unstoppable train’ (Macaro, 2015), but it also represents a controversial issue. The almost inevitable choice of English as the prevailing medium of instruction because of its status as the global language is not a choice without consequences both in terms of its powerful role, and of its use for teaching and for learning.  This form of internationalisation has led to English becoming the primary lingua franca of global higher education.  The adoption of English as a medium of instruction has determined several pedagogical changes at academic level as well as in terms of attitudes to and perception of English as used in higher education.  A growing number of studies and publications have addressed the fast spreading phenomenon of EMI.  Among the emerging areas of research:  the different university strategic policies adopted by universities around the world,  the non-native English lecturers’ status and proficiency, the issue of quality insurance,  content teachers’ beliefs and perceptions, learners’ attitudes and achievement, teacher education for EMI settings, and the emergence of English as an academic lingua franca.

    This panel is aimed at presenting some of the current research studies exploring the use of English as a medium of instruction in different academic contexts.

    The panelists are invited to discuss how the introduction of EMI in their contexts has modified the teaching of content and how the use of English is being differently perceived by content teachers and students, with a specific focus on issues such as:

  • the English used in the EMI classrooms in terms of oral interactions, teacher talk, teachers’ code-switching, and learners’ strategies;
  • the status of English when used in EMI classrooms;
  • the status of non-native EMI teachers: privilege and implications;
  • stance and engagement in EMI academic discourse;
  • the effect of EMI on the way students typically approach their learning and understand content;
  • English as a lingua franca in academic settings.


  • Institutional discourse and power projection
  • Authority and power in academic, professional and specialised language, including across disciplines
  • Corpus-based approaches to the study of power in language


  • Björkman, B.2013. English as an Academic Lingua franca: an investigation of form and communicative effectiveness. De Gruyter mouton: Berlin.
  • Cammarata, l. & Tedick, D. (2012). Balancing content and language in instruction: the experience of immersion teachers. MLJ, 96, 2
  • Cohen, A.D. & Macaro, E. (Eds) (2007) Language Learner strategies: Thirty  years of research and practice Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Coleman, J. A. 2006. English-medium teaching in European higher education. Language  Teaching, 39(1), 1-14.
  • Costa, F. &  Coleman, J.(2013).  A survey of English-medium instruction in Italian
  • higher education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16:1, 3-19.
  • Dearden, J. (2014). English as a medium of instruction – a growing global phenomenon. London: The British Council.
  • Jenkins, J. 2014. English as a lingua franca in the international university: The politics of academic English language policy. Routledge: London
  • Kirkpatrick, A. 2011. English as a medium of instruction in Asian education (from primary to  tertiary): implications for local languages and local scholarship’. Applied Linguistics Review, 99-119.
  • Lo, YY and Murphy, VA (2010). Vocabulary knowledge and growth in Immersion and Regular Language Learning Programmes in Hong Kong. Language and Education 24: 215–238.
  • Llurda, E (ed) (2005) Non-Native Language Teachers: Perceptions, Challenges, and Contributions to the Profession. Boston, MA: Springer. pp. 63–84.
  • Macaro, E. (ed.) (2010) Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. London: Continuum.
  • Mauranen A. 2012. Exploring ELF. Academic English shaped by non-native speakers.
  • Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Smit, U. 2010. English as a Lingua Franca in Higher Education. Berlin: Degruyter Mounton.
  • Smit, U. & E. Dafouz (eds.). 2012. Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education. Gaining Insights into English-Medium Instruction at European Universities. AILA Review 25.


    Panel 6: Power relations in translation: the role of agents in translation and interpreting processes


    Francesca Raffi (University of Naples Federico II / University of Macerata),

    The interest in the sociology of translation started to formally manifest itself in the 1990s (Snell-Hornby 2010; Buzelin 2013, Di Giovanni 2007), but it was not until the beginning of the 21st century that it started to grow (Buzelin 2013: 186). Such an increased interest in translation sociology was rooted in the rising consideration of “the involvement of translation in larger social contexts in general and the social nature of translation in particular” (Wolf 2010). Indeed, as Simenoni (in Buzelin 2011) notes, “translation [...] is a human event. It is both linguistic and social by nature”.

    More specifically, the investigation into translation as a social activity that shapes social interaction offers an opportunity to discuss the socio-economic status of professional translators as well as the social and ethical responsibility and involvement of translators in the globalized world (Buzelin 2013: 187).

    As the sociological approach to Translation Studies has taken over and because of the globalisation process in action (Séguinot 2008: 7), increasing attention has been paid to the exploration of translational issues from the point of view of its agents (Buzelin 2011; Buzelin 2013: 194; McDonough Dolmaya 2011: 77; Wolf 2014: 10) or, seen from another perspective, individuals: as Séguinot (2008: 7) confirms, indeed, “the focus in Translation Studies has shifted from translation as an object to translation as a process and then to translators as subjects”. In this sense, Dam (2013: 17) highlights that “translation studies has thus seen a new trend or research perspective which posits translators as the primary and explicit focus of research, as the very object of study”, due to “the central position of translators and interpreters themselves in the translation process” (Inghilleri 2009: 282).

    In this context, Chesterman (2009) has discussed the inauguration of a brand new line of research within Translation Studies, namely Translator Studies, where “agent-grounded researches analyse translation as a practice from the viewpoint of those who engage in it, in particular (social, cultural or professional) settings” (Buzelin 2011).

    Additionally, as stated by Chesterman (2006: 17), “a related area in the sociology of translation is the needs analysis of the translation market, particularly in the business world, and research on its functioning”. Furthermore, as noted by Gambier (2006: 31), “some tools or concepts from sociology have allowed to highlight the confines which mark translator’s attitudes, behaviours and even competences, let alone addressees’ expectations (sponsors, clients, readers, viewers, etc.)”.

    This “sociological turn” (Snell-Hornby 2010; Wolf 2014) means that new research avenues need to be explored. Therefore this Panel – focusing on ‘Power relations in translation’ – is open, but not limited, to the following topics:

  • the relationship between research/training and the profession of translation/interpreting;
  • the influence of market agents and working conditions on translation/interpreting practices;
  • the influence of social and media agents on translation/interpreting practices;
  • the influence of audiences on translation/interpreting practices;
  • professional institutions of translation/interpreting and their social role;
  • the role of translators/interpreters in the global distribution and reception of cultural goods;
  • translators/interpreters and their role in activism/collaborative approaches.


  • Buzelin, H. (2011), 'Agents of translation', in Y. Gambier and L. Van Doorslaer (eds), Handbook of Translation Studies, Volume 2 (Online). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 6-12.
  • Buzelin, H. (2013), 'Sociology and translation studies', in C. Millán and F. Bartrina (eds), The Routledge handbook of translation studies. London: Routledge, 186-200.
  • Chesterman, A. (2006), 'Questions in the sociology of translation', in J.o.F. Duarte, A. Assis Rosa and T. Seruya (eds), Translation studies at the interface of disciplines. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 9-28.
  • Chesterman, A. (2009), 'The Name and Nature of Translator Studies', Hermes – Journal of Language and Communication Studies, 42: 13-22.
  • Dam, H.V. (2013), 'The Translator Approach in Translation Studies – reflections based on a study of translators’ weblogs', in M. Eronen and M. Rodi-Risberg (eds), Haasteena näkökulma, Perspektivet som utmaning, Point of view as challenge, Perspektivität als Herausforderung. VAKKI-symposiumi XXXIII 7.–8.2.2013. VAKKI Publications 2. Vaasa, 16-35.
  • Di Giovanni, Elena (2007), 'Films, Subtitles and Subversions', Linguistica Antverpiensa, 6: 51-66.
  • Gambier, Y. (2006), 'Pour une socio-traduction', in J.o.F. Duarte, A. Assis Rosa and T. Seruya (eds), Translation studies at the interface of disciplines. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 29-42.
  • Inghilleri, M. (2009), 'Sociological approaches', in M. Baker and G. Saldanha (eds), Encyclopedia of translation studies, 2nd ed., London; New York: Routledge, 279-82.
  • McDonough Dolmaya, J. (2011), 'A Window into the Profession', The Translator, 17(1): 77-104.
  • Séguinot, C. (2008), 'Professionalisation and Intervention', in J. Kearns (ed.), Translator and Interpreter Training: Issues, Methods and Debates. London: Continuum, 1-18.
  • Snell-Hornby, M. (2010), 'The turns of Translation Studies', in Y. Gambier and L. Van Doorslaer (eds), Handbook of Translation Studies, Volume 1 (Online). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 366-70.
  • Wolf, M. (2010), 'Sociology of translation', in Y. Gambier and L. Van Doorslaer (eds), Handbook of Translation Studies, Volume 1 (Online). Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 337-43.
  • Wolf, M. (2014), 'The sociology of translation and its "activist turn"', in C.V. Angelelli (ed.), The sociological turn in translation and interpreting studies. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 7-22.

    Francesca Raffi is a third-year doctoral student in Audiovisual Translation at the University of Naples Federico II, with a project on filmic interlingual subtitling. She is part of the FACS (Full Access to Cultural Spaces) research team at the University of Macerata. Since 2011, she has been working with the team for accessibility at the Macerata Opera Festival (surtitling, audio description, tactile tours). In 2012 she was junior trainer for the AMAC master at the University of Macerata. In the 2015/2016 she teaches English as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Macerata.


    Panel 7: Negotiating authority over meaning in interpreted interaction


    Prof. Graham Turner (Heriot-Watt University),

    Prof. Raffaela Merlini (University of Macerata),

    The activity of interpreting presupposes the presence of social diversity. Whilst the provision of interpreting services creates the potential for cultures and languages to be drawn together, it also necessitates navigating significant power differentials between linguistic communities and among interactional participants. This panel asks what ‘understanding’ looks and sounds like in the presence of an interpreter. Much investigation of understanding in Interpreting Studies explores claims about comprehension, rather than revolving around evidence of understanding itself (how participants come to accept that it is occurring, what form it takes, who claims responsibility for it, what its consequences are). In a world where complex, cross-cultural languaging is rapidly becoming the norm in many contexts, theoretical resources which assist in the conceptualisation and interactional identification of comprehension-in-action have a potentially powerful role to play in breaking new ground. We will be particularly focused upon describing and defining ways in which interpreters and service users, through their talk, bring themselves collectively to points of common ground or shared understanding, highlighting the positive consequences of interpreting on "the coordination of interaction and on the achievement of new forms of participation, sensitivity and empowerment” (Baraldi 2012:323). Presenters to the panel will cast fresh attention on the mutuality of participants’ actions necessary to maintain experiences of communicative adequacy. The paramount outcome here for Interpreting Studies is the refinement of previous accounts of the practitioner’s role, since the interpreter alone cannot make comprehension happen. To recognize and appreciate the delicate balance of co-authorship with the audience is, as Alessandro Duranti (1986: 243) states, "more than an ideological stand. It represents the awareness of a partnership that is necessary for an interaction to be sustained, but is often denied by analysts and participants alike". Contributions to this panel session will seek to adopt robustly empirical approaches to this issue, using complex multimodal and multilingual data. Research within this paradigm, we will suggest, may act as an enabler of further development of Interpreting Studies, affording an opportunity to deepen our communal understanding of the collaborative and inter-active nature of meaning-making in interpreted exchanges.


  • Baraldi, C. (2012). Interpreting as dialogic mediation: The relevance of expansions. In Baraldi, C. & Gavioli, L. (Eds.) Coordinating Participation in Dialogue Interpreting. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 297-326. Duranti, A. (1986). The audience as co-author: An introduction. Text 6 (3), 239-247.

    Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland, Graham Turner has been Chair of Translation & Interpreting at Heriot-Watt University since 2005. He has published widely in interpreting studies, with a long-standing interest in British Sign Language (BSL). Graham Turner's work on sign language sociolinguistics and policy has contributed to the professionalisation of BSL/English interpreting and to the recent recognition of BSL in Scottish law.

    Raffaela Merlini is Senior Lecturer in English language and translation, and Head of the Degree course in Linguistic Mediation Studies. From 1996 to 2005, she held posts as Lecturer first in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Salford, England, where she was Head of the Italian Section, and then at the School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators (SSLMIT) of the University of Trieste, Italy She has taught English-Italian translation, and dialogue, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. She has published in the field of interpreting studies, particularly on consecutive and dialogue interpreting topics, focusing on the interactional dynamics of face-to-face interpreter-mediated talk in healthcare and other dialogic settings, as revealed through the use of conversation and discourse analytical tools. Raffaela Merlini also worked as conference interpreter in high-level institutional settings.

    Proposal submission

    Panel and Individual proposals are no longer accepted

    Important dates

    • Panel proposal proposal submission: 20 October 2015
    • Panel proposal proposal notification of acceptance: 30 October 2015
    • Individual paper proposal submission: 10 January 2016
    • Individual paper proposal notification of acceptance: 25 January 2016
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