The Seventh Annual International Translation Conference (2016)

The Seventh Annual International Translation Conference (2016)

“Politics of Translation: Representations and Power”

About the Conference

“Politics of Translation: Representations and Power” is the seventh in a series of annual international conferences that aim to create a Gulf-based platform for discussing issues related to translation. It will be held from March 28 to March 29, 2016 at Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC), Qatar. The conference features keynote addresses, panels and workshops and includes an interpreting exhibition organized in collaboration with the University of Salamanca.

History has shown that translation can be the center of power relations, whether it is on the side of the powerful or the downtrodden. For the former, translation can be the traitor allied to colonization; for the latter it could be the contester resisting it. Not far away from this apparently Manichean order of things, the context of globalization is now bringing to the fore more complexity and a less clear picture of the different influences translation is submitted to or is imposing on cultures, economies and polities. Being at the interface of world meaning exchanges and the power relations they entail, translation is increasingly recognized to be part of the global game of discursive influence and authority. Whether by means of language, sound, image or else, to translate is to re-present meaningful or interpretable objects. The power to re-shape, re-cast, re-arrange and re-model significations is a political instrument that many have come to realize its critical value. To the extent that the political would use the wide span of translational mechanisms to represent power and create new ways to transform itself and develop its avatars to the eyes of the governed.

However, the politics of translation is not confined to the spheres of traditional powers. In the era of sustainable development, engaged popular resistance, sustained conflicts and maintained tensions in many regions of the world, the politics of translation is now occupying the international scene by projecting a sort of mise en abyme of representations and self-proclaimed representatives where none can track back the origins or sometimes even detect the aims. If after Deleuze and Baudrillard, the digital world of representations has open to the reign of simulacra, then who will be the agents of that polity? Groups of organized people have taken over the forestage and are definitively blurring the borders of the political powers, the maps of nations and their symbols. To represent these new powers and sources of influence, the power of representation has never been more significant. And translation—in its widest sense—is definitively at the heart of the process.

Related thematic areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Interpreting in conflict zone
  • Brokering & mediating
  • Citizen media
  • Political translation
  • Politics of professional translation
  • Politics of translation studies
  • Ethics of translation
  • Translating political science
  • Contributions of political science to translation
  • Representing (the) people(s)
  • The sound and image of power
  • Audiovisual manipulations
  • Mediating power struggles
  • Manipulation and censorship
  • Discourse on current political issues
  • Constructing Nationhood
  • Gender politics
  • Translating religions
  • Of reforms and revolutions
  • Translating democracy

The Translation and Interpreting Institute

The Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) is part of Hamad bin Khalifa University. It was founded in 2012 with a remit to build capacity in Qatar and the region and to function as a physical and virtual space that delivers sophisticated translator and interpreter education, high-level training in a range of languages, and quality translation and interpreting services of the highest international standards. Its core mission is to equip students for a successful career as translators and interpreters in multiple language combinations.

Led by a distinguished international team of faculty and staff, TII consists of a Postgraduate Studies and Research Department, a Language Center, and a Professional Services Center. It organizes a wide range of international and local events throughout the year, many of which are open to the public.