31. March 2022

11:00Greeting words
11:30Translating as a way of producing knowledge… across boundaries
Prof. Hélène Buzelin, Université de Montréal, Canada
13:00Lunch break
14:15Translating Political Participation and Climate Justice: The Future of Democracy in Post Migrant Societies
Ass. Prof. Nicole Doerr, Københavens Universitet, Denmark
15:45Coffee break
16:00Sameness-in-Difference: Modes of Translational Practices 
Prof. Susan Gal, University of Chicago, U.S.A.
17:30Closing of the day
18:30Conference Dinner at the restaurant Krug zum grünen Kranze

1. April 2022

 Topic: Migration
09:15Identification as translation: The art of choosing the right spokespersons at the securitized border
Prof. Annalisa Pelizza, Università di Bologna, Italy
10:45Coffee break
11:00The As If of Integration, Participation and Empowerment: When Interpreting undermines Borders and Boundaries
Prof. Sebnem Bahadir-Berzig, Universität Graz, Austria
12:30Lunch break
 Topic: Digitalization of Education
13:30Learning with machines: more-than-human entanglements in the era of datafication
Dr. Jeremy Knox, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
15:00Coffee break
15:15Beyond rhetorics: Investigating the (in)visible boundaries of digital education platforms
Ass. Prof. Mathias Decuypere, KU Leuven, Belgium
16:45Coffee break
17:00Final discussion
18:00Closing of the conference

Sameness-in-Difference: Modes of Translational Practices 

Susan Gal (University of Chicago)

Translation has rightly become a widespread metaphor in imagining the processes that are central in globalization: migration, knowledge-transfer and knowledge making, especially the valuation and devaluation of people-categories. This talk argues that all modes of transfer are communicative, often in nonobvious ways. The examples that illustrate this are: the circulation of literary works and copyrights in a supposed „world republic of letters,“ and the more disturbing circulation of discourses of „anti-gender“ in Europe and beyond. These each bring up different problems of sameness-and-difference. (back)

Translating as a way of producing knowledge… across boundaries

Hélène Buzelin (Université de Montréal)

In his 1984 seminal essay L’Épreuve de l’étranger, released in English translation five years later, Antoine Berman defined traductologie as « a study of translation based on the experience of translating » (Berman 1989, p. 675). In his view, practicing and studying translation were inextricably linked. Yet, in the field of translation studies, as it developed for the past forty years, empirical approaches seem to have become largely dominant. Our presentation aims to go back to and revisit Berman’s proposal by questioning the kind of knowledge produced through the act of translating and by reflecting on how to make this knowledge more visible. (back)

Translating Political Participation and Climate Justice: The Future of Democracy in Post Migrant Societies.

Nicole Doerr (Københavens Universitet)

Translation’s democratizing potential has been studied by students of comparative literature, cultural studies, and sociology, but it has received less attention in political theories of democratic participation and education. In this lecture, I discuss theories of translation and democratic education drawing on comparative literature, critical citizenship studies, sociology, feminism, psychology, and on the philosophy of language, culture, and theories of political participation and social movements. Based on an interdisciplinary perspective of translation in the literature, I will then provide a sociological theory of political participation and grassroots democratic education considering structural inequality and conflict about identity and ideology in globalized multilingual societies. (back)

Identification as translation: The art of choosing the right spokespersons at the securitized border

Annalisa Pelizza (Università di Bologna)

With this lecture I intend to pursue a translational approach to the securitization of migration. I argue that sociotechnical processes of identification at the border can be conceived of as translations into legible identities of individuals who are unknown to authorities. Data collection was conducted at four identification facilities in the Hellenic Republic. Notably, a translational lead to acknowledge that the identification encounter is mediated by multiple, heterogeneous actors. It thus helps to open technological black boxes and reveal the key role of material qualities, affordances and limitations of artefacts.  Furthermore, it can help advance the field of ‘alterity processing’ by appreciating the de facto re-arrangements of institutional orders elicited by techno-political alignments with global security regimes. (back)

The As If of Integration, Participation and Empowerment: When Interpreting undermines Borders and Boundaries

Sebnem Bahadir-Berzig (Universität Graz)

In the context of migration interpreting is most often wrapped up in glitter paper on which is written in bold letters: facilitating integration, enabling participation and fostering empowerment. Interpreting researchers, politicians, public institutions as well as professional associations, they all seem to search for interpreting performances capable of crossing borders to reach other cultures, closing gaps to understand the unfamiliar and overcoming boundaries between strangers and natives. This ideal act of interpreting is closely linked to an understanding of integration aiming at ‘naturalizing’ migrants by de-foreignizing and assimilating them, in the sense of making them similar (ad-similare). The interpreter is promising to overcome not only linguistic, but also social, cultural, political, personal, even digital and virtual barriers. Yet this promise is one-directional and two-faced. The migrant’s voice is (expected to be) rendered in such a way that it becomes compatible with the host country’s ideology of integration and participation. In my paper I want to discuss acts of interpreting and interpreter performances that undermine this ideology and blur the boundaries between migrant and native. My contribution is an attempt to illustrate that the potential of resistance is inscribed in interpreting, but these acts of subversive interpreting are most often hidden and need to be articulated in research as well as public discourse and education. (back)

Learning with machines: more-than-human entanglements in the era of datafication

Jeremy Know (University of Edinburgh)

This talk will develop the themes of translation, division, and entanglement as they relate to the increasing use of data-driven technologies in education, emphasising the ways in which learners are represented, categorised, and shaped through the production and presentation of data. Current (humanistic) theories of learning will be suggested to be inadequate in the context of technologies that are increasingly agentive, and this talk will outline some of the key challenges that the field of education might face in a world of growing ‘dataveillance’, algorithmic decision-making, and future prediction. (back)

Beyond rhetorics: Investigating the (in)visible boundaries of digital education platforms

Mathias Decuypere (KU Leuven)

The steep rise of digital platforms in the educational sector is accompanied by a burgeoning of big statements and rhetorics: digital education platforms are said to do away with many institutional boundaries and instead enhance participation by making education more open, more diverse, and more inclusive.  However, despite such rhetorics, we know surprisingly little about the concrete ways in which platforms operate, and are made operable, in specific educational practices. Drawing on the field of science and technology studies (STS), this presentation argues for an approach that analyzes digital education platforms from four analytical perspectives: what happens on platforms, what is done with platforms, what is happening behind platforms, and what is situated beyond platforms. This approach allows to empirically disentangle the agency of digital education platforms over and above grand edtech narratives and rhetorics, and instead inquire complex and contingent processes of boundary-making, -breaking, and -crossing. More specifically, it allows for disentangling complex translations between opening and closing; diversity and standardization; inclusion and exclusion; and visibility and hiddenness. (back)