CTIS Seminar: Translators as ‘Committed People Helping Others’: Responsibilization and the Role of For-Profit Institutions in Framing Discourses on Volunteer Translators
|Dates:||7 March 2019|
|Times:||14:00 - 15:30|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
Increasing global connectivity and transnational mobility of people and commodities have underlined the importance of translation taking place in institutional settings. Within Translation Studies, research projects on translation carried out on behalf of or for the benefit of concrete institutions, such as international organizations, national or local governments, media enterprises, religious or educational bodies, or private businesses, have enriched our understanding of institutionally translated texts, translation process and product, and institutional translators’ identity and status. More recently, however, an interplay of political, economic, and technological factors has affected the ways in which translation in institutions is viewed and carried out.
This paper draws on a book-length project that considers the recent developments in institutional translation and reflects on the increasingly ambiguous position in which translation and translators find themselves ethically and professionally within the context of institutions. In this study, I focus on the ways in which institutions mobilize, portray, and use volunteer translation efforts by examining the case of translation at Coursera, the largest MOOC provider in the world, offering 24 million people worldwide with more than 2,500 courses, of which many are free. Translation activities in Coursera, a for-profit corporation, are mostly carried out by members of Coursera’s volunteer translator community called Global Translator Community (GTC). I analyze how different groups involved in generating discourses on translation in this institution elaborate the practice of translation and translator’s identity. The study shows that notions of responsibility are used by the institution to not only elaborate on and justify translation activities but also mobilize translators for crowdsourced translation projects that play a significant role in its global profit-making model.
Organisation: Ajou University
Biography: Ji-Hae Kang is Professor of Translation Studies at Ajou University in South Korea and Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies (CTIS) at the University of Manchester in the UK. Her research focuses on translation and interpreting in institutional settings, issues of power, identity and discourse in transnational exchanges, and the interplay between translation and digital culture. She is co-editor of Translating and Interpreting in Korean Contexts: Engaging with Asian and Western Others (in press, Routledge, with Judy Wakabayashi) and guest-editor of a special issue of Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice on Translation in Institutions (2014). She is author of many articles that have been published in such leading journals as The Translator, Target, META, Perspectives, Korean Association of Translation Studies (KATS) Journal.
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