Winter school 2016

Necessary translations for global understanding

University of Padova - 22-26 February 2016

The theme of this year’s school, Necessary translations for global understanding, links to the UN International year for Global Understanding, but uses the concept of translation to problematize the very idea of understanding/misnunderstanding, tradition, translation, traction, knowledge transfer…politics and power.

Here you have access to WS 2016 final program

And here you see the WS 2016 leaflet WS 2016 leaflet

TRANSLATION AS POLITICS AND POLITICS AS TRANSLATION

Translation as politics and politics as translation. Both Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin question in different ways the idea of “translation”. Benjamin’s  conception of translation as a “form” and Gramsci’s critical investigation of the idea of translation as  the “reciprocal translatability of national cultures” offer new theoretical and political links with Postcolonial Studies. Rethinking the idea of “translatability” allows us to build new bridges among the different cultural and political trajectories of modernity within the global world.

 

EDUCATION AS/BEYOND TRANSLATION:

UNDERSTANDING AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS BETWEEN POLICIES AND EDUCATION

Education and Translation signal certain kinds of movement, either mental or physical, from one place – conceptual or literal – to another, carrying meanings and selves, understandings and misunderstandings. The institutional side of education shows another kind of translation, concerning the implementation of the western neoliberal political paradigm – through ‘governmental devices’ into educational practices. In this case the meaning is already given and translation means adaptation and conformity. Is it possible to create the space of freedom necessary to open the meanings of education through the political-educational virtue of translation?

 

TRANSLATION, LANGUAGING AND ACTIVISM:

RESISTANCE, MOBILIZATIONS AND CULTURE

Current understandings of ‘language’ and ‘culture’ are dominated by essentialist, colonial, monolingual, monomodal perspectives which construct boundaries and divisions that exacerbate inequalities and reinforce existing power structures, serving as gate-keepers and limiting access to mobility in its various forms – social, geographic, academic… This session will look at strategies and practices of translation, languaging and activism which reconceptualise language, identity, time and space, by going beyond boundaries and resisting cultural straitjackets of all types.  Situated in their own space, time, history and political contexts, translators and activists can promote ideological agendas by creating new cultural narratives, pragmatically adjusting tactics so as to maximize the social and political impact.

 

TRANSLATING KNOWLEDGE INTO POLICIES AND PRACTICE

The translation of information and knowledge into practice is a well-recognised challenge. Epistemic communities have been conceptualized to identify the role and responsibility (and power) of those who produce knowledge and scientific understanding, in orientating political actions and policy plans. More and more scientific research, in different areas, is called to provide evidence-based recommendations to policy actors. At the same time, the social sciences are facing the challenge of making sense of their own ‘social relevance’. Possibly, the development of systems for translating that knowledge into practice and sharing it in a comprehensible form, will make it meaningful to policy-makers, regulators and practitioners. Nevertheless knowledge translation cannot be conceived only as making sophisticated disciplinary vocabularies accessible to a broader audience: epistemological, theoretical, analytical, and ethical challenges need to be addressed.