Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland

Event dates & topics

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt all aspects of our life, the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland at Heriot-Watt University will offer all events in Semester 1 online. We have a tentative line-up of presenters and events for Semester 2 and will confirm at the beginning of 2021 whether these will be face-to-face or online. Delivering our events online means we can broaden the scope of formats and international presenters.

CTISS events are now organised into four streams. Three streams will host events according to the following cluster themes: Translation (led by Dr Michelle Liao), Interpreting (led by Prof Claudia Angelelli) and Sign Language (led by Dr Annelies Kusters). There will also be a fourth stream of events coordinated by the Centre Director, Prof Jemina Napier, which will cover over-arching themes that draw the clusters together and provide opportunities to support CTISS researchers and discuss broader themes related to research methods, data analysis, and writing.

Semester 1, September-December 2020




Type of event

Date/ time


Inaugural event: Celebration of International Sign Languages Day (23 Sept), International Translation Day (30 Sept) & United Nations Day (24 Oct) & HWU LINCS Dept 50 year anniversary

Delphine Jaouen, NHS Lothian

Blanca Pinero, IMO

Linda Duncan, NUBSLI

Robert Adam, Heriot-Watt University & freelance deaf interpreter

Open webinar panel

Tuesday 13 October 



CTISS members meeting

All members


Monday 9 November 



Shut up & write

Jemina Napier

Staff/ student workshop

Friday 20 November 



How to disseminate research 

Annelies Kusters,

Heriot-Watt University

Staff/ student workshop

Tues 24 November 4-5pm


Investigating Technologies in Translation and Interpreting Studies

Jerome Devaux, Open University

Hilde Haualand, Oslo Metropolitan University

Robert Skinner, Heriot-Watt University

Open webinar panel

Tues 1 December, 5.00-6.30pm


PhD student open forum

Jemina Napier & others

Open forum

Tues 15 December



Events/ presenters lined up for semester 2 (dates and format tbc dependent on Covid-19 restrictions):

  • PhD student led event:Sofian Abdeldayem, PhD student CTISS with Sue-Ann Harding, Queens University Belfast on use of narrative theory in analysis of translations
  • Guest presenter: Joanna Drugan,University of East Anglia on the topic of research ethics in translation and interpreting
  • AHRC Catalyst workshop:Organiser Marion Winters; presenters Marion Winters & Khadidja Merakchi on the topic of corpus technology for linguistic research
  • Workshop:Managing research projects & working with research assistants: Jemina Napier & Annelies Kusters, Heriot-Watt University
  • Joint CTISS-IRC public lecture:Translating Scotland's Heritage (presenters tbc)
  • Joint IRC-CTISS workshop:Doing ethnography (presenters tbc)
  • CTISS writing retreat/ summer institute

Joint seminar of the Intercultural Research Centre & 

the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland

Hosting Translating Scotland's Heritage Research Network Public Event

Wednesday 18th March 2020, 15.15-17.15

Heriot-Watt University, David Brewster building, room 113

Public lecture: Accessing Heritage


Anna Fineman (VocalEyes): 

Whose heritage? Supporting equal access for blind and partially sighted people

Cultural and natural heritage sites regularly exclude blind and partially sighted visitors, through lack of accessible interpretation. This talk will explore inclusive practice, and how people with sight loss can be better represented and supported at museums and heritage venues. Audio Description is a key means of bringing places and stories to life. Methods of employing Audio Description will be discussed, and illustrated with recent examples of good practice. Suggestions will be made for how people working in or researching heritage can contribute to increased accessibility for visually impaired visitors.

Anna Fineman is the Museums, Galleries and Heritage Programme Manager for VocalEyes, working with museums and heritage sites across the UK to improve accessibility for blind and partially sighted visitors. She has a wide educational background that includes a BA in Social Psychology, a PGCE, and an MA in Art Gallery & Museum Studies. Anna takes an audience-focused approach, and is dedicated to exploring creative ways to support broader access to cultural and natural heritage.

Dr Ellen Adams (KCL): 

Integrating access into the mainstream

This paper presents a project that explores, among other things, whether access provision has benefits beyond the target audience.  For example, might audio description enhance art appreciation for a sighted person?  And can performative storytelling in British Sign Language engage a mainstream audience as well as provide access for Deaf people?  Blind Gain and Deaf Gain are movements to promote and celebrate the status of having a sensory impairment.  This project explores whether the access strategies developed in response to blindness and deafness can offer fresh insights into art appreciation for the sighted/hearing visitor.  This paper will focus on activities based around the Parthenon Galleries in the British Museum, in addition to one planned for July in Holyrood Park (with Historic Environment Scotland).

Dr Ellen Adams is Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology in the Department of Classics at King’s College London.   Her original area of specialism was the archaeology of Minoan Crete.  Recently, she has turned to an investigation of art appreciation through the lens of museums’ access programmes.

CTISS 2019 Research Seminar - Gabriela Saldhana (University of Birmingham)

Date: Wednesday 19th February 2020, 14:15 - 15:45

Room: EF26

Title - Reviewing translations: Writing borders on sketchy maps

Literary landscapes are perspectival, time and subject-bound views of a particular literary field. Efforts to map landscapes rely on information that has gaps and grey areas; the maps may point to, but remain silent about the reasons for those gaps and grey areas. What I call, following Ingold (2007), ‘sketch maps’, are avowedly subjective but not necessarily less informative, since they also reveal the perspective from which they are drawn. 

In this presentation I consider how sketch maps of distant literary fields may be created in the imagination of readers, focusing in particular on the role of book reviews as a particularly influential factor contributing to shape imagined literary landscapes. As opinion formers (Squires, 2009), reviewers direct the readers’ gaze towards certain aspects of the work reviewed and, in doing so, draw lines that end up shaping the contours of the sketch maps readers imagine.It is these traces, I argue here,that end up forming cultural and literary borders and thus defining what is literary, what is European, what is romance, what is Southeast Asian.  A close reading of reviews of translated books can reveal how notions of culture are simplistically drawn connections that have, nevertheless, crucial consequences for the literary capital of different regions of the world. 

Research seminar

Wednesday 22nd Januiary 2020, 14.15-15.45
Room TBC

Translation & migration: From erasure to co-presence

loredana polezzi

Loredana Polezzi
Cardiff University

Traditional dichotomic formulations of translation insist on notions of equivalence and substitution, constantly reinstating the opposition between foreign and same and demanding the erasure of the first in order to produce the latter. What if we change that model? What if the translator and the translated are the same? And what if they are already here, now, rather than ‘foreign’ and ‘elsewhere’? I will discuss these questions using examples from both writing and visual arts linked to experiences of migration and arguing that a different notion of translation, based on the ideas of trace and co-presence, can emerge in a mobile, multilingual world.