[News] 2021 International Research School for Media Translation & Digital Culture

Held online 5-17 July 2021

Report by the SISU Baker Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies

The International Research School for Media Translation & Digital Culture, which takes place on alternate years, was held online by the Baker Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies, Shanghai International Studies University in July 2021. Due to the continued disruption caused by COVID-19, the School had to run totally in virtual mode, although the initial intention was to run it in dual mode – face-to-face as well as virtually. SISU’s online learning platform Moodle enabled a smooth delivery of the full programme, but the one-week School period had to be extended to two weeks to facilitate participation in what ended up being a fully virtual event involving participants spread across different time zones. Due to the high number of registrations and the diverse geographical spaces in which participants were located, attendees were split into two groups based on time zones and each session was delivered twice (morning and afternoon).

Renowned scholars with expertise in the area of media translation and digital culture gave lectures and tutorials to 44 home and international students and scholars from nineteen different countries (in alphabetical order): Austria, Canada, China, Finland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA.

The teaching staff included Prof. Luiz Pérez-González (Academic Director), University of Agder, Norway; Prof. Mona Baker (Director of the SISU Baker Centre, which hosted the event); Dr. Jonathan Evans, University of Glasgow, Scotland; Dr. Kyung Hye Kim, Shanghai International Studies University; and Dr. Neil Sadler, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Detailed information about the School, programme, reading materials and pre-recorded videos were all provided to participants in advance, allowing them enough time to familiarize themselves with relevant concepts and theories beforehand.

The 2-week long Media School consisted of 10 hours of lectures spread across ten modules, in addition to group tutorials. The modules included lectures on theoretical approaches to media translation research, research methods in media translation, media research design and dynamics, translation and distribution in the streaming age, and academic career development. The lectures dealt with both general theoretical considerations and specific case studies, enabling students to engage with theory as well as gain insight into its actual application in the analysis of texts, practices and communities.

Group tutorials encouraged students to share their work and engage in in-depth discussions with their tutors and peers, an experience considered by many to be one of the highlights of the School. At the end of the two weeks, participants recorded presentations of their research projects, on which they received feedback from tutors and peers; these presentations and the submission of a detailed research proposal are required for participants to receive an attendance certificate and a completion certificate. Both offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in applying concepts and exploring issues discussed during the School in their own research, and a chance to receive constructive feedback from teaching staff.

The SISU Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies is committed to fostering a vibrant research culture and supporting early career researchers through various academic activities and publications, including the Martha Cheung Award for Best English Article in Translation Studies (https://www.sisubakercentre.org/the-martha-cheung-award/), the upcoming 2022 SISU Translation Research Summer School (https://www.sisubakercentre.org/translation-research-summer-school/), and other activities to be announced during the academic year 2021/2022.

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