SISU Translation Research Summer School



While traditionally focused on written and oral texts as the locus of translation activity and the primary object of investigation, the study of translation and interpreting has widened its scope considerably since the turn of the century, in response to major developments in the social, economic, political, environmental and technological spheres. Now widely understood as an interdiscipline rather than an inward looking field interested only in professional practice and textual analysis, translation studies no longer reduces its primary object to linguistic units but has sought to incorporate within its remit various types of non-verbal material as well as the different agents who produce translated texts and mediate oral interaction, and the cultural, historical and social environments that influence and are influenced by cultural agents and their production. The definition of ‘translation’ itself has been extended to encompass a wide range of activities and products that do not necessarily involve an identifiable relationship with a discrete source text.

Against this background, the SISU Translation Research Summer School aims to offer cutting-edge, intensive research training that addresses the evolving needs of doctoral and early career researchers in translation and interpreting studies, as well as those of more experienced academics who are new to the discipline or interested in engaging with recent developments in the field. In addressing new themes and revisiting old ones from fresh perspectives, the School provides a solid foundation for conducting research in the field and equips prospective researchers with the intellectual and practical tools to launch their own independent projects.

The SISU Translation Research School takes place at Shanghai International Studies University once every two years, starting in June/July 2022 and rotating with the International Research School for Media Translation and Digital Culture.

School aims and objectives

  • To introduce students to the latest developments in research models, methodologies and techniques;
  • To help students develop research skills specific to translation and intercultural studies;
  • To offer critical assessments of available resources and relevant approaches;
  • To lend individual support in designing and planning research projects.

Conceptual Remit

The SISU Translation Research School delivers a coherent programme divided into five modules, as follows:

  • Theoretical approaches: this module prioritizes more recent theoretical advances in the discipline rather than traditional frameworks.
  • Research Methods: focusing on methodologies that are particularly relevant to researching the featured theme selected for the current year.
  • Research Design and Dynamics: including case studies showcasing specific methodologies.
  • Featured Theme: a special theme is selected for each edition of the School. The featured theme for the 2022 edition of the School is Context and Contextualisation.
  • Academic Career Development: to cover areas such as publishing academic papers; securing an early career post; managing a PhD project; and preparing grant applications for external funding.

Syllabus and Organization

The SISU Translation Studies Research School will take place over a period of six days when delivered face-to-face. During the Covid crisis it will take place virtually over a period of two weeks. The School will consist of ten sessions distributed as follows:

  • Module 1. Theoretical Approaches | 2 x 90-minute sessions
  • Module 2. Research Methods | 2 x 90-minute sessions
  • Module 3. Research Design & Dynamics | 2 x 90-minute sessions
  • Module 4. Featured Theme | 2 x 90-minute sessions
  • Module 5. Academic Career Development | 2 x 90-minute sessions

Each module encompasses three contact hours and approximately six hours of guided reading.

On the last day of the School, each student presents their work to fellow students and staff and receives verbal feedback.

Students will spend their mornings in classes and workshops, while afternoons will be spent in small group tutorials and independent study. Each student will be provided with the opportunity to take part in three tutorials.


Students are allowed to choose one of two pathways:

Pathway 1 caters for participants working towards a completion certificate. Pathway 1 students:

• deliver a presentation of their proposed research project on the final day of the School;

• submit a research proposal (2000-3000 words) by the end of September;

• attend group tutorials during the School.

Pathway 2 caters for participants working towards an attendance certificate only. Pathway 2 students choose whether they wish to attend tutorials during the school (they will have expressed their interest in doing so via their participation form). They do not deliver a presentation nor submit a research proposal.

Presentation (Pathway 1)

Students in Pathway 1 deliver a presentation of their research project on the final day of TRSS.
Presentations last 10 minutes, followed by a 5-minute discussion session. They provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback from their peers and tutors in attendance. 

Indicative timetable

Students attend two taught sessions every day (Monday-Friday), with the last day (Saturday) reserved for presentations for Pathway 1 students. Below is the provisional programme for 2024.

N.B. The times indicated in the schedule are for Shanghai (Eastern Standard Time).

Admission and Certificates


As part of the application process, all participants are required to submit a Personal Statement (500 words) outlining the reasons for and scope of their interest in participating in the School. Applicants should send their personal statement to one of the School’s Directors: Mona Baker / Kyung Hye Kim. The personal statement form can be downloaded here: Personal Statement form


Participants wishing to receive a Completion Certificate will be required to submit a Research Project Proposal (2000 words) within three months of attending the School. Guidelines for writing the proposal will be provided during the Research School.

Completion Certificates are issued to the Pathway 1 applicants whose proposal is deemed satisfactory by the School tutors and detail the number of contact hours and hours of guided reading completed. 
Attendance certificates are issued to the Pathway 2 participants at the end of the School.

For more information about the school, please contact Directors: Mona Baker / Kyung Hye Kim.

Core Staff

The School is staffed by a core group of visiting and local academics. Additional tutors are involved on a one-off basis on different years, as required by the relevant featured theme. Not all members of the core group will necessarily be involved in each session of the School.

Professor Mona Baker | Academic Director

Mona Baker is Director of the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, Affiliate Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) at the University of Oslo and co-cordinator of the Genealogies of Knowledge Research Network. She is a recipient of the 2015 Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences Award in the field of Arts and Languages, Studies in Foreign Languages and Literatures, and honoree of the 2011 Fifth Session of Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Award for Translation, for contributions to the field of translation. Baker is author of In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation (third edition 2018) and Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account (2006; Classics edition 2018), co-author (with Eivind Engebretsen) of Rethinking Evidence in the Time of Pandemics: Scientific vs Narrative Rationality and Medical Knowledge Practices, and editor of Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution (2016; winner of the Inttranews Linguists of the Year award for 2015), Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (third edition 2020, co-edited with Gabriela Saldanha), Critical Concepts: Translation Studies (4 volumes, Routledge, 2009), and Critical Readings in Translation Studies (Routledge, 2010). Her articles have appeared in a wide range of international journals, including Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, Social Movement Studies, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Social Semiotics, The Translator and Target. She posts on translation, citizen media and Palestine on her personal website and tweets at @MonaBaker11.


Dr Kyung Hye Kim | Academic Co-Director

Kyung Hye Kim is Assistant Professor at the Department of English Interpretation and Translation, Dongguk University, South Korea. Her academic interests lie in corpus-based translation studies, critical discourse analysis, and multilingualism in media translation. Her publications include ‘Renarrating the Victims of WWII through Translation: So Far from the Bamboo Grove and Yoko Iyagi’ (Target 2017), ‘Retranslation as a socially engaged activity: in the case of Rape of Nanking’ (Perspectives 2018), and ‘Museum Translation as a political act: narrative engagement for affective experiences in the War and Women’s Human Rights Museum in Seoul’ (Museum Management and Curatorship 2020). She is a member of Genealogies of Knowledge Research Network and an external partner of Global Health at the European University Alliance Circle U. She is also Chair of Conference Committee of IATIS, the International Association for Translation & Intercultural Studies.


Professor Sue-Ann Harding 

Sue-Ann Harding is Professor in Translation and Intercultural Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, where she is the Director of the Centre for Translation and Interpreting. Her research interests are in social narrative theory as a mode of inquiry into translations and translated events, with a particular interest in sites of conflict and narrative contestation. She has a diverse research profile, publishing on online reportage, translations and commemorations of Russia’s 2004 Beslan hostage disaster; Qatar’s efforts to use institutional translation to cultivate a literary and culturally-engaged population; the translation of police interviews in South Africa; Arabic and Russian translations of Frantz Fanon’s writings; resonances between narrative and complexity theory; and translation processes in NGO development impact assessment research projects in Africa’s Sahel. She is the author of Beslan: Six Stories of the Siege (Manchester University Press, 2012); and co-editor (with Kathryn Batchelor) of Translating Frantz Fanon Across Continents and Languages (Routledge, 2017) and (with Ovidi Carbonell Cortés) of The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture (2018) She is the Chair of the Executive Council for the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), Reviews Editor for The Translator (Taylor and Francis), a member of the awards committee for The Martha Cheung Award for Best English Article in Translation Studies by an Early Career Scholar (Baker Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University) and served as an ARTIS Associate (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies). She is writing a book on archival, historical and contemporary narratives that translate the natural and urban landscapes of Qatar.


Dr Maialen Marin-Lacarta 

Maialen Marin-Lacarta is Senior Researcher in the Department of Arts and Humanities at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona). Prior to joining UOC, she was Assistant Professor in the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, teaching courses on translation, Chinese literature, intercultural studies, digital publishing and the global circulation of literatures, and supervising Honours Projects, MA students and PhD students. She also served as Research Postgraduate admissions coordinator, screening PhD applications, and as a member of the taskforce for the organisation of the 6th IATIS conference. In 2019, Marin-Lacarta received the President’s Award for Outstanding Performance as Young Researcher at HKBU. She is also the awardee of the Jokin Zaitegi Basque National Award for her translation of Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan’s work into Basque, and the recipient of two General Research Fund grants by the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (as Principal Investigator) and two Spanish government-funded grants (as Co-Investigator). Marin-Lacarta’s research areas include literary translation, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, literary reception, translation history, indirect translation, research methodologies and digital publishing. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Translation Studies, The Translator, Meta, and Perspectives. She is also the author of the entry on research methodologies in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (2019, Mona Baker and Gabriela Saldanha eds.). She has been academic referee for Target, Translation Studies and Meta, among other journals, and is the co-editor of 1611: A Journal of Translation History. She is a member of the Peer College for the Martha Cheung Award for Best Academic Article in Translation Studies by an Early Career Scholar.