Workshop 2022: Translating Academia


Translating Academia Programme

Friday, 3rd June 2022

Sala de Juntes, Facultat de Ciències Polítiques i de Sociologia

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

This international workshop is organised as part of the research project ‘Political Translation’, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, and is the first event of the ‘Translation and Society International Workshop Series’, co-organised with the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University.

The aim of this international multilingual workshop, which brings together academics from various disciplines with translators and journal editors, is to explore the role of translation in knowledge production in the humanities and the social sciences, with an emphasis on existing practices in Southern Europe.

The morning session is organised around the interventions of two invited keynote speakers: Karen Bennett and Fruela Fernández, author of Translating the Crisis: Politics and Culture in Spain after the 15M. The afternoon will be devoted to the presentation of the first project results and a round table discussion on academic translation practices from the different perspectives of academic authors, translators and journal editors.

The event will take place at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a remote connection via Teams will be available. The full programme and keynote abstracts are available on the Political Translation Project website.


Collaborating institution: 


10.00h Introduction

Esperança Bielsa (UAB, project’s PI)

10.15h Keynote: Translating knowledge in the translingual paradigm: beyond ELF and epistemicide

Karen Bennett (Nova University, Lisbon/CETAPS)


Discussant: Dionysios Kapsaskis (University of Roehampton)

Chair: Mattea Cussel

11.30h Coffee
12.00h Keynote: Expanded translation and heterolingual audiences: the instability of academic writing

Fruela Fernández (Universitat de les Illes Balears)

Discussant: Jan Engberg (University of Aarhus)

Chair: Carmen Bestué

13.15h Lunch
15.00h Reflexive translation: an outline

Esperança Bielsa (UAB)

Las perspectivas de las traductoras

Carmen Bestué (UAB)


Routes of reception: a translocal reader study of the Spanish translations of U.S. Latina/o writers

Mattea Cussel (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Chair: Judith Raigal

16.30h Round table discussion between academic authors, translators and journal editors


Oriol Barranco, Jan Engberg, Alan Lounds, Simon Susen


Chair: Esperança Bielsa



Translating knowledge in the translingual paradigm: beyond ELF and epistemicide

Karen Bennett, Nova University, Lisbon/CETAPS

The term ‘epistemicide’ was first coined by the Portuguese sociologist, Boaventura de Sousa Santos (1996, 2001, 2016) to refer to the systematic eradication of Third World knowledges by western science. It was later applied to translation by Bennett (2007, 2013, 2015) in order to describe the way that academic texts produced in non-Anglophone cultures often have to be so radically rewritten for publication in international journals that their epistemological infrastructure is effectively destroyed. The long-term consequences of this process included, it was argued, a drift towards an epistemological monoculture, as scholarly discourses in other languages assimilated to the dominant one through a process of calquing.

This argument was developed at a time when the hegemony of English appeared unassailable in the world of academic publishing and beyond. Since then, however, the trans- or multilingual paradigm (Canagarajah 2013, Blommaert 2010, Pennycook 2007, etc) has profoundly challenged this assumption. This paper focuses on how knowledge is generated and disseminated within this new paradigm and its implications for Translation Studies. Considering the prevalence, in this domain, of second-language writing, self-translation and paratranslational activities (like language revision and editing), and the demands of a readership with multilingual competence, it suggests that a much broader concept of translation might now be in order.  That is to say, in a world where English is being constantly re-forged to serve new purposes in specific communicative situations, what are the implications for the training of academic translators and junior researchers?


Karen Bennett is Associate Professor in Translation at Nova University of Lisbon, and a researcher with the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (CETAPS). Her recent publications in the field of translation and knowledge include: ‘Authorship and (self) translation in academic writing: towards a genetic approach’, in Genetic Translation Criticism: Conflict and Collaboration in Liminal Spaces, A. Nunes, J. Moura & M. Pacheco Pinto, eds, Bloomsbury (2020: 179-196); ‘Foucault in English: the politics of exoticization’, Target 29/2 (2017: 224-245);  ‘Towards an epistemological monoculture: mechanisms of epistemicide in European research publication’, in English as an Academic and Research Language, R. Plo Alastrué & C. Pérez-Llantada, eds, De Gruyter Mouton (2015: 9-35), and the edited volume The Semiperiphery of Academic Writing: Discourses, Communities and Practices, London: Palgrave Macmillan (2014). She has also co-edited (with Rita Queiroz de Barros) a special issue on the subject of International English and Translation (The Translator 23/4, 2017) and a volume entitled Hybrid Englishes and the Challenges of and for Translation: Identity, Mobility and Language Change (Routledge, 2019).


Expanded translation and heterolingual audiences: the instability of academic writing

Fruela Fernández, Universitat de les Illes Balears

Witnessing the first instances of globalisation, Goethe famously said that ‘national literature’ would progressively become meaningless, since ‘the time of world literature (Weltliteratur)’ had arrived. Two centuries later, when globalisation has decisively shaped the world according to a neoliberal pattern, academic writing seems to experience a similar process: ‘national audiences’ seem to matter far less than the elusive ‘global’ or ‘international’ audiences. What is the impact of these changes upon the creation and circulation of knowledge? Reflecting on the materials gathered for a recent monograph —Translating the Crisis (Routledge, 2021)—, this talk will address some of the challenges posed by these ‘heterolingual’ audiences (in the sense proposed by Naoki Sakai), while developing the notion of ‘expanded translation’ and its potential advantages for the study of transnational knowledge.


Fruela Fernández is Lecturer in English Studies at the University of the Balearic Islands. He is the author of two research monographs, the most recent being Translating the Crisis: Politics and Culture in Spain after the 15M (Routledge, 2021). With Jonathan Evans, he has also co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (2018). He is a practicing literary translator and a creative writer in Spanish; his latest book is Incertidumbre de aldea (La Vorágine, 2021).