Translating cultures large grant team 2

Working globally through multilingualism and translation

(Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures)

One of the core objectives of the Transnationalizing Modern Languages project is to place mobility at the centre of the educational agenda. Traditionally, forms of human mobility have been understood as separate entities and studied under different disciplines. We are asking what happens if we see migration, translation and other multilingual practices as deeply connected phenomena, involving multiple agencies, and engaging both individuals and communities in the creation of complex knowledge, affect and memory networks.

The paper will explore the ways in which research carried out within the TML project is dealing with the methodological challenges implicit in such a multi- and trans-disciplinary perspective: by working with migrant communities in multiple locales (from Argentina to the US and Italy); by engaging in creative practice in diverse educational settings within the UK and beyond; and also by attempting to translate research into pedagogical practice, focusing on what people do, rather than who they are. What does it mean, for instance, to rethink the multi-disciplinary area of Modern Languages in ways which make it significant for today’s learners? How do we address the perceived dominance of English as a global language? How does linguistic awareness connect with cultural intelligence and intercultural capability? And what does it mean to think of a translation pedagogy which also (and crucially) addresses ‘monolinguals’? These are core questions we need to address if we are to understand the nature and the potential of today’s multilingual campus, but also, more broadly, of multilingual practices in contemporary society.

Further details of the project team’s work can be found at