The conference will mark the launch of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), a global forum designed to enable scholars from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds to debate issues relating to translation and other forms of intercultural communication.
Ongoing internationalization and networking, increasing population mobility, mass migration and rapidly developing communication technologies all involve crosscultural representation of one kind or another. Mediation is provided by translators and interpreters in some cases. In others, it takes a variety of less explicit forms and hence remains largely untheorized and under-researched.
Institutions and individual researchers across the world have been making questions of globalization and multiculturalism part of their scholarly agenda and setting up programmes to investigate them. Translation studies is now an established discipline in many parts of the world. Intercultural studies is emerging as an area of study in its own right.
To date, however, no single scholarly association represents the interests of academics and researchers in these rapidly growing fields across the world. Existing organizations tend to be restricted in their aims and scope, whether to the professional development of translators and interpreters, to certain geographical areas, or to the narrower field of translation. At the same time, issues of translation and intercultural communication feature only occasionally in the conferences and publications of scholarly associations in such fields as anthropology, comparative literature, or pragmatics. Hence the need for a worldwide, broadly based association encompassing both translation and intercultural studies.
To mark the launch of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, is hosting an international conference with an appropriately international and pressing theme: Translation and the Construction of Identity. ‘Translation’ is used here generically to cover written translation, oral interpreting, audiovisual translation and translation in ethnography, among other forms of crosscultural mediation. Contributions covering forms of intercultural communication other than translation are invited.