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Friday, 13 May 2011 12:55

Interpreting and the Social Fabric

Call for Papers

The invisible and neutral interpreter profile that emerged out of the drive towards professionalization of conference interpreting prevailed in early work in interpreting studies. The discipline experienced a volte-face at the turn of the present century however, with the growing scholarship on community interpreting, civil society interpreting and interpreting in conflicts. The recognition of interpreting as a situated practice has shifted the focus of research from interpreters’ detachment to allegiances, from deontology to ethics, from training skilled practitioners to educating socially aware professionals. In an invitation to take stock of these developments and to further the analysis of the embeddedness of interpreters in the social fabric, this panel aims to bring together critical reflections and research work on the relationships between interpreting and society, with a particular emphasis on issues of ethics and social responsibility.

It welcomes contributions on conference interpreting, community interpreting, court interpreting, sign language interpreting, interpreting in conflict, or other ad hoc interpreting practices that may arise to respond to societal needs.

Contributions that address the following topics are particularly welcome:

  • the role of interpreting and its agents in our societies
  • the socio-political conditions under which interpreting takes place
  • vacuums in interpreting practice and their social consequences
  • models to account for the social transcendence of interpreting
  • initiatives to enhance responsible practice, the professional status of interpreters, research, or training



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is currently working as a visiting teacher-researcher in interpreting at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona). She is also a member of the Research Group CEDIT, of the same University. She holds a PhD from the University of Manchester and a B.A. and Masters degree in translation and interpreting from the University of Granada. Her freelance activities in a variety of contexts – ranging from film festivals and the media, to conferences, seminars and workshops – and (organising) interpreting in civil society contexts (ECOSBabelsSocial Forums, etc.) have aroused her interest in the complex and contentious role that interpreters play in society. Her work, which has been published in Eurotopia (Transnational Institute), The Translator, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer, and Puentes as well by Peter Lang Publishing, focuses on the ethics, the sociology and the politics of interpreting as a profession, a scholarly discipline and a field of education.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a PhD fellow at the Government and Public Policies Institute (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona). Her dissertation is concerned with intercultural communication as a collective problem, and hence with interpreting as a collective and ethical solution, in public institutions of multicultural societies. She holds a B.A. in Translation and Interpreting Studies from the triple qualification program L.A.E. (Universities of Granada, Aix-Marseille and Northumbria) and an M.A. in Social and Political Science (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). She is presently a visiting fellow at the Center for Ethics of the University of Toronto. Sofía has worked as a freelance conference interpreter and she has gathered hands-on experience and found inspiration for her research during her collaboration with entities that operate in the field of healthcare intercultural communication. Sofía is also an active member of the research group MIRAS Mediació i Interpretació: Recerca en l’Àmbit Social (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona).


Sofía García-Beyaert and Julie Boéri are co-founders of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., an initiative that seeks to develop research and reflection on issues of ethics and social responsibility in the field of interpreting studies

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