The International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) is a world-wide forum designed to enable scholars from different regional and disciplinary backgrounds to debate issues pertinent to translation and other forms of intercultural communication.
Ongoing internationalization and networking, increasing population mobility, mass migration and rapidly developing communication technologies involve cross-cultural representation of one kind or another. Mediation is provided by translators and interpreters in some cases. In others, this mediation is assisted by means and processes which are less explicit and thus remain largely untheorized and under-researched.
Institutions and individual researchers across the world have been placing issues of globalization and multiculturalism at the centre of their scholarly agenda, while others explore more traditional avenues of translation and cultural transmission. Translation Studies is now an established discipline in many academic and educational contexts on an international level. Intercultural Studies is rapidly emerging as a vibrant area of study in its own right.
To date, the interests of academics and researchers in these rapidly growing fields have been largely misrepresented. Existing organizations tend to be restricted in their aims and scope, closely focusing on either the professional development of translators and interpreters, on specific geographical areas, or on a narrowly-defined 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 areas such as anthropology, comparative literature, or pragmatics. This explains the need for a world-wide association which encompasses both Translation and Intercultural Studies; to this end, IATIS can be posited as the association which caters for various aspects of intercultural communication, providing an internationally-based platform for scholars and institutions to exchange information and insights on various topical translation and interpreting issues.