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Wednesday, 02 February 2022 11:06

Museum Translation: Interaction and Engagement Featured

A short series of Webinars

1 – 10 March 2022 

This online event, made up of 4 related webinars held over 2 weeks, is co-hosted by the Training Committee, International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) and The Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS), at Heriot-Watt University.

Museum translation, an encompassing term which can be understood as translation activities in their broadest sense taking place in or in relation to museums, has gradually received some attention from translation scholars in recent years. The multimodal and intercultural museum space and exhibitions have provided opportunities for researchers in translation studies to explore new dimensions, and in particular, to work with different stakeholders in this process and space of communication. This event consists of four webinars, with each presenter sharing their experience of engaging with one or more groups of stakeholders, including museum curators and visitors, interdisciplinary research collaborators, translation trainees, and the multilingual community. It is hoped that this event will further studies and interaction with other stakeholders in museum translation. 


Tuesday, 1 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Dr. Sharon Deane-Cox (University of Strathclyde)

Pauline Côme (University of Strathclyde)

Initiating and Boosting Stakeholder Engagement around Translation: A Look at the Heritage and Museum Sector

Registration link:


Thursday, 3 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Kyung Hye Kim (Shanghai International Studies University)

Engaging the Visitors: The Impact of Translation in Memorial Museums

Registration link:


Tuesday, 8 March (16.00-17.00, UK time)

Prof. Dr. Monika Krein-Kühle (TH Köln, University of Applied Sciences, Cologne)

Training the Art Translator

Registration link:


Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00, UK time)

Dr. Dorota Goluch (Cardiff University)

Agnieszka Podpora (independent researcher)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

Registration link:

The events will be held on Zoom and are free to attend, but to confirm your place at these events please register in advance. Log-in details and Zoom link will then be emailed to all those who have registered. You are welcome to join one, more or all of the events.

If you have any questions, please contact the event organizer: Dr. Min-Hsiu Liao (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Tuesday, 1 March (16.00-17.00 UK time)

Initiating and Boosting Stakeholder Engagement around Translation: A Look at the Heritage and Museum Sector 

This talk will draw on Sharon and Pauline’s experience of working with professionals in the heritage and museum sector, with examples taken from their individual projects and from their joint involvement in the RSE Translating Scotland’s Heritage research network. The first issue to be addressed will be best practice in terms of identifying and establishing contacts, including the need to ensure that research ethics protocols are taken into consideration. The subsequent importance of analysing the needs, interests and expectations (NIEs) of stakeholders who come on board will also be stressed, along with the inherent value of effective communication with non-academic audiences. Throughout, Sharon and Pauline will also draw attention the specific challenges of stakeholder engagement that they have encountered, not least problems associated with timeframes, data availability and other practical difficulties, and discuss how these were handled. Finally, they will highlight how keeping track of the impact of your research and remaining alert to longer-term co-operation are both crucial steps that will serve to maximize the potential of your activities with stakeholders. Overall, this talk aims to provide participants with ideas and tools that will help to facilitate and underpin engagement around translation, in its various forms, within and beyond the sector. 



Sharon Deane-Cox is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Strathclyde, UK, assistant editor of Translation Studies, and member of the Young Academy of Scotland. She is author of a monograph on Retranslation(2014) and co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Translation and Memory (2022). Key research interests include the translation of Holocaust memory in testimonies and memorial museums, Scottish heritage translation, and interpreter history. She was also PI of the RSE ‘Translating Scotland’s Heritage’ research network (2019 – 2021). 

Pauline Côme is a PhD student at the University of Strathclyde. Her research investigates the use and impact of translated materials on French speaking visitors in Scottish heritage sites. She was also the administrative assistant for the ‘Translating Scotland’s Heritage’ research network (2019 – 2021). She previously completed a Bachelor’s degree in English Studies at Le Mans Université (France) and a Master’s degree in Business Translation and Interpreting with the University of Strathclyde.


Thursday, 3 March (11.00-12.00 UK time)

Engaging the Visitors: The Impact of Translation in Memorial Museums

As a repository of human experience, knowledge, and values, memorial museums offer a space for visitors to engage with both individual and collective narratives and experience memory, which may lead them to actively participate in social change. Interpretative and affective engagements, in addition to intercultural communication, are some of the most dynamic, and also central activities that take place in the museum space. As such, translation plays a significant role in generating a similar level of engagement from a wide range of international visitors, whose attachment to the messages presented is likely to be different from that of home visitors. The extent to which translation helps memorial museums mediate the international visitors’ schematic process and challenge their established knowledge can be examined by investigating the visitors’ reception, for example, through questionnaires, interviews and close readings of blog posts. However, failing to acknowledge the audience’s diverse spectrum in the interpretation of survey data is likely to return skewed results, precisely because the audience’s schematic and established knowledge and background information ultimately determine the extent to which they engage with museum narratives, and their willingness to be part of social change. For the same reason, the socio-political and historical context in which museum translators are embedded needs to be considered when analysing any significant translation strategies identified. Thus, centring on the methodological issues arising from museum translation research, this talk discusses rigorous and nuanced ways to read both museum visitors’ as well as translators’ engagement with museum narratives.


Deane-Cox, Sharon. 2014. “Remembering Oradour-Sur-Glane: Collective Memory in Translation.” Translation and Literature 23 (2): 272–283.

Valdeón, Roberto A. 2015. “Colonial Museums in the US (Un)Translated.” Language and Intercultural Communication15 (3): 362–375.

Ünsal, Deniz. 2019. “Positioning Museums Politically for Social Justice.” Museum Management and Curatorship 34 (6): 595–607. 


Kyung Hye Kim is Associate Professor at the Institute of Corpus Studies and Applications, Shanghai International Studies University, China, and Deputy Director and co-founder of SISU Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies. She is a member of Genealogies of Knowledge Research Network and an external partner of Global Health at the European University Alliance Circle U. She is also Chair of Nominations Committee of IATIS, the International Association for Translation & Intercultural Studies. Her academic interests lie in corpus-based translation studies, critical discourse analysis, and multilingualism in media translation.


Tuesday, 8 March (16.00-17.00 UK time)

Training the Art Translator

This seminar sets out to explore the situational and textual-contextual conditions and constraints surrounding art translation, a hitherto under-researched mode of translation. It presents the key findings of a survey conducted among art translators in the German-speaking countries to provide a first insight into the field (Krein-Kühle 2021). It discusses the implications of these findings for translator training and presents an art translation module that can be included in translation curriculum design. On an art essay corpus-in-context basis, it also discusses and exemplifies the specific challenges involved in art translation. It discusses specific textual features used in such essays and highlights relevant trends in translation solutions that can be useful for the applied branches of art translation. Moreover, this seminar will explore the more foundational requirements involved in art translation, focusing on the relevance of seeing and on training a translator’s eye that is receptive to the power of visual phenomena and able to grasp the artistic impulse as “an impulse of cognition” (Fiedler [1876] 1949/1978: 76). (Re)learning how to see works of art may be regarded as an indispensable prerequisite for felicitous art translation.

Keywords: Art translation, translator training, survey among art translators, exhibition catalogue essays, translator’s eye.


Monika Krein-Kühle, MA, PhD, is Professor Emerita of English Linguistics and Translation Studies at TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences in Cologne, Germany, where she founded and directed the MA course in Specialized Translation which is part of the European Master’s in Translation (EMT) network. She has extensive working experience as a translator, translator trainer and as head of the translation departments of major German companies. Her research interests are specialized translation in the field of the visual arts, scientific and technical translation, translator training, research methodology, literary and corpus-based translation studies. She has published widely in all these fields.


Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00 UK time)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

In this session, we first discuss our individual experiences which led us to developing a collaborative project on translating memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Dorota, who has a translation studies background, will talk about engagement with museum employees during a pilot study on translation in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Focusing on her interviews with museum guides, she will reflect on the process of selecting participants, her positionality vis-à-vis the interviewees, as well as the conceptualisations of translation and multilingualism that emerged from the study. Agnieszka, a Hebrew and Holocaust studies scholar, will share her experiences of translating texts for the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Model project, from Polish into Hebrew. She will consider direct and indirect influences that museum representatives and other stakeholders exerted on her work, to then comment briefly on her agency as a translator and on the politics of translating Holocaust memorial texts in today’s Poland. 

Afterwards, we will introduce our new project, which examines translation of memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and focuses on the renegotiations between different representations of Polish and Jewish victimhood in museum texts. Alongside textual analysis, the study will include interviews with curators, translators and other stakeholders. Although the work is in its very early stages, we will share our hypotheses regarding translation policies and discuss some of the challenges we anticipate. We shall also explore how our previous experiences inform our interviews design and shape our understanding of the nexus between translation, memory and politics in the context of Holocaust memorial museums. 



Dorota Gołuch is a lecturer in translation at Cardiff University. She has published book chapters and articles on Polish translations of African writing and on the reception of postcolonial literature in Poland. She is currently writing about solidarity and translation, as well as conducting research on translation, memory and the Holocaust.  

Agnieszka Podpora – literary scholar and translator. Her interests revolve around Polish and Hebrew Holocaust literature and its impact on the cultural renegotiations of Holocaust memory. Currently, she is working on Polish-Hebrew literary translations in the interwar years.

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