School of Modern Languages Research Lecture, Summer 2021
Wednesday 19 May, 5.00 pm (UK time)
Professor Moira Inghilleri (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
The Punctum and the Politics of Migrant Narratives
Professor Inghilleri’s lecture will consider art forms as modes of translation and instruments of communication that give voice to the experience of migration and displacement. It will examine three different media in which these phenomena are represented: prison writing, painting and photography. The featured works include the ground-breaking book No Friend But the Mountains, Behrouz Boochani’s account of long-term detention in Manus Island, one of Australia’s offshore island prisons, painter Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series which documented the migration of African Americans from the southern US to northern and western cities, and photographer Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photographs of migrant farmworkers taken under the aegis of the US government’s Farm Security Association. Drawing on Barthes’ Camera Lucida (1981). Inghilleri argues that, despite their own challenges of denotation, these art forms avoid some of the problems of signification that arise when migrants’ stories are presented though truncated written or spoken narratives in the context of politicized and bureaucratized procedures.
Moira Inghilleri is Professor and Program Director of Comparative Literature and Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of Translation and Migration (2017) and Interpreting Justice: Ethics, Politics and Language (2012). She was co-editor of The Translator from 2011-2014 and review editor from 2006-2011. She served as co-editor for the Routledge series New Perspectives in Translation and Interpreting Studies from 2013-2018 and guest-edited two issues of The Translator: Bourdieu and the Sociology of Translating and Interpreting (2005) and Translation and Violent Conflict (2010, with Sue-Ann Harding). She has published in numerous journals and edited volumes, most recently The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media (2021), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Globalization (2021), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (2020), The Palgrave Handbook of Languages and Conflict (2019), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture (2018) and The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (2018). In 2017 she was appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Program in the field of translation and migration studies.