Juliane House (Translation)
Hellenic American University, Greece

Juliane House received her first degree in English and Spanish translation and international law from Heidelberg University, her B Ed, MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Toronto, Canada and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland and the University Jaume I, Castellon, Spain. She is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at Hamburg University and a founding member of the German Science Foundation’s Research Centre on Multilingualism, where she was Principal Investigator of several projects on translation, interpreting and multilingual business communication. She also directed a project on multilingualism and multiculturalism in German universities funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, and she was until recently President of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS). At present, she is Director of the PhD Program in Applied Linguistics at Hellenic American University, Athens.. Her research interests include contrastive pragmatics, discourse analysis, politeness theory, English as a lingua franca, intercultural communication, and translation. She has published widely in all these areas. Her three latest books on translation are Translation: A Multidisciplinary Approach (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), Translation Quality Assessment: Past and Present (Routledge, 2014) and Translation as Communication across Languages and Cultures (Routledge, 2015).

Abstract

English as a Global Lingua Franca and Translation

In my lecture, I will discuss the impact English as a global lingua franca (ELF) is currently having on the practice of translation and on translator training. Firstly, I will look at the way ELF, multilingualism and translation are related. Here, I will discuss the nature of ELF, its development from hypotheses about a common formal core towards a more realistic concern with certain pragmatic and discoursal tendencies which can be found in many ELF users’ language. I will then turn to a discussion of how the use of ELF is often regarded as a welcome common denominator in countries and groups characterized by multilingualism. In the final section of this first part of my lecture, I will look at translation, briefly defining it and describing its nature and role in a globalized world (for details see. House 2016). In the second part of my lecture, I will examine several recent claims that ELF and translations from and into ELF are inferior non-native versions. I will discuss these claims with a view to the age-old (and to date still often unchallenged) assumption about both the superiority of the native speaker and, derived from this, the superiority of a certain translation direction. This will include a critical glance at the role ELF has come to play in both translator training and in the translation industry, where assumptions that the massive increase in translations from ELF into other languages are in fact ‘contaminating’ these languages are (still) not uncommon. Finally, I will critically examine the validity of another common negative assessment of the link between ELF use and translation: the Humboldtiand and Whorfian assumption that the increasing invasion of English lexical items and phrasal constructions into other languages via processes of translation seriously inhibits speakers’ thinking and concept-formation in these languages. Here, I will draw on my own and my team’s recent empirical longitudinal corpus work (for details see e.g. Becher et al 2009; House 2014) on the impact ELF has been having over time on the quality of translations and original texts in other languages.

David Wilmsen (Language and Linguistics)
The American University of Sharjah, U.A.E

David Wilmsen holds a PhD in Arabic language and linguistics from the University of Michigan and is currently professor of Arabic and chair of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern languages at the American University of Beirut. He has taught Arabic and linguistics at the University of Michigan, Georgetown University, and at the American University in Cairo. His research interests encompass the history of the Arabic dialects in their Semitic context, especially their ancient grammatical features that survive in the regional varieties of modern spoken Arabic. He has published many articles exploring the development of various syntactic features of Arabic dialects, especially object markers, modals, demonstratives, interrogatives, and negators, the latter being the topic of his 2014 Oxford University Press book entitled Arabic Indefinites, Interrogatives, and Negators: A linguistic history of western dialects. He is currently involved in two long-term projects: documenting the Levantine Arabic features retained in Maltese, a peripheral Arabic variety and researching the manifestations of the negative existential cycle in Arabic.

Abstract

Ideologies of localization and globalization in the development of a formal language of affairs: Implications for the history of Arabic

In various historical discourses, Arabs are grouped into binary divisions, likely originating in traditional Arab historiography, which generally identifies two ancestral groupings of the Arabs: ʿarāba Arabs and the mustʿaraba Arabs, often associated with legendary ancestors Qaḥṭān and ʿAdnān. The Arabic terminology indicates an ethnic distinction with ʿarāba perhaps meaning ‘Arabian’ and mustʿaraba meaning ‘Arabized’. Similarly, in Arabic dialectology, the distinctions “Arabian” and “Arabized” indicate respectively the Arabic dialects of the Arabian Peninsula and Arabized dialects of the diaspora. Both sets of distinctions suggest an implicit authenticity of one and a corresponding hybridity of the other, reflecting attitudes prevalent from the 8th century AD/2nd century AH, the time that the earliest grammarians of Arabic began the systematic description and codification of Arabic. The early grammarians of the language were pointedly and unabashedly interested in central Arabian dialects of Arabic, which they considered unadulterated paradigms of the pure language, meanwhile pointedly ignoring dialects in the northern, eastern, and southern perimeters of the Peninsula. This is, thus, a survival of an early commodification of a language, when the privileged varieties were codified into a language of official state administration as well as of belles-lettres, and of its resultant ideology, when those varieties regarded as “pure”, “authentic”, “correct” and “eloquent” were opposed to those not so considered. Meanwhile, non-privileged varieties continue to be regarded as tainted by contact with speakers of other languages, further adulterated by incomplete or otherwise inadequate acquisition in the offspring of multilingual households and communities that inevitably arose with the migration of speakers of central Arabian varieties outside their peninsular homeland. For its part, this implies a corresponding devaluing of those varieties of Arabic of the perimeter or periphery. Often contradictory, that ideology can, and will, be challenged in this paper with historical and linguistic facts.

Samina Yasmeen (Literature)
The University of Western Australia, Australia

Professor Samina Yasmeen is Director of Centre for Muslim States and Societies and lectures in Political Science and International Relations in the School of Social Sciences, the University of Western Australia (UWA), Perth. Professor Yasmeen is a specialist in political, and strategic developments in South Asia (particularly Pakistan), the role of Islam in world politics, and citizenship among immigrant women. She is the author of Jihad and Dawah: Evolving Narratives of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat ud Dawah (Hurst, October 2016), and Understanding Muslim Identities: From Perceived Relative Exclusion to Inclusion (2008). Professor Yasmeen has served on the National Consultative Committee of International Security Issues (2005–2008); the Australian Multicultural Advisory Council ( 2009-2011); the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution (2009-2011); the Australian Multicultural Council (2011-2014); and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (2010-2016). She is currently a member of the National Australia Day Council (NADC), and of the National Consultative Committee of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne; a Vice-President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs (WA Branch), and a member of the Red Cross WA International Humanitarian Law Committee. Professor Yasmeen was awarded the 2011 WA Citizenship Sir Ronald Wilson Leadership Award; inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame on 8 March 2012; and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in November 2012. She further received the Award of the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2014.

Abstract

Literature and Peacebuilding Amidst Conflicts: The Global and Local Intersections

The heritage of the novel as ‘the dominant form of narrative literature in the West’ was instrumental in the seminal work entitled The Nature of Narrative by Robert Scholes and Robert Kellogg published in 1966. Their exploration of the meaning, character, plot and the point of view in narrative marked the start of narratology as a field of study. Since then this field has expanded to include studies, among others, in feminism, religion, art, political science and public policy. The approaches to narrative as an ideological tool and rhetoric that initially existed as independent strands have come to benefit from the diversity of views on the purposes served by narratives. This has occurred as global and local have also increasingly become intertwined with ideas moving across the globe with ease and contributing to multiple narratives that serve both literary and political purposes. The process has been paralleled by an increase in global tensions between Islam and the West in the development since the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001. Literary narratives in these conditions have emerged both as the site for contested ideas as well as locale for peace-building.

Against the backdrop of these developments, the paper explores the peacebuilding potential of literature with reference to the assumed conflict between Islam and the West since 2001, and the Indo-Pakistan conflict since 1947. It is premised on a notion of agency that is not necessarily intentional: Writers do not always write to inculcate an agentic capacity among their audience. The process of writing could simply reflect their views on the directions they wish their world to take. But the impact extends beyond the intentionality of the authors and could result in shifting views among at least some of the audience. This view underpins the study of selected writers in India, Pakistan and Australia who have penned writings that carry the signs of peacebuilding or ideas to that effect. The case study of Indian and Pakistani writers draws upon books, poems and columns written about the need for peace between the two countries since their independence in 1947. These ideas are then compared to the emerging literature by Muslim diaspora in Australia that focuses on the tensions between Islam and the West and implicitly draws attention to the road to peace. Together, these ideas, the paper argues, suggest that while intentionality of peacebuilding may not be directly claimed, these writers have contributed to a narrative that plays a role in transcending the boundaries of assumed differences and conflicts.