Organised in partnership with the WITTA TTES Annual Meeting 2021, the Workshop on Translation and Interpreting in the Digital Age aimed at exploring and shedding light on frontier translation and interpreting studies. Held 19-21 June 2021 and hosted by the translation team of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, the workshop provided a platform for dialogue between researchers in translation and interpreting technologies and audiences looking to embrace those technologies. It brought together educators and researchers from both traditional and cutting-edge translation and interpreting studies to discuss key issues regarding development in the digital age.
The Romantic Horizons is a born-digital research forum dedicated to contemporary romantic studies hosted by the Department of Literary and Translation Studies, part of the XJTLU School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The seminar chair is Dr Tom Duggett, Senior Associate Professor in Romantic Literature at XJTLU, Honorary Fellow in English at the University of Liverpool, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Seminars last 90 minutes and normally featuring an hour-long lecture followed by a lively open discussion. Past speakers in the series, which began in 2021, include Robert Morrison, Yimon Lo, Gregory Leadbetter, Nicholas Roe, Emily Sun, David Duff, Adeline Johns-Putra, Nick Groom, Tom Ford, Sandro Jung, David Punter and Tim Fulford.
The Translating China Research Group is an interdisciplinary, cross-departmental, and cross-school research group at XJTLU. Its establishment concerns the key role of translation in positioning China on the world stage against the backdrop of the country’s growing importance in global politics, technology, and economics. The group investigates China’s interaction with the world through translation, conceptualised in its broadest sense. Incorporating various approaches to research engagement with translation theories and practices, the group aims to facilitate greater understanding of communication among the civilisations, cultures, and peoples of East and West. In this way, it forms a reciprocal relationship with the BA Translation and Interpreting programme, highlighting translation’s role in promulgating Chinese perspectives on global affairs.
Our mission: To learn about drama through experience.
Starting in 2023, we have included dramatic theatre production in our annual programme of student activities in literature, writing, and translation. Every year, student volunteers will produce and perform in English a piece of theatre in close collaboration with academic staff specialised in drama. Our first production will be Old Times (in December 2023, TBC), a drama by the English playwright Harold Pinter about marriage, relationships, and memory.
Studying literature and drama performance together
In our literature programme, the study of drama and theatre is given equal weight to the study of fiction and lyric poetry. We recognise the need to provide a rigorous and structured study programme for dramatic literature. This is reflected in our new module offering – Elizabethan and Jacobean Tragedy, starting 2023 – and our plans for future drama modules.
Dramatic literature is particular among literary genres as it encompasses both sensory and linguistic components. From any perspective through which we study literature – historical, formal, ideological – the writing of dramatic literature is inseparable from its actual or theoretical performance. Simply put, dramatic literature is written in most cases with performance in mind.
Our department believes that students cannot understand dramatic literature without experiencing theatrical performance. Seeing and performing live theatre is uniquely exciting for English learners. Performance internalises the object of study – drama – in ways that are relevant to the student experience.
Dramatic productions benefit students of English generally, regardless of whether a student specialises in literature, as they activate a wide range of abilities and interests, not only speaking and reading but also visual design, costumes, music, technical practice, digital programming, and creativity.
Student productions also serve as effective English-language collaboration projects. Of all student cooperation efforts (competitions or readings, for example), drama is the most effective in boosting a student’s speaking and reading capacities in a relatively short time. This is because of the increased motivation and urgent necessities of production and collaboration with colleagues, academic staff, and English speakers with experience in drama and theatre.
For example, in 2021, staff member Dr Peter Yacavone co-directed a production in Shanghai of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV Part I” that involved about 40 local university students. Actors were trained to understand, memorise, and recite hundreds of lines of Shakespearean verse. You can learn more about the aims and achievements of this production by watching the performance on Bilibili or YouTube.
The LTS research seminar series is an academic initiative that aims to foster intellectual exchanges and scholarly discussions in the fields of literary and translation studies. It brings together researchers, scholars, and students interested in unravelling the complexities of literary works and the art of translation.
Seminars feature presentations by established scholars and emerging researchers, providing diverse perspectives and insights on key theoretical issues and methodological approaches, and critical analyses of literary texts and translation practices. Participants are encouraged to actively contribute to discussions by asking questions and sharing their perspectives, fostering a collaborative and dynamic learning environment.