Reminder for the CETRA FALL Lecture 2020 by Peter Flynn: ‘”I’ll have pint with you, sir” – language practices and translation in an Irish pub in Ghent’ (online)


Peter Flynn recently retired as a lecturer in Translation Studies and English at KU Leuven, Campus Antwerp, where he’d worked since September 2006, and is now a research fellow at UFS, Bloemfontein. He has (co-)organized translation conferences and events on a yearly basis since 2007. His main areas of interest are ethnographies of translation practices, empirical and functionalist approaches to translation studies, linguistic ethnography, (Irish) literature, and sociolinguistics.

This lecture will be given online (Zoom). Please register by sending an email to our administrative coordinator, Steven Dewallens.

Vacancy at KU Leuven for a PhD student in Translation Studies

We’re looking for a PhD student for a project on effective translation policies and practices for official communication with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Brussels​.

KU Leuven’s Research Group Translation and Intercultural Transfer brings together researchers from Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Kortrijk who deal with the complex and dynamic relationships within and between cultures. The PhD student will be part of this RG, within the larger whole of the Research Unit Translation Studies of the Faculty of Arts. This joint PhD project will be based at KU Leuven with a minimum 12 month stay at The University of Melbourne. PhD project: “Language is (not) a barrier”: Towards effective translation policies and practices for official communication with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Brussels


Metropolises like Brussels or Melbourne are sites of unprecedented cultural and linguistic diversity. This creates pressing challenges for multilingual official communication with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, as seen in the Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing those challenges will require change in translation policies and practices, with close attention to their real-world effects.
The doctoral project that is to be carried out with KU Leuven as the host institution will analyze the policies, practices and effects of official translations that address culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Brussels.
It will ascertain the provision of translation in public services in terms of numbers of translations, types of translations, target languages and types of administrations involved. It will identify the levels at which translation policies, both overt and covert, are formulated and enacted, how translations reach the various language communities, and the role of volunteer translation practices from NGOs and grassroots citizens’ initiatives in public services, particularly with respect to the reworking, re-narration and interpreting of information.
The candidate will select one or two language communities for detailed analysis of the reception processes, with particular attention to instances of trust and distrust in official behavior-change communication. The nature and topic of the communication will correspond to the issues of importance at the time of the study.
The research should lead to an evaluation of the way translation policies are formulated and enacted, with an assessment of their success in achieving trust relationships and influencing changes in behavior. At each stage of the research, comparison will be made with the same policies and practices in the city of Melbourne, with one year of the research being carried out at the University of Melbourne.

General objective: To propose guidelines for effective translation policies and practices for official communication with CALD communities in linguistically superdiverse cities.

For more information about this vacancy, click here.

Online Guest Lecture by Deborah Giustini: ‘The Invisible Labour of the Embedded Strangers: Towards a Sociology of Interpreting’

Dr. Deborah Giustini (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow / KU Leuven)

Lecture organized by KU Leuven, Arts Faculty, Japanese Studies on Wednesday, 25 November 2020, Zoom (details below)

This lecture highlights contemporary understandings of invisible work by exploring the illustrative case study of the interpreting industry in Japan. Interpreting is a distinctive translational profession, entailing the mainly freelance provision of multi-language oral communication services in high-stakes settings, such as institutions, businesses, organisations, to stakeholders who do not share the same language and culture.

The interpreter’s ambiguous role has often been defined in Interpreting Studies research as that of a ‘central outsider’, necessary for parties to pursue their enterprises, but at the same time supposed to behave as unobtrusively – and thus as invisibly – as possible in the interactions they facilitate. Nevertheless, previous research has not problematized the invisibility of interpreters beyond the communicative event, neglecting to understand the motivations inherent in being an invisible presence in one’s own profession, and its consequences for a largely freelance workforce. Particularly, extant studies have ignored influential sociological conceptualisations of invisibility as a mechanism that obscures the function and value of work, which can better explain the experiences of interpreters as a workforce.

This lecture examines the varied ways in which Japanese interpreters experience ‘invisibility’ in their working life, and how they understand, negotiate, and reject their role as invisible in-betweeners to achieve professional and economic security in a precarious labour environment. It also illustrates the competitive nature of their work and the strategies they use to adverse one another, in order to gain public visibility and recognition with clientele and service providers.

Drawing upon a multi-method study of interpreters in the Japanese market for language services, the lecture problematizes invisible work from a sociology of labour and a practice theory perspective, to understand how invisibility and precariousness of work are produced pragmatically in the actions and meanings of these professionals. The study argues that interpreters’ work is a form of invisible work, that is, highly skilled work which is subject to mechanisms obscuring its socio-cultural, legal, and economic appreciation.

The study finds that interpreters constitute a community of highly skilled individuals, forming a significant component of Japan’s knowledge economy. However, ingrained professional norms about acceptable behaviour with clients and colleagues, lack of specific employment protection, the spread of digitalisation, as well as the rising instability of freelancing (and now the impact of COVID-19 over the industry) make of interpreting a profession that is not fully visible in policy and in society. This means that interpreters’ expertise often remains ‘hidden’ from public knowledge, with dangerous repercussions in their negotiations and relationships with clients, colleagues, and the labour market more widely.


Dr. Deborah Giustini is a sociologist and alumna of the University of Manchester (PhD). She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Sociology at the Laboratory for Economics of Innovation of the National Research University Higher School of Economics – Institute for Statistical Studies and Economies of Knowledge (Moscow), where she investigates the impact of labour flexibilisation, digitalisation, and COVID-19 over science-intensive work sectors. She is also a research collaborator in Japanese Studies at KU Leuven. Her research interests comprise forms of precarious work, skilled labour, as well as forms of inequality and competition in the workplace in trans-national settings. She collaborates with private and non-profit organisations such as Economic Change Unit and Women’s Budget Group, to build the capacity for a more gender equal and economically-fair society.

Guest lecturer: Dr. Giustini Deborah (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow / KU Leuven)
Title: “The Invisible Labour of the Embedded Strangers: Towards a Sociology of Interpreting”
Language: English
Time: 4PM – 6PM CET
Meeting ID: 917 0986 6293
Passcode: i50Day

Dedicated to Lieven D’hulst: ‘Transfer Thinking in Translation Studies’

New volume | Translation, Interpreting and Transfer
This book is dedicated to Lieven D’hulst,
an enthusiastic colleague, passionate professor, eminent researcher,
and dear friend,
in honor of his unwavering commitment and dedication to translation studies,
his mentorship and support of aspiring scholars,
and his contagious desire to transfer knowledge and sympathy in Belgium
and beyond.

Transfer Thinking in Translation Studies. Playing with the Black Box of Cultural Transfer

Edited by Maud Gonne, Klaartje Merrigan, Reine Meylaerts, Heleen van Gerwen

Innovative and interdisciplinary approach to transfer
Transfer processes cover the most diverse phenomena of circulation, transformation and reinterpretation of cultural goods across space and time, and are among the driving forces in opening up the field of translation studies. Transfer processes cross linguistic and cultural boundaries and cannot be reduced to simple movements from a source to a target (culture or text). In a time of paradigm shifts, this book aims to explore the potential and interdisciplinary power of transfer as a concept and an analytical tool to account for complex cultural dynamics.The contributions in this book display various research angles (literary studies, imagology, translation studies, translator studies, periodical studies, postcolonialism) to study an array of entangled transfer processes that apply to different objects and aspects, ranging from literary texts, legal texts, news, images and identities to ideologies, power asymmetries, titles and heterolingualisms. By embracing a process-oriented way of thinking, all these contributions aim to open the ‘black box’ of transfer in the widest sense. Take a look inside

55,00 / £49.00, ISBN 9789462702639, 15,6 x 23,4 cm, paperback, 242 p., ebook available

About the series ‘Translation, Interpreting and Transfer’
Translation, Interpreting and Transfer takes as its basis an inclusive view of translation and translation studies. It covers research and scholarly reflection, theoretical and methodological, on all aspects of the core activities translation and interpreting, but also similar rewriting and recontextualisation practices such as adaptation, localisation, transcreation and transediting, keeping Roman Jakobson’s inclusive view on interlingual, intralingual and intersemiotic translation in mind. The title of the series, which includes the more encompassing concept of transfer, reflects this broad conceptualisation of translation matters. More information
Due to the Corona Crisis, the academic event on the occasion of Professor Lieven D’hulst’s retirement has unfortunately been cancelled. As a guest we offer you 25% discount on all publications in the series ‘Translation, Interpreting and Transfer’.
Use discount code TIT2020 and get 25% off!
This offer is valid on online orders via until December 14, 2020.
This discount cannot be combined with other offers and/or (employee) discounts.


CETRA FALL Lecture 2020 by Peter Flynn: ‘”I’ll have pint with you, sir” – language practices and translation in an Irish pub in Ghent.’

Wednesday 9 December, 18:30

Peter Flynn recently retired as a lecturer in Translation Studies and English at KU Leuven, Campus Antwerp, where he’d worked since September 2006, and is now a research fellow at UFS, Bloemfontein. He has (co-)organized translation conferences and events on a yearly basis since 2007. His main areas of interest are ethnographies of translation practices, empirical and functionalist approaches to translation studies, linguistic ethnography, (Irish) literature, and sociolinguistics.

In case of code yellow or orange, the venue will be: KU Leuven Campus Carolus (Antwerp), Grote Aula 0.05. In case of code red, this lecture will be given online.

Entrance is free, but you are kindly asked to register before 30 November 2020 by following this link. You can register as long as the maximum capacity of the room has not been reached (in case the lecture will be given on campus).

Children’s Literature in Translation, edited by Jan Van Coillie and Jack McMartin

Click here to download this book for free.

For more information about the series: Translation, Interpreting and Transfer

Groundbreaking study connecting textual and contextual approaches

For many of us, our earliest and most meaningful experiences with literature occur through the medium of a translated children’s book. This volume focuses on the complex interplay that happens between text and context when works of children’s literature are translated. What contexts of production and reception account for how translated children’s books come to be made and read as they are? How are translated children’s books adapted to suit the context of a new culture? Spanning the disciplines of Children’s Literature Studies and Translation Studies, this book brings together established and emerging voices to provide an overview of the analytical, empirical and geographic richness of current research in this field and to identify and reflect on common insights, analytical perspectives and trajectories for future interdisciplinary research.This volume will appeal to an interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students in Translation Studies and Children’s Literature Studies and related disciplines. It has a broad geographic and cultural scope, with contributions dealing with translated children’s literature in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Spain, France, Brazil, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, China, the former Yugoslavia, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium.

Contributors: Valérie Alfvén (Stockholm University), Delia Guijarro Arribas (EHESS), Michał Borodo (Kazimierz Wielki University), Anna Kérchy (University of Szeged), Gillian Lathey (University of Roehampton), Charlotte Lindgren (Dalarna University), Jack McMartin (KU Leuven), Lia A. Miranda de Lima (University of Brasília), Marija Zlatnar Moe (University of Ljubljana), Emer O’Sullivan (Leuphana University Lüneburg), Germana H. Pereira (University of Brasília), Anna Olga Prudente De Oliveira (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), Annalisa Sezzi (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Zohar Shavit (Tel Aviv University), Marija Todorova (Hong Kong Polythechnic University), Jan Van Coillie (KU Leuven), Sara Van Meerbergen (University of Stockholm), Li Xueyi (independent scholar), Tanja Žigon (University of Ljubljana)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Academic event on the occasion of Professor Lieven D’hulst’s retirement

English version below

Beste collega’s, vrienden, kennissen, sympathisanten, familie,
U bent van harte uitgenodigd op de emeritaatsviering van prof. dr. Lieven D’hulst op vrijdag 6 november 2020 van 16u30 tot 18u30 in de Parthenonzaal van de Faculteit Letteren van de KU Leuven (MSI 03.18, Erasmusplein 2, 3000 Leuven).

Welkomstwoord door  prof. dr. Bart Raymaekers, vicerector van de Groep Humane Wetenschappen
Afscheidsrede prof. dr. Lieven D’hulst: “Omnis comparatio claudicat”
Getuigenissen en feestelijkheden

De coronamaatregelen worden strikt nageleefd, er vindt dan ook geen receptie plaats.​ De plaatsen in het auditorium zijn beperkt. Als u graag aanwezig bent, gelieve dan in te schrijven via deze link, ten laatste tegen 25 oktober 2020.​ Als u niet kan komen maar wel wil volgen via livestream, dan schrijft u in via deze link

English version:

Dear colleagues, friends and family of Lieven D’hulst,

You are warmly invited to attend the academic event we are organising on the occasion of prof. Lieven D’hulst’s retirement on Friday 6 November 2020, 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm. Venue: “Parthenon” lecture hall of KU Leuven’s Arts faculty (MSI 03.18, Erasmusplein 2, 3000 Leuven).

Programme (predominantly in Dutch)
Welcome and introduction by prof. Bart Raymaekers, vice rector of the Humanities and Social Sciences Group 
Valedictory lecture by prof. D’hulst: “Omnis comparatio claudicat”
Testimonies and celebrations

Sanitary rules will be strictly observed, which is also why no reception will follow. The number of places is limited. If you want to attend the celebration, we ask you to register online, using this link; please do so before 25 October 2020 at the latest. If you can’t be present, but would like to follow through livestream, please register using this link.
Please address your questions by email to

Online conference ‘World Literature and the Minor: Figuration, Circulation, Translation’ (6-7 May 2021, University of Leuven)

CETRA member Núria Codina is organising an international conference on “World Literature and the Minor: Figuration, Circulation, Translation”, which will take place online on 6 and 7 May 2021.

Conference website

Call for papers (abridged version)
The conference “World Literature and the Minor: Figuration, Circulation, Translation” will explore the multifaceted meanings of the minor from different disciplinary perspectives—as it is represented in literary texts (figuration), as it inflects patterns of mobility and reception (circulation), and as it marks processes of linguistic and cultural transfer (translation). The conference will work towards a critical, more inclusive understanding of the minor, both conceptually and methodologically.​​​​​​​

Deadline for abstract submission: 15 December 2020. Please send your proposal to

Keynote speakers

Michael Cronin (Trinity College Dublin)

B. Venkat Mani (UW-Madison)

Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Lyndsey Stonebridge (Birmingham)

Online format

In order to stimulate as much interaction as possible, the conference panels will consist of small working groups based on pre-circulated papers. The participants will have 5 minutes to summarize their paper. The presentations will be followed by a short response and a general discussion.

We plan to publish a selection of the papers in a thematic special journal issue and a book. The aim of the discussions is to establish common threads between the different topics and to work towards expanded versions of the papers suitable for publication.

Important dates
15 December 2020: deadline for abstract submission
15 January 2021: notification of acceptance
1 March 2021: deadline for online registration
20 April 2021: deadline for paper submission
6-7 May 2021: conference ​

Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation at IATIS congress

Our alumni are co-organizing a panel on how different types of indirect translation (incl. pivot AVT, machine translation and relay interpreting) relate to UNESCO’s sustainable development goals. Submissions are now welcome! 

Call for abstracts (Deadline: 15 September 2020)
Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation (incl. pivot machine translation)
IATIS congress, Barcelona, 29 June – 2 July 2021
Convenors: Hanna Pieta, James Hadley, Jan Buts & Laura Ivaska
In an increasingly global society, people are often expected to translate from already translated texts or with further translation in mind. This is especially the case in contexts where multiple low-diffusion and/or low-resource languages are used . Such translating for and from translation, here called “indirect translation” and understood to include both oral and written texts (Assis Rosa, Pieta, and Maia 2019), has traditionally been perceived as a work-around to be avoided.
For quite some time now, research has focused on negative effects associated with this practice, particularly on mistakes that are added as one moves away from the ultimate source text (Pas 2013). Others have noted the disturbing economic implications of English as a dominant pivot language worldwide (de Swaan 2020), and the damaging consequences associated with taking translation work away from people who are already marginalized because of the language they use (Brodie 2012).
However, more recent studies have shifted the focus from these negatives, to the benefits associated with indirect translation, suggesting its potential to work as a tool for the social, economic and political development of countries and peoples (Schäffner, Tcaciuc, and Tesseur 2014); an empowering device that allows people from the margins to access relevant information (Van Rooyen 2018); a life-saving measure in crisis situations (Federici and O’Brien 2020); a productive way of maximining linguistic diversity in educational outlets (Torres-Simón, Pieta, Maia and Xavier, forthcoming); or a catalyst for feminist solidarity across borders (Castro and Ergun 2017).
The aim of this panel is to cast light on indirect translation and its role in the context of social, economic, political, technological or linguistic sustainable development. More specifically, we invite papers analyzing practices and products of indirect translation in relation to at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 
We welcome proposals focusing on any type of indirect translation. Successful proposals will outline specifically which of the SDGs they address and how. For a full list and more details about the SDG, please see this page:
Proposal should be made in the form of a 300-word abstract, directly addressing one or more of the SDGs, accompanied by a brief bionote. 
Panel convenors have secured a slot for a post-panel special issue of Translation Spaces (, to be out in 2023. It will result from a separate call, open to all, regardless of their participation in the panel.