Call for Papers on Education, Migration and Translation

Research Symposium at Otago University on November 26, 2017

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University of Otago (Dunedin) Anthropology and Archeology Associate Professor Jacqueline Leckie has invited interested people to submit papers for presentation on ‘Education, Migration and Translation’ to be presented at a Symposium to be held at the University on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

Professor Michael Singh of the Centre for Educational Research at the Western Sydney University will be the Keynote Speaker at the Research Symposium hosted by the Centre for Global Migrations, University of Otago, Dunedin.

Conference Organiser Professor Henry Johnson (Co-Director of Asian Migrants Research Theme at Otago University) said that in educational contexts, those experiencing or encountering migration in its many manifestations will negotiate linguistic, cultural and/or epistemological translation.

Mistranslation mishaps

“Translation allows people to move between languages, social and behavioural norms, ideas, interpretations, and individual and collective meanings. However, (mis)translation also risks misunderstanding. Historically, translation and language loss have occurred alongside colonisation, and colonial relations continue in university ranking methodologies and academic publishing processes that privilege the English language. Indigenous perspectives demand attention to the purposes and outcomes of education at all levels, including the role of education in promoting both language loss and language revitalisation,” he said.

Internationalisation Challenges

According to Professor Johnson, contemporary educational migrations take many forms and have a range of implications for national education systems.

‘Internationalisation’ involves the movement of ideas, staff and students across borders, raising questions about which languages and histories ‘education provider’ countries privilege in their course development and delivery.

“Internationalisation also raises questions about the translatability of course content – whether ideas grounded or developed in one socio-political context are relevant to another. Forced migrations raise questions about educational access – how national education systems can serve those from minority language groups, who may have experienced trauma, loss, and broken educational pathways,” he said.

Symposium Questions

The Symposium is expected to raise a number of questions. Some of could be the following: How might educational contexts be re-imagined in ways that privilege bi- and multilingualism? How might English language dominance be challenged in higher education at local and global levels? What can be learnt from existing educational spaces that privilege minoritised or indigenous languages? How might we exercise ‘linguistic hospitality’ in a world marked by high levels of forced migration and educational mobility? What would this look like in practice?

Professor Johnson said, “This multidisciplinary symposium welcomes proposals for 20-minute presentations that examine the connections between education, migration and translation (a further 10 minutes will be allocated for questions and discussion). The organisers welcome paper proposals on the following topics (other topics will be given due consideration): Translation of ideas, Communication beyond language, Intercultural communication, Untranslatability, ‘Otherness,’ Colonial and postcolonial perspectives,  Language survival and maintenance, Minority and endangered languages, Linguistic loss, Linguistic imperialism, Linguistic hospitality, Bilingual education,  Language teaching, Critical perspectives, Power and hegemony, Internationalisation, Forced migrations, Educational access, Multilingual research and writing, Translanguaging, Linguistic translation in education, Compulsory school education and Resilience.

Deadline for abstracts and short biography (200–250 words): June 30, 2017.

Abstracts should be submitted in English, or English and another language as appropriate, to henry.johnson@otago.ac.nz.

The Conference Registration fee is $25. For those not presenting papers, confirmation of attendance is required by October 31, 2017 (for catering).

Those visiting Dunedin may also be interested in the New Zealand Asian Studies Society conference beginning on Monday, November 27: http://www.otago.ac.nz/nzasia-2017/index.html

Editor’s Note: Jacqueline Leckie is the author of ‘Indian Settlers: The Story of New Zealand South Asian Community,’ a book commissioned by the New Zealand Indian Central Association and released in Parliament on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. The current NZICA President Bhikhu Bhana presented a copy of the Book to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on Thursday, October 27, 2016.

Read related story about a petition against her redundancy in this Section and about her forthcoming Symposium on the ‘Geopolitics of Immigration’ under Businesslink.

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  1. Professor Henry Johnson
  2. Associate Professor Jacqueline Leckie

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