International museum visitors often rely on translation as a means of accessing the original multimodal ‘texts’ of an exhibition, including the stories that are told, the objects that are displayed and the perspectives that are embedded in that constructed space. This paper will consider some of the ramifications of translation in terms of how the past is re- articulated, felt and understood across boundaries of language, culture and knowledge. Drawing on data collected from several French sites of WWII memory, it will focus specifically on how users of the translated English audio-guide come to be positioned, spatially, temporally and ideologically, in relation to the past and to the museum as institution. The comparative analysis between French and English museum discourses will be informed by Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics, and the various ways in which translation mediates encounters with the past will be discussed in relation to Landsberg’s (2004) concept of ‘prosthetic memory’. All in all, this paper hopes to highlight the agency of translation in the international flow of memory.
Dr Deane-Cox is a Lecturer in Translation & Interpreting at the University of Strathclyde. She previously held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh where she worked on a project entitled ‘Individual and Cultural Memory in Translation: Mediating French post-WWII accounts of deportation and occupation’.
The Seminar is organised with the Cultural Identity Studies Institute (CISI)
Date: Thursday 9 February 2017.
Location: Room 216, Buchanan Building, Union St