‘Translating Psychiatry’ – 7 April 2022

Thursday, April 7th

‘Translating Psychiatry’


Marta Arnaldi, Oxford
Alvise Sforza Tarabochia, University of Kent

Why do we need to see mental pain and how can we make it visible? What is the role of visual media in this all-rounded, daring form of translation, one that does not necessarily clarify meaning? And what are the ethical risks of translating what hurts us and, in this process of revelation, may, in a sense, hurt us even more?  

Dr Alvise Sforza Tarabochia is Senior Lecturer in Italian and Head of School of Cultures and Languages at the University of Kent, UK. He is the author of path-breaking publications, including an ambitious monograph – Psychiatry, Subjectivity, Community: Franco Basaglia and Biopolitics – published by Peter Lang in 2013. More recently, Alvise has investigated the visualisation of insanity and the othering of the insane both transculturally and transhistorically. He is currently working on a book tracing a cultural history of the representation and thematicisation of mental distress. 

‘Cultural Representations of Covid-19 in non-Anglophone Settings’ – 21-22 June 2021

The Languages of Covid-19: Implications for Global Health Care, 21-22 June 2021

This British Academy-funded project, organised by Dr Steven Wilson and Dr Piotr Blumczynski (QUB), examines the role that modern languages and translation studies can play in revealing new ways of thinking about and communicating Covid-19. Focusing on the language used in multilingual healthcare settings, international public health campaigns and by patients across the globe, the project analyses what new facets or understandings of the disease might be revealed by a linguistic and cultural encounter with non-Anglophone languages and societies. This cultural panel is convened by Dr Marta Arnaldi. Contributions from poetry, music, theatre, the visual arts and digital production. 

‘Translating Distress’ – 17 June 2021

Thursday, May 27th

‘Translating Distress’


Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck
Sally Rachel Cook, Birkbeck
Stephen Romer, Oxford
Ross White, Liverpool

How can translation help us communicate distress and wellbeing? What impact does the use of a foreign language have on the therapeutic journey of refugee survivors? In this talk, clinical psychologist Ross White and applied linguist Jean-Marc Dewaele dialogue to explore the ethical and epistemic complexities of multilingual and multicultural mental health research. They consider ways in which translation, broadly construed, can provide the sufferer with tools to reinvent and perform a new self. The event includes a poetry reading by Stephen Romer, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. 

‘Honouring the Languages of Illness: Translation and Emotions in the Face of Disease’ (Symposium) – 21 May 2021

Translation and Emotion online symposium, The Open University, 21 May 2021

In this lecture, Marta Arnaldi connects three seemingly unrelated experiences: translation, emotions and illness. She argues that patient-doctor interactions and processes of literary translation are relational practices that share a spectrum of affective responses. Courage, uncertainty, impatience, wonder, desire, guilt, compassion, vulnerability and despair are but some of the different emotions involved in these encounters.

‘The Disease of Translation’ – 29 April 2021

Thursday, April 29th

‘The Disease of Translation’


Karen Leeder, Oxford
Matthew Reynolds, Oxford

Covid-19, literature of quarantine and the aesthetics of old age and illness. How have modern writers and translators brought the language of medicine into the texture of fiction? Has the opposite ever happened?