Research

The CLE London Statement identified the development of knowledge and shared practices “as a key strategic goal for a meaningful impact on European society and beyond it, by supporting individuals and groups in the continuous effort to achieve greater social justice and active forms of citizenship.”

This SIG proposes to review contemporary theory and practice in the field of intersemiotic translation and to develop case studies of contemporary examples. Informed by philosophy, linguistics, poetics and cognitive sciences, we are also interested in whether and how the methodologies of practice as research (PaR), primarily developed in the performing arts, can be applied to the process of intersemiotic translation as cultural production.

The experience of translating a source artefact (whether text, image, sound, sculpture, gesture) through an interactive process that results in embodied, subjectively-formed, meaningful narrative for the participant forms the central object of enquiry.

Questions of definition include the perennial debate over whether intersemiotic translation is truly translation, or rather adaptation, interpretation or even transcreation (an adaptation that aims to convey the meaning or a source text but is not bound to reproduce the form). Specific types of translation that can be considered intersemiotic include ekphrasis (from non-verbal to verbal), homophonic, homographonic or material translation (respectively from verbal to phonetic, graphic, and haptic — conveyed through the sense of touch). Ephemeral, performative forms of intersemiotic translation are of particular interest in understanding process as cultural production because they foster a real-time interactive relationship with the audience where participants become alternately actors and witnesses in the translation process.

Specific lines of academic enquiry to be pursued may include questions of whether and how the experiential nature of projects involving intersemiotic translation can serve as an awareness-raising tool, break down intercultural boundaries and help build empathy between conflicted communities.