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Glendon Translation Professor This Year’s CETRA Chair in San Pellegrino

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Professor Daniel Simeoni of Glendon’s School of Translation has been elected the CETRA Chair for 2005. In existence since 1989, CETRA - the Research Centre for Translation, Communication and Cultures - examines translational phenomena from both cultural and communicational perspectives. Originally part of the Penn-Leuven Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies in Leuven (Belgium), the Centre relocated to San Pellegrino (Italy) in 1996, into the Scuola Superiore per Traduttori e Interpreti, where it now holds its special annual training program. Since its inception in 1989, nearly 200 participants from five continents have taken part in these prestigious, intensive sessions.

The Centre trains young scholars specializing in translation, usually at the PhD level, and plays an active role in the coordination of collective as well as individual research projects worldwide. CETRA has also been active in promoting publications, consulting in language management, organizing a European Master's Programme in Business Communication (EMBC), and numerous other relevant projects.

Daniel Simeoni received his training in theoretical and formal linguistics at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His ongoing interest in the practices and the concept of translation led him to explore the possibility of studying discourse interactions in intercultural contexts using similar constructs. This resulted in several publications co-authored while he was a research collaborator, in Québec, on a number of projects funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC).

Eventually, he chose to explore the possibilities of a sociology of translation centered on translators, rather than just on the systems, structures and norms guiding them. His doctoral thesis at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (“Traduire les sciences sociales. L’émergence d’un habitus sous surveillance: Du texte support au texte-source”) was an attempt to found this new approach historically.

Before emigrating to Canada, Simeoni was a tenured member of the teaching faculty at the Department of Languages, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He has been a full-time faculty member of the Glendon School of Translation since 1998. He served as Director of the Graduate Programme in Translation (MA) from 2001 to 2004 and currently holds two SSHRCC grants on the history and sociology of translation.

“This nomination as CETRA Professor for 2005 came as a complete surprise to me, in the midst of teaching a seminar as part of the new international doctoral programme in Translation and Intercultural Studies at Tarragona (Spain), during my current sabbatical year”, said Simeoni. “I am of course delighted, not only on a personal level, but for what it means for Glendon’s School of Translation, for York University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and for the discipline of Translation Studies itself, in terms of academic as well as symbolic recognition.”

CETRA Chair-holders are invited to give four extensive lectures on translation and intercultural communication before an audience of specialized scholars, including doctoral students from many different countries. “It is a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge and trigger further reflections on cross-cultural issues in a world where the circulation of information is still often perceived in a restricted, technical sense. It is also an ideal base to construct and develop additional links and extend York University’s reach to the future generation of scholars internationally”, added Simeoni.

Today, translation is the focus of research in an increasing array of disciplines and it has become the subject of conferences and publications all over the world. Simeoni confirms that this was not always the case. “It is important in this context that the body of work developed over the last thirty years by researchers, who have been in close contact with practitioners, be recognized and integrated. It is also essential that training institutions, together with graduate departments, continue to be open to the best forms of cross-disciplinary research in sociocultural issues. Knowledge development in this area, of universal interest to all citizens, has never been more urgent.”

“I wish to give high recognition to the students I have had in my courses in Translation Studies since my arrival at Glendon College in 1998, in particular those whose MA theses I supervised. They have consistently demonstrated to me how much is gained from a collaborative reflection on the practices and on the concept of translation in all its modes, wherever a variety of languages and cultures meet”, said Simeoni in conclusion.

Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny


Published on February 15, 2005