Professor Joan Anim-Addo, Goldsmiths College

 

This interdisciplinary proposal is premised upon the act of translation as collaboration and shared knowledge. Our transcultural, international network of scholars will draw centrally on texts including museum objects, marked by creolisation, in order to conduct an intercultural enquiry into global English as an effective vehicle of cultural translation. Drawing on collaborative teaching methodology, we wish to consider also how gendered creolisation might contribute to a recasting of Englishness in terms of New Britishness within globalization. We shall interrogate culture and its connection with human agency and knowledge production within the wider social frameworks from which objects and texts emerge. Our methodology takes particular account of the ‘poetics of relation’ (Glissant) in addressing the rich seam of cultural translation in the ‘relative and related’ intersections of Creolisation, Britishness and Global English of interest to scholars, teachers, museum educators, and creative artists. We are interested to contribute new academic interpretations, encouraging the creation of new interpretive platforms, and contributing to further understanding of postcolonial and diasporic art-forms, as well as significant potential impact upon contemporary creative practices.

The group’s collective scholarship is grounded in transcultural discourse, and crosses international borders through, for example, teaching Caribbean Literature in the UK, Black British Literature in the USA and American Literature in Italy. From this basis, we wish to engage intersecting theoretical questions of key concern to cultural translation. The research will start by asking how creolisation texts in the UK contribute to translating and re-figuring Britishness in a globalized context towards a changing understanding of complex ‘cultures within’ society, in order to draw comparisons with other western contexts. It will examine further how important they are in reflecting and refracting traditional and contemporary hierarchies of power, assessing their implications, particularly for issues of gender, race and sexuality. By drawing into dialogue ‘other’ cultural UK texts, we aim at a comparative, intercultural enquiry focusing on the global English as an effective and respectful vehicle of cultural translation. Our network will generate a series of Intercultural Research Network Meetings (IRNM) and collaborative teaching seminars allowing intensive dialogue through joint methodological approaches. This is premised upon active participation of clusters of collaborative teaching partners located within the Americas and Europe, who will develop an interactive website to share materials and best practices.

We expect this process to develop a specific collaborative methodology and generate important findings concerning the questions highlighted, especially given the expertise of participants who teach not only Caribbean textualisation in the UK but also ‘other’ textualities in the EU, the Caribbean and the Americas. Integral to this interdisciplinary research are ways of developing museum literacy and progressing literacy from objects as texts in the UK, and internationally with the aim of caring for the communicative aspects of knowledge production.

 

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