History Hub

HistoryHub

Connecting past and present

The workshop brought together scholars from across Ireland, UK and Europe working in Chinese History, Gender Studies and Translation Studies. It aimed to shed light on the lives of Chinese interpreters who conveyed to non-Chinese knowledge of Chinese culture, language, politics, and society across Chinese history.

Jennifer Bond and Yanli Xie

Workshop Organisers

Interpreting China

On 16-17 June 2022 a workshop entitled Interpreting China: Engendering Transnational Dialogues was held at University College Dublin Humanities Institute and online. The workshop was organised by Dr. Yanli Xie (UCD) and Dr. Jennifer Bond (UCL) in collaboration with the China Academic Network on Gender (CHANGE), UCD Asia Pacific Research Network and UCD Center for Gender, Feminisms and Sexualities. The workshop was made possible by Seed Funding grants from UCD Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UCD Humanities Institute (Transnationalising the Humanities Research Strand) and the UCD School of History.

The workshop brought together scholars from across Ireland, UK and Europe working in Chinese History, Gender Studies and Translation Studies. It aimed to shed light on the lives of Chinese interpreters who conveyed to non-Chinese knowledge of Chinese culture, language, politics, and society across Chinese history. We were conceptualising ‘interpreting’ in its broadest conception, including translators, interpreters, western-educated intellectuals, and elite and non-elite cultural brokers. Crucially, the workshop explored the gendered power dynamics at play in the process of transfer. Methodological questions we asked workshop participants to consider include: How can we understand the powerful role of translators and interpreters who are often hidden within the historical record? How is the act of translation itself gendered? What mediums (art, literature, film) did Chinese actors living in the west use to introduce western audiences to Chinese concepts of gender and how did they reimagine their own understanding of China in the process? What were the forums for exchange (schools, business meetings, international conferences) and how did gendered power dynamics operate in these spaces?

On the first day of the workshop Professor Henrietta Harrison, Stanley Ho Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, delivered an engaging keynote talk entitled Interpreting and Masculinity in early British interactions with China.

Interpreting China

Watch Henrietta Harrison's keynote

Prof. Harrison’s keynote – Interpreting and Masculinity in early British interactions with China – is also available as a podcast series on Apple, Spotify, Soundcloud and via RSS Feed.

Play Video

The workshop was held in person and online. Twenty-three in-person participants from eleven universities across Ireland, the UK and Europe attended the workshop with an online audience of seventy-six registrants for the keynote webinar.

On the first day of the workshop Professor Henrietta Harrison, Stanley Ho Tutorial Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford, delivered an engaging keynote talk. Her talk, entitled ‘Interpreting and Masculinity in early British interactions with China’, drew on reflections from her recent monograph The Perils of Interpreting: The Extraordinary Lives of Two Translators between Qing China and the British Empire (Princeton University Press, 2021). The talk engendered a lively Q and A discussion, which was followed by a wine reception and conference dinner.

On day two we had three panels of eight papers which explored questions of gender and translation in the process of ‘interpreting’ China to foreign audiences. Papers were given by Dr Isabella Jackson (Trinity College Dublin), Dr. Jennifer Bond (University College London), Dr. Yushu Geng (Trinity College Dublin) Dr. Kailing Xie (University of Birmingham), Dr. Ting Guo (University of Exeter), Dr. Yanli Xie (University College Dublin), Dr. Coraline Jortay (University of Oxford) and Prof. Nicoletta Pesaro (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia). Dr. Julia Schneider (University College Cork), Dr. Aglaia De Angeli, (Queen’s University, Belfast) and Prof. Gregory Lee (University of St. Andrews) acted as the panel discussants. Scholars from across UCD Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Prof. Mary Gallagher, Dr. Ann Mulhall, and Dr. Qiu Fanghe, chaired the panels and the discussions that followed.

The workshop closed with a round-table discussion Chaired by Prof. Gregory Lee. The discussion centred on the global power dynamics and intersections of Gender, Race and Class in the process of interpreting China.

On Saturday 18th June some participants joined a visit to the Book of Kells in Dublin city centre before departing.

Thanks to all our participants for making the workshop a success. We are particularly grateful to Ricki Schoen of the UCD Humanities Institute and Real Smart Media for their administrative and technical support for the event

Jennifer Bond and Yanli Xie

Image: Henrietta Harrison by Slalalas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Latest Podcasts

The Holocaust as World History

Holocaust Education Ireland’s Holocaust Memorial Lecture for 2024 was given by Prof. Doris L. Bergen from University of Toronto. A podcast of her lecture – “The Holocaust as World History” – is now available on History Hub.

Cover of Spiritual Wounds by Siobhra Aiken.

Éire Saor agus Gaelach?: The Military Service Pensions Collection and the Irish language

In this episode, a recording of a paper – ‘”Éire Saor agus Gaelach?”: The Military Service Pensions Collection and the Irish language’ – by Dr Síobhra Aiken from Queen’s University Belfast. The paper was part of UCD School of History’s Mícheál Ó Cléirigh seminar series, in collaboration with the UCD Decade of Centenaries project ‘Everyday Life In The Irish Revolution’ which is run by UCD’s Dr Fionnuala Walsh. Dr Aiken’s talk, which was recorded on November 10 2023, was entitled: ‘”Éire Saor agus Gaelach?”: The Military Service Pensions Collection and the Irish language’.

women and the Irish constitution roundtable at UCD

Women and the Irish Constitution: a roundtable discussion

‘Women and the Irish Constitution: a roundtable discussion’ took place on 13 February 2024 in UCD Humanities Institute. The panel included contributions from Dr Mary McAuliffe (UCD, chair) Prof. Caitriona Beaumont (London South Bank University), Associate Professor Jennifer Redmond (Maynooth University), Orla O’Connor (National Women’s Council), Prof. Lindsey Earner Byrne (Trinity College Dublin) and the Sutherland School of Law Poet in Residence, Julie Morrissy.

Barracks of Ireland website

‘Our shared built military heritage: the online mapping, inventorying and recording of the army barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921

Digital Cultures is one of the research themes for the UCD College of Arts and Humanities Research Strategy for 2020-2024. The strategy brings together and supports the combined research excellence from across the College’s Schools, Institutes, Centres and subject disciplines. As part of the Digital Cultures theme of the strategy, Dr Charles Ivar McGrath (UCD) and Dr Suzanne Forbes (Open University) gave a presentation entitled ‘Our shared built military heritage: the online mapping, inventorying and recording of the army barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921’. The presentation took place in January 2024 and focused on their work on the Army Barracks of Ireland project.

Scroll to Top