Lecture Theatre 1 (LT1), Level 5, Cha Chi-ming Science Tower,

Ho Sin Hang Campus,

Hong Kong Baptist University




(9 Jan)

(10 Jan)



Map of venue


All are Welcome 


   Tel: 3411-7197

   Email: artd@hkbu.edu.hk






As Cristina Marinetti argues, "The concept of performativity itself has to be fully articulated in relation to translation" yet performativity has only recently begun to cross paths with Translation Studies, particularly with a focus on the translator's agency or identity and on translation as embodied epistemologies and aesthetics. A special issue on the subject is forthcoming in the journal Target 25:3, dedicated to the role of translation and performativity in the theatre.


Performativity intersects with Translation in a number of ways: Sherry Simon (1998) and Edwin Gentzler (2008) discuss the adoption of a performative perspective "especially in relation to unpacking notions of identity" (Simon 1998; Gentzler 2008). Douglas Robinson discusses the "performative linguistics of translation" that is, "translating as doing","doing something to the target reader". He also mentions "Translating as colonizing, or as fighting the lingering effects of colonialism; translating as resisting global capitalism, translating as fighting patriarchy, as liberating women (and men) from patriarchal gender roles the translator as a doer, an actor on variously conceived cultural, professional, and cognitive stages". (Robinson 2003).


Performativity has yet to be explored in other areas of Translation Studies: Dubbing and Subtitling, where the on-screen words or those the actors mouth reperform, closely or not so closely, those of the original; the Translator's Preface and other paratexts, which introduce a second performance to the original, supporting, contradicting, directing, or diverting the reader from the original text; Natural Translation, where, within the immigrant family, the language performance skills of the child such as children or the deaf, where the translation must perform a role to construct a specific relationship; and, last but not least, in Interpreting Studies, where the theatrical performance of the consecutive interpreter has generally been replaced by the instantaneous performance of the conference interpreter ­but can the interpreter remain neutral, a mere conduit for the ideas of the speaker, or may some kind of bias seep in to the interpreter¹s performance, as may happen in the cases of many community interpreters? This two day colloquium invites contributions from scholars on the various contexts of Performativity within Translation and Interpreting Studies.



Organizing Committee


Professor Douglas Robinson, Dean of Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University

Dr. Dennitza Gabrakova, Assistant Professor, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong

Professor John Milton, Translation Studies, University of São Paulo, Brazil





January 9





Opening Remarks and Commemoration of Prof. Martha Cheung, by Professor Douglas Robinson (Hong Kong Baptist University)


10:20 - 11:20

Opening Presentation

“Performing Translation: Language, Gender, Social Action”, Sandra Bermann (Princeton University)


11:30 - 13:00

Session 1

Performativity, Translation and Gender

1. “Paratexts and Performativity: Translating Taboo for the Stage”, Zhongli Yu (University of Nottingham Ningbo)

2. “From Feminism to Entertainment? Reconstructing Representations of Women in Subtitles”, Sang-Bin Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

3. “Archive to Art/Body to Blog to Book/Paper to Performance: Three Eleanors as Theatrical Translation Across Media”, Dorothy Chansky (Texas Tech University)


14:10 - 16:10


Session 2

The Dramaturgy of Translation

1. “Translation as Negotiation of Performativity”, Scott Williams (Texas Christian University)

2. “A Translation Experiment based on conceptions of Jiri Levy: The translator as an actor and as theater director”, Raquel Abi-Sâmara (University of Macau)

3. “To Act or To Perform: An Oscillation between Translating and Scripting Lust, Caution”, Liu Huawen (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

4. “Exploring Performativity in Staging Translation: A Case Study of Constructing “Linda” in BPAT’s Death of a Salesman”, Yichen Yang (Lingnan University)


16:20 - 18:20


Session 3

The Translator’s Agency

1. “Translator as Doer”, Hong Ping (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)

2. “Translation as testament of cultural intermingling: a Chinese - Argentinean experience”, Sarah Aubry (Amoy University/City University of Hong Kong)

3. “The Translator’s ‘Performative Hypersentence’”, Angela Tarantini (Monash University Clayton)

4. “The Translator as Actor: Performing Chinese Stories on a Dutch Stage”, Audrey Heijns (Leiden University)




January 10

9:00 - 10:55

Session 4

Global Shakespeare and Milton

1. “Performativity and Gender in Modern Iran”, Mohammad Jafar Shokrollahzadeh (State University of New York Binghamton) (Skype Presentation)   

2. “Performativity in Liang Shiqiu’s Translation of Shakespeare”, Bai Liping (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

3. “Performativity of the Religious Dimension in Chinese Shakespeare”, Jenny Wong (University of Glasgow)

4. “The Translations of Paradise Lost as Performers of the Poem”, Afonso Teixeira Filho (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)


11:00 - 12:25

Session 5

Translating the Voice

1. “Concrete Performances: Brazil - Scotland – Brazil”, John Corbett (Macau University)

2. “Literary Cacophony performed, as seen in Howard Goldblatt’s translation of Zhenhe Wang’s Rose, Rose, I Love You”, Szu-Wen Kung (University of Auckland)

3. “Read Along, Sing Along!: The Case of Translating and Adapting Jezeva Kucisa”, Marija Todorova (Hong Kong Baptist University)


13:35 - 15:00

Session 6

Translation and Culture critique

1. “Hong Kong Atlas”, Zoran Poposki and Marija Todorova (Hong Kong Institute of Education and Hong Kong Baptist University)

2. “The Translator as Agent of Change and the Visible Gaps”, Richard Sheung (City University of Hong Kong)

3. “Translating Theory: The Transparence and Opacity of the Japanese Intellectual”, Dennitza Gabrakova (City University of Hong Kong)


15:10 - 17:00

Session 7

Performativity and the Public Sphere

1. “The Translator as Performer: the case of Monteiro Lobato’s Political Peter Pan”, John Milton (University of São Paulo)

2. “Performing Negotiation”, Ali Pour Issa (Karnameh Institute of Arts and Culture) (Skype Presentation)

3. “Exploring Discursive Performativity - A Corpus-based Study of News Coverage and Translation”, Zhuang Yingyi (City University of Hong Kong)

4. “Live Translation to Articulate a Vision of Change”, Yong Zhong (University of New South Wales)


17:10 - 18:20

Concluding Presentations

1.“Performance Theories and Translation”, Cristina Marinetti (Cardiff University) (Skype presentation)

2.“Periperformativity and the Pushing Hands Approach”, Douglas Robinson (Hong Kong Baptist University)