SOAS University of London

Academic Summer School at SOAS

Decolonizing Translation and Translation Studies (2020 entry)

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  • Teaching and Learning
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Programme Description 

Amongst both scholars of Translation Studies and practical translators decolonization is an area of increasing interest. Two topics gaining particular attention are the tension between cultural universalism and regional diversity, and colonial power structures that remain alive in contemporary translation practice. This summer school program will approach decolonization of translation from both the academic and the practical side. Depending on the background of participants, we will provide a balance of non-language specific modules and practical modules in our most popular languages: Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese.

For more information, please see the course handbook: Decolonizing Translation and Translation Studies Handbook (pdf; 104kb)  

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • To learn about translation theories and practice in relation to decolonization and translation of cultures
  • Awareness and understanding of sensitive issues surrounding translation and Translation Studies
  • To effectively mediate across cultural differences in the real world
  • Awareness and understanding of otherness and communication beyond borders

Special Scholarships for Decolonizing Translation and Translation Studies

  • The National Centre for Writing will provide support of £1,000 for a UK-based BAME literary translator.
  • SOAS Centre for Translation Studies will provide support of £300 for a student from a non-EU country.

Please write which scholarship you are applying for and include a maximum A4 statement to express your passion for translation. One student in each category will be awarded this scholarship. Please submit your application and the statement by the 2nd of March to


This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits is equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system. If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.

Current SOAS students selecting this course as an open option module will not be charged the tuition-fee. For further informaiton and assistance, please contact 


For more information, please fill out our enquiries form.

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: 29 June – 17 July 2020

Mode of Attendance: Full-time

Entry requirements

  • You will have completed one year of undergraduate study at the time of joining the Academic Summer School. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.

Featured events

3 weeks

Tuition Fees

Credit assessed: £1,750

Non-assessed: £1,600



Week 1

What is decolonization in translation and Translation Studies?

  • Cultural universalism and regional diversity
  • Colonialism
    and Imperialism
  • Location of translation and Translation Studies in the colonial context

Week 2

Practical implications for both research and practice

  • Cultural translation and representation
  • Regional diversity in various languages
  • Decolonisation in translation and Translation Studies - for whom?

Week 3

Collaborative work in translation and Translation Studies

  • Area-based translation studies
  • Collaborative research and translation
  • Compromise or reconciliation?

As a part of course practice, students will visit the British Museum. We also plan to bring students to the Globe Theatre.

Sample Reading list:
  • The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture, edited by Sue-Ann Harding and Ovidi Carbonell i Cortés, 2018: Routledge
  • Handbook of Translation Studies Online: Post-colonial literatures and translation, edited by Paul F. Bandia (John Benjamin)
  • “Translation, Colonialism and Rise of English”, Tejaswini Niranjana, Economic and Political Weekly  Vol. 25, No. 15 (Apr. 14, 1990), pp. 773-779
  • Translation and Subjectivity: On Japan and cultural nationalism, Naoki Sakai, 2008: University Of Minnesota Press
  • Diverse Voices in Translation Studies in East Asia, edited by Nana Sato-Rossberg and Akiko Uchiyama, 2019: Peter Lang
  • Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era, edited by Sherry Simon and Paul St-Pierre, 2000: University of Ottawa Press



Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Course convenors

Naoki Sakai (Cornell University), Jeremy Thang (translator, writer, playwright), Chege Githiora (SOAS), Burcin Mustafa (SOAS), Shoji Shimura (Ateliershimura), Narguess Farzad (SOAS), David Lunn (SOAS) and Nana Sato-Rossberg (SOAS).

in collaboration with SOAS Centre for Translation Studies.

Contact hours:

50 hours (lectures, tutorials, activities). The course will be delivered Monday - Friday over the 3 weeks.

Core hours:

Monday - Friday 10am-3pm. In addition to regular lectures and tutorials, each course is composed of a range of activities relating to their academic content (e.g. museum visit, company visit etc).


Assessment will be in the form of a presentation and essay to be handed in 2 weeks after the end of the course.

If you have opted to study for credit, you will be required to complete all course assessments. Should you complete the assessments with success, you will receive a transcript confirming your marks and credits. If you have not chosen to study for credit, you will be exempt from any course assignments and not receive a mark.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Credit assessed: £1,750
Non-assessed: £1,600

Application fee

A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.


10% discount if you apply by 31st March

10% discount if you apply for two courses over 6 weeks

15% discount for SOAS alumni (including Academic Summer School alumni)

20% discount for our partner institutions

Other discounts are available for groups. Please contact us for more information.


For more information, please see our accommodation page.

Academic Summer School Ambassador Scholarship 2020

The SOAS Academic Summer School is delighted to offer six tuition-fee waiver scholarships to passionate students with a desire to make a difference in the world.

The scholarships will cover the tuition-fee for one Academic Summer School course in 2020. 

Application Deadline: 2020-03-13 00:00

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section


How to Apply

To secure your place on the Academic Summer School, please apply using our application form.

Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.

Please see our Ambassador Scholarship page for details regarding scholarship application.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Academic Summer School close on 25th May 2020.

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