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Talk 8

Professor Jemina Napier

Heriot-Watt University
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An overview of the transformation of Sign Language Interpreting as profession & research, & Sign Language Interpreting Studies as a transformative field

Transformative research, which is often interdisciplinary,involves ideas, discoveries, or tools that radically change our understanding of an important existing concept or practice or leads to the creation of a new paradigm or field. The transformative paradigm is a philosophical research framework that centres the experiences of marginalised communities, includes analysis of power differentials, and links research findings to actions intended to effect social change and empowerment of marginalised communities. Interpreting Studies would not be typically considered as a field of transformative research. However, in this presentation I will argue that Sign Language Interpreting Studies can be considered as transformative because new ideas about communication, interaction and linguistic diversity have emerged from this field of research and impacted on the broader field of Interpreting Studies. In this presentation, I will give an overview of Sign Language Interpreting Studies as a transformed field in terms of the profession and research, in the wider context of Interpreting Studies, and will also track  my own personal transformative research journey. I will discuss various theoretical and methodological transformations in my own work, and the implications for the broader context of the field of Interpreting Studies generally.