MUSCAT: The 4th International Conference on Language, Linguistics, Literature and Translation, organised by the Department of English Language and Literature at the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), commenced on Thursday at the university conference hall under the patronage of Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour al Hasani, Minister of Information.
The title of the conference is ‘Exploring Cultural Intersections’ and it aims to focus on the dynamics of culture and its representations in the fields of language, linguistics, literature and translation.
It seeks to explore ways in which cultural intersections could be conceptualised, critiqued or disrupted and ultimately reconstructed. Another aim is to provide a forum for scholars, researchers, academics, professional translators and students to be introduced to emerging research in their areas of interest. The conference seeks to help participants to interact with renowned academics from around the globe.
The conference features the following internationally renowned keynote speakers: Prof Lawrence Venuti (Translation), Temple University, USA; Prof David Damrosch (Literature), Harvard University, USA; Professor Alister Cumming (Language), Prof Emeritus at the University of Toronto, Canada; Prof Reem Bassiouney (Linguistics), American University in Cairo, Egypt.
The conference covers a wide range of themes under the main four areas of language, linguistics, literature and translation. Under Language, there are a number of themes such as ‘the power of language’, ‘the language of power’, and ‘technological innovations and their impact on cultural images’.
The themes under linguistics include, ‘intercultural communication’, ‘computer-mediated communication’ and ‘language and conflict’, ‘social constructions of the culture’, ‘emerging literatures’ and ‘building models of identity’ are among the themes under literature. Translation covers a number of themes such as ‘cultural hegemony and translation’, ‘crisis translation’, and ‘translation and technology’.
As the department’s previous conferences, this year’s conference demonstrates how SQU’s English Department continues its academic leadership and excellence.
The department, one of the largest in the university, is now widely recognised as amongst the best English departments in the region, with its graduates some of the most respected in Oman and the region. With a diverse international staff, the department is now able to make a significant contribution to scholarship worldwide.
In his address, Dr Abdul Gabbar Al Sharafi, Head of the Department of English, said the conference comes fourth in a series of international conferences the department has been organising since 2007.
“This conference aims to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas in the four main disciplines of language, linguistics, literature and translation.”
He added that the conference covers a wide range of themes under the main four areas and targets implications on research, policy and pedagogy.
“It reflects a synergy between researchers interested in relevant areas of inquiry and academic staff and specialists in these areas. More than 90 conference presentations are going to be shared with an audience of more than 200 participants from more than 25 countries,” Dr Al Sharafi added.