PGR Seminar Decolonising Migration Epistemologies – 23 March 2022

Decolonising epistemological and methodological perspectives in Migration Studies: Language, translation and transcription  

Wednesday 23rd March, 2-4pm UK time, online

Register here:

PGR members of the Leeds Migration Research Network ( invite you to a seminar addressing issues of language, translation and transcription as they relate to the politics and coloniality of knowledge and knowledge production. As PGR students from both the Global South and Global North, conducting research as part of Global North universities in a context where the English language dominates academia, we grapple with these issues as we approach our own projects. We question what our choices around the language we conduct our research in, and translation or interpretation, mean in relation to the kind of knowledge we produce, and our responsibilities towards our participants, our/their communities, and ourselves. This seminar aims to start a critical conversation on the themes of language, translation, and transcription; decolonizing methodologies and epistemologies; the coloniality of knowledge; and reflexivity.

The seminar includes contributions from Dr Elisa Pascucci (University of Helsinki), Dr Nadine Hassouneh (University of Leeds), Dr Jessica Bradley (University of Sheffield), Dr Louise Atkinson (University of Sheffield); a panel discussion; and Q&A.

The seminar aims to address the following questions:

  • How do issues of language, translation and transcription relate to the politics and coloniality of knowledge and knowledge production?
  • If speakers of other languages have to translate the thoughts and experiences of migrants into English language, who is going to read the knowledge they produce? Who owns the knowledge? Who is such knowledge for? Are these students and researchers being used as agents of epistemic hegemony?
  • How can migration scholars and researchers from the Global South produce knowledge without overdependence on the affirmation and validation of their knowledge in the Global North?
  • Do universities in the Global North consider the inequality and unacknowledged labour and effort involved in translation and transcription work by scholars from the Global South undertaking research in Global North?
  • What are the issues presented when English speaking migration researchers in the Global North conduct research with migrant populations in English, without interpretation? Who is left out and excluded by this? What is lost when research participants are required to speak in a second language?