The role of language: interview with Professor Rita Wilson

The role of language: interview with Professor Rita Wilson

If language informs attitude, how can it be utilised to improve policies, governance, employment and social cohesion?

During the course of the twentieth century global migration flows have grown exponentially. Massive socio-political changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, notably the fall of the Berlin wall and collapse of the Soviet block, and later the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, all contributed to the increased international movement of people. And with major political events come epistemological consequences – how do we think about citizenship and belonging today? What role does language play when entering a new place and how does this impact employment, governance and social cohesion?

Professor Rita Wilson, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Associate Dean of Graduate Research at Monash University, carries an extensive research background in literary and cultural studies, with a focus on exploring translation processes that are core to the shaping of literary history, communication and society. Professor Wilson’s research investigates the forces behind the movement of literary texts and people, from aesthetic, linguistic and stylistic elements to social, political and economic drivers. Her research brings to light the effects of today’s interaction between mobility, migration and translation.

As part of our Arts Researchers podcast series, we spoke with Professor Wilson on a number of her research projects and how they help inform better policies, settlement services, international governance and social cohesion. We also covered the global research networks, industry partnerships and opportunities for research students in this area at Monash – the only university in Australia that offers a practice-based PhD in Interpreting and Translation Studies.

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