Summer Course in Decolonizing Translation and Translation Studies


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Due to the situation surrounding Covid-19, we are currently looking into alternative options for teaching our programme this year. Full details will be announced soon, but in the meantime please get in touch with any questions you may have.

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 the decolonization of translation from both the academic and the practical sides. 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.

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 student in this Academic Summer School course.
  • 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 are 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 information and assistance, please contact

Key Facts

  • 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.


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

Teaching & Learning

Course Convenors

Naoki Sakai (Cornell University), Jeremy Thang (translator, writer, playwright), Chege Githiora (SOAS), Burcin Mustafa (SOAS) and Nana Sato-Rossberg (SOAS).

in collaboration with the 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.


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: 2020-03-02 00:00


Entry Requirements

  • In order to join the Academic Summer School, students should meet the following entry requirements:
  • A university student or a graduate at the time of attending. Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
  • Participants must be 18 or over at the time of attendance.
  • Fluency in the English language is recommended for non-credit courses, but essential for SOAS Accredited courses. Proficiency can be demonstrated through:
  • IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
  • TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with minimum 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with minimum 20 in all skills.
  • Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B
  • If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses) you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
  • If you are unsure whether you meet the above entry requirements, please contact us to discuss your application.

Enrolment of applicants who do not meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us about your application and we will be happy to help.

Application Procedure

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.

Application Deadline

Applications now accepted on a rolling basis for all courses.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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