Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Anne Byrne, Emma Brannlund, Aura Lounasmaa, Tanja Kovacic
International Conference on Narrative
A Trialogue in/of Translation: The use of Narrative Inquiry in Cross-Cultural Research
Manchester Metropolitan University
Chaired Session
Optional Fields
27-JUN-13
29-JUN-13
2013 International Conference on Narrative NUI Galway Narrative Study Group Proposed Panel   Title of the Panel: A Trialogue in/of Translation: The use of Narrative Inquiry in Cross-Cultural Research   Panel description   Doing narrative inquiry between languages, the researcher is not only a mediator between cultures, but becomes a re-constructor of these cultures. Temple and Koterba (2009) assert that translation is more than a transfer of meaning from one context to another, as it involves translation of people’s lives. Narratives in/of translations refer to methods of inquiry and epistemologies of storied understandings of lived life (Andrews et al., 2008; Tamboukou, 2008). This panel focuses on the challenges, complexities and consolations of working with narratives in/of translations during different research stages: What happens when narratives are translated and re-constructed? Where is power situated in cross-cultural research?   1) Presenter: Tanja Kovacic   Title: Personal and Cultural Narratives of Resilience: How to Translate Untranslatable Across Cultures?   The aim of the paper is to explore the use of autoethnographic approach in cross-cultural research on resilience and coping. Particularly, it focuses on the use of the approach in planning the research related to the translation of the concept of resilience from Anglophone academic frames to the cultural context of Slovenia. The researcher, as a member of Slovenian culture, involved herself in the study and gave an interview to be able to discover a link between personal and cultural experiences with risk and coping when growing up (Ellis et al., 2011). Autoethnography helped her to further develop a methodological framework, which evolved around the importance of narrative interviewing (Jovchelovitch and Bauer, 2000) in exploring resilience across languages and cultures. Baker (2005: 12) claims there is a need to “recognize and acknowledge our own embeddedness in a variety of narratives”. This predisposition was applied to a further phase of the research, when a combination of the researcher’s personal and the interviewees’ narratives of coping and resilience were constantly negotiated and reconstructed through the interview process. The paper thus argues that an autoethnographic approach to translation issues provides a tool for the research for an in-depth exploration of construction of meaning across cultures.   2) Presenter: Aura Lounasmaa   Title: Power of language and translation in the multilingual field   Aura Lounasmaa brings us to the interview moment and discusses the need for and limits of reflexivity when dealing with power imbalances brought in by multiple linguistic sites. Conducting interviews in Morocco she experimented with language use in her interviews and was reminded of the influence class, gender and colonialism have on language (Sadiqi, 2003; Spivak, 2012). Aura discusses three interview scenarios: using an interpreter; interviewing a participant in a language where the participant has the linguistic advantage over the researcher and conducting an interview where linguistically the power is with the researcher. All of these scenarios produce differing power relations that affect the resulting narratives. Translators and interpreters cannot accurately produce the original narratives of the participants (Temple, 2005), but when participants are themselves multilingual and the translators of their own narratives, “original” ceases to exist (Slavova and Phoenix, 2011). The participant represents herself, but the narrative produced in French is different from the one the same participant would produce in Arabic. Reflexivity can help reveal the ways in which language produces power relations in research situations, but ultimately a researcher must find a way to present the resulting narratives, despite their problematic production.   3) Presenter: Emma Brännlund   Title: Analysing Women’s In/Security Narratives: Meaning-making and Broken Translations   This paper explores narrative data analysis. It interrogates what happens to politically active women’s narratives of in/security when meaning is translated multiple times? In order to collect women’s in/security narratives this study employed focus groups and interviews with politically active women in Kashmir during summer 2011. Most interviews were conducted in English, mixed with Urdu and Kashmiri. Security is understood as a discursive practice which produces its subjects (Stern, 2006: 182; Wibben, 2011). The multiple linguistic layers make state-centric understandings of security visible and thus possible to deconstruct. The Kashmir Valley can neither be described as a conflict zone nor in peace, but is characterised by a state of in/security. Hyper-masculinised military troops, anti-government militants and “unidentified gunmen”, as well as robust gender roles, govern social and political life. So, in/security, both discursive and embodied, constitutes the Kashmiri population and, significantly, women activists. This paper argues that a narrative approach to data analysis can help us understand the productive aspects of power relations within language and translation (Baker, 2006; Stern, 2006; Wibben, 2011). A narrative approach reveals the connection of women’s experiences and their personal narratives to larger discourses, and therefore puts the meta-micro divide between the personal and the political under scrutiny.   Chair of the Panel:  Dr. Anne Byrne, Senior Lecturer, School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway: anne.byrne@nuigalway.ie   Dr. Anne Byrne, a sociologist (National University of Ireland, http://www.nuigalway.ie/soc/staff/byrne_anne.html) writes on gender, identity, rurality, anthropological historiography, socio-biography and qualitative methodologies from a narrative inquiry frame. Founder of the Narrative Studies Group, Galway, recent publications include (2012) Irish Journal of Sociology, ‘Yours Sincerely: Letters and Lives’ review article,  (2011) Echanges épistolaires en anthropologie : l’enquête Harvard-Irlande/ Letters in anthropological research: the Harvard-Irish Survey (1930-1936) in Ethnologie francaise, Irlande après Arensberg et O Duilearga, 4(2) 241-252 and with O’Mahony, D. (2012) Family and Community: (Re) telling our own story. Journal of Family Issues, 33(1) 52-75.   Participants of the Panel:   1) Tanja Kovacic, Ph.D. Candidate, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway; t.kovacic1@nuigalway.ie   Title of the Paper: Autoethnographic and Cultural Narratives of Resilience: How to Translate Untranslatable Across Cultures?   Tanja Kovacic is a PhD fellow at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research interests focus on epistolary narrative inquiry of the Second World War letters, narrative interviewing, sociology of socialist and post-socialist youth and resilience. Tanja is an active member of NUI Galway Narrative Study Group. She was a teaching assistant of the course on biographical and narrative research and a student tutor in social sciences on BA and MA level at NUIG. She has also been a guest lecturer at MA programme MIREES at the University of Bologna.   2) Aura Lounasmaa, Ph.D. Candidate, Global Women's Studies Program, School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway; a.lounasmaa1@nuigalway.ie   Title of the Paper: The power of language and translation in the multilingual field   Aura is a PhD student in the Global Women’s Studies Programme in the National University of Ireland, Galway. She researches the narratives of modernity and democratisation in the advocacy and activism of rights-based and faith-based women’s organisations in Morocco. Aura has been a member of the teaching team in the Gender, Globalisation and Rights MA programme and in the School of Political Science and Sociology and is a member of the NUI Galway Narrative Studies Group, postgraduate feminist and gender studies network Sibeal and the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association. Her research project is funded by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.   3) Emma Brännlund, Ph.D. Candidate, Global Women's Studies Program, School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway; e.brannlund1@nuigalway.ie   Title of the Paper: Analysing Women’s In/Security Narratives: Meaning-making and Broken Translations   Emma Brännlund is doing a Ph.D. on women’s political activism in Kashmir. She has studied at LSE (MSc Gender, Development and Globalisation) and SOAS (BA Law and Politics). Her research interests involve Critical Security, Gender Studies, International Relations, Kashmir and South Asia studies. Emma is an active member of the Narrative Study Group at NUI Galway. In 2009 Emma was a visiting researcher at WISCOMP (Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace) in New Delhi. She is also part of the teaching team in BA Connect, the Gender, Globalisation and Rights MA programme and in the School of Political Science and Sociology.      
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