The Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies (LINCS) in the School of Management and Languages hosted its first Edinburgh Interpreting Research Summer School (EIRSS) from 24-28 June 2013.
EIRSS, the first ever research summer school of this kind, is designed to offer intensive research training for existing and future scholars in any field of interpreting, opportunities to network with world-renowned researchers in the field of Interpreting as well as the chance to showcase individual projects and receive feedback from the expert staff in LINCS - which has been offering courses in Translation and Interpreting since 1970 and has an "internationally excellent and world-leading" research track-record, as attested by the last national (UK) Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008).
EIRSS was attended by 28 established and emerging scholars, as well as practitioners, from all over the world in all fields of interpreting, in spoken as well as signed languages There were 13 countries and four continents represented. Interaction was rich and extensive, as participants exchanged knowledge and explored future collaborations. American and British Sign Language interpreters worked intensively during the five-day event to facilitate communication between participants, presenters and staff.
EIRSS was privileged to have Professor Daniel Gile (ESIT, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris 3) and Professor Cecilia Wadensjö (University of Stockholm) as guest speakers this year. Both are world-leading figures in interpreting research and they gave lectures on Current Approaches to Research in Conference Interpreting and in Dialogue Interpreting respectively.
SML Director of Research, Professor Graham Turner, gave the third lecture in this year's EIRSS on Current Approaches to Research in Sign Language Interpreting, as well as a seminar on Working with the Industry and Communities.
The five-day programme also included seminars by Heriot-Watt academics and librarians on research design and methods, literature search, case-studies, international collaborations and maximising impact, as well as a chance for participants to showcase their own research through posters and oral presentations on the final day. A LinkedIn group has also been created for the EIRSS participants to stay in touch and establish further collaborations.
Enhaning interpreting policy and practice
Professor Graham Turner said: "Heriot-Watt's Strategic Plan emphasises the need for our research to generate social and economic benefits. Enhancing interpreting policy and practice - improving service efficiency and the quality of outcomes - clearly addresses this ambition. EIRSS set out to inspire a new generation of researchers in the field as a contribution to the University's programme of research intensification - which is creating hundreds of new openings for doctoral researchers - and it certainly looks like we achieved that aim."
Feedback from participants has been extremely positive with a desire to see EIRSS become established as an annual research training event.
One participant was awarded a €1,000 scholarship to attend by the European Society of Translation Studies (EST), which is a valuable endorsement of the first ever research summer school of this kind.
You can read testimonials from the EIRSS participants here.
You can also follow EIRSS on Twitter @EIRSS1 for all their latest updates.