Open Panel: Contesting Epistemologies in Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies

An international conference hosted by the
Centre for Translation and the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies,
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

In collaboration with the
Genealogies of Knowledge Project, University of Manchester, UK

7-9 April 2020



Contesting Epistemologies in Cognitive Translation and Interpreting Studies: The current state of play

Convenors: Sandra L. Halverson, University of Agder, Norway and Álvaro Marín García, University of Essex, UK

After decades of what some might call a rather myopic focus on data collection, processing and analysis (Göpferich et al. 2009), cognitive translation and interpreting studies (CTIS) has grown into epistemological discussions that question established research traditions and the knowledge generated according to their methods and constructs (Halverson 2015; Muñoz 2016). A new research tradition has emerged, leading to the creation of new constructs and challenging previous ones. At the same time, we have seen variation in the methods of validation and assessment of models, leading to a point of disciplinary problematization and self-reflection in the wake of these new research traditions and the validation crisis in the social sciences (Risku 2014).

This panel will discuss the evolution of (and variation in) views of scientific knowledge as articulated and practised in CTIS, both as they relate to transdisciplinary relationships between CTIS, cognitive psychology, cognitive science and cognitive linguistics/semiotics and as they relate to other subdisciplines or areas within translation studies. We would like to consider the fruits of this discussion in light of an understanding of scientific disciplines as communities of practice that necessarily negotiate meaning in their constant interaction, transforming (translating across disciplines) scientific discourse and therefore knowledge. We would also like to approach the challenges and opportunities that a plurality of validation methods and contesting research traditions bring to a field that has traditionally inscribed itself within a monist experimental paradigm.

We welcome contributions engaging with the themes outlined above.

Panel endorsed by the TREC Research Network: 



Göpferich, S., A.L. Jakobsen and I.M. Mees (eds) (2009) Behind the Mind: Methods, models and results in translation process research, Copenhagen: Samfundslitteratur.

Halverson, S. (2015) ‘Cognitive TS and the Merging of Empirical Paradigms: The case of literal translation’, Translation Spaces 4(2): 310-340.

Muñoz Martín, R. (2016) ‘Of Minds and Men – Computers and translators’, Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 52(2): 351-381.

Risku, H. (2014) ‘Translation Process Research as Interaction Research: From mental to socio-cognitive processes’, MonTi: Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación 1: 331-53.


Panel Convenors

Sandra L. Halverson is currently employed at Agder University. Her research has centred on questions related to various areas of translation studies and cognitive linguistics, and she has published both empirical and theoretical/conceptual work. Her research interests include the integration of insights from cognitive linguistics into translation studies, the epistemology of translation studies and research methodology. Professor Halverson is a member of the Translation Research, Empiricism and Cognition network (TREC). She served as co-editor of Target for a period of eight years and currently serves on the editorial boards of several TIS journals. She was appointed CETRA Chair Professor for 2018 and has given plenary lectures and other invited talks in numerous universities across Europe and in China.

Álvaro Marín García is a translation lecturer at the University of Essex, UK. He has also taught translation theory and practice at Kent State University (USA), where he completed his PhD in translation studies. His research interests are in cultural and intellectual history and its relation to translation practices, cognitive translation studies, and the epistemology of translation studies. He is currently investigating the role of translation and intercultural agency in the aesthetic and intellectual changes that took place during the Spanish transition to democracy in the 1970s and 1980s.


Submission of Paper Proposals

Submissions should be sent to the panel convenors (Sandra Halverson,, and Álvaro Marín García, by 30 September 2019.

Submissions should consist of:

(1) Abstract (300-400 words, including up to 5 bibliographic references).

(2) Contributor’s 150-word (maximum) biodata written in the third person. See examples from a previous event here:

(3) Full affiliation(s)

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 30 October 2019.