[Blueboard] Kritika Kultura Lecture Series

Department of English doe at admu.edu.ph
Thu Aug 9 14:02:59 PHT 2012

"Targeting Translation: US Counterinsurgency and the Weaponization of Speech"

                            lecture by

                    Prof. Vicente L. Rafael
              University of Washington at Seattle

                     Friday, August 10, 2012
                     10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
            NGF Conference Room, G/F De La Costa Bldg.
                   Ateneo de Manila University


Empires have historically relied on the use of translation as weapons of
conquest and occupation. This paper situates US counterinsurgency efforts
in Afghanistan as part of its "global war on terror" from this perspective.
It inquires into the logic and logistics of recruiting translation as part
of a "complex weapons system" with which to target the language of occupied
populations. Such tactics include the teaching of foreign languages to US
soldiers, the attempts to develop automatic translation systems, and the
use of native interpreters as indispensable but unstable media of
communication. Finally, the paper will inquire into the limits of
weaponizing translation with reference to moments when occupied people
speak back in ways that foreground a communicative force whose arrival
remains untranslatable.

About the Speaker:

Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History at the University of Washington
at Seattle. He received his MA and PhD in History at Cornell University
and has taught at Ateneo de Manila University, University of Hawai'i at
Manoa, and University of California at San Diego. He is the author of
several works on Philippine history including "Contracting Colonialism,"
"White Love and Other," "Events in Filipino History," and "The Promise of
the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish

Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University
Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights,
Quezon City 1108
Tel. no.: 426-6001 local 5310/5311
Telefax: 426-6201

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