Jonathan and Ting will start our day of talks with their joint presentation on: “Translating for Change: Underground Queer Cinema and LGBT activist translators in China”.
Dr Jonathan Evans is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He is the author of The Many Voices of Lydia Davis (EUP, 2016) and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (forthcoming 2018).
Dr Ting Guo is Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages, University of Exeter. She is the author of Surviving Violent Conflict: Chinese Interpreters in the Second-Sino Japanese War (1931-45) (2016). She has published in journals such as Literature Compass, Translation Studies and Translation Quarterly.
Their presentation extends the understanding of LGBT history as an international history, highlighting how success in some countries can be used as inspiration in other countries. The presentation focuses on the way in which volunteers have subtitled LGBT cinema for underground/unofficial distribution in China, a country where LGBT rights are still limited. By using non-Chinese source (e.g. British queer films and gay/lesbian soap), these translators hope to circumvent Chinese censorship of LGBT topics in the media and make space for more discussion of LGBT rights. The presentation will look at specific strategies the translators use to evade censorship as well as which films they choose to use, in order to give greater understanding of how Chinese LGBT activists use and appropriate Western LGBT cinema for their own ends.