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War Crimes and Language: Military Tribunals through the Fate of Interpreter-Convicts

When Oct 31, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Room 7
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01223 335156
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"The Dissolution of the Japanese Empire and the Struggle for Legitimacy in Postwar East Asia" ERC Project - Guest Lecture

Given by Dr Kayoko Takeda, Rikkyo University, Tokyo

One of the unique features of Class B/C war crimes trials against the Japanese after WWII was that more than 80 interpreters were convicted. Examinations of documents from these trials reveal a microcosm of the diverse circumstances through which individuals become linguistic mediators between warring parties during and after conflict. I will discuss these individuals’ backgrounds, as well as language issues that surface during war, such as the implementation of a colonial/imperial language policy, the training of military linguists, the complex position of heritage language speakers, and the visibility and trust of wartime interpreters. 

Dr Kayoko Takeda is Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies in the College of Intercultural Communication at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, Japan. Her main research areas are: translator and interpreter education, socio-cultural aspects of translating and interpreting, history of translation and interpreting, audio- visual translation, and technologies used in translating and interpreting. 

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Welcome to AMES

Cambridge has a long and distinctive tradition in the study of the Middle East and Asia. This Faculty prides itself on exploring these fields through the local languages and encourages students to learn through real world engagement. If you are interested in these world regions and want to discover their languages, cultures, histories, religions, and politics, then this is the home for you. 


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