Webinar series: interaction and engagement in museum translation

Thursday, 10 March (11.00-12.00 UK time)

Translating Perspectives in Holocaust Memorial Museums in Poland: Experiences, Hypotheses, Challenges

Dr. Dorota Goluch (Cardiff University)

Dr. Agnieszka Podpora (independent researcher)

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sswImlIITJyZ7zqqnp1NmQ

In this session, we first discuss our individual experiences which led us to developing a collaborative project on translating memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Dorota, who has a translation studies background, will talk about engagement with museum employees during a pilot study on translation in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. Focusing on her interviews with museum guides, she will reflect on the process of selecting participants, her positionality vis-à-vis the interviewees, as well as the conceptualisations of translation and multilingualism that emerged from the study. Agnieszka, a Hebrew and Holocaust studies scholar, will share her experiences of translating texts for the Litzmannstadt Ghetto Model project, from Polish into Hebrew. She will consider direct and indirect influences that museum representatives and other stakeholders exerted on her work, to then comment briefly on her agency as a translator and on the politics of translating Holocaust memorial texts in today’s Poland.

Afterwards, we will introduce our new project, which examines translation of memorial perspectives in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and focuses on the renegotiations between different representations of Polish and Jewish victimhood in museum texts. Alongside textual analysis, the study will include interviews with curators, translators and other stakeholders. Although the work is in its very early stages, we will share our hypotheses regarding translation policies and discuss some of the challenges we anticipate. We shall also explore how our previous experiences inform our interviews design and shape our understanding of the nexus between translation, memory and politics in the context of Holocaust memorial museums.


Dorota Gołuch is a lecturer in translation at Cardiff University. She has published book chapters and articles on Polish translations of African writing and on the reception of postcolonial literature in Poland. She is currently writing about solidarity and translation, as well as conducting research on translation, memory and the Holocaust. 

Agnieszka Podpora – literary scholar and translator. Her interests revolve around Polish and Hebrew Holocaust literature and its impact on the cultural renegotiations of Holocaust memory. Currently, she is working on Polish-Hebrew literary translations in the interwar years.