IAS Fellow at Van Mildert College, October-December 2023
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Dr Tong King Lee is Associate Professor of Translation at the University of Hong Kong and Honorary Professor of Culture, Communication and Media at University College London. He is a NAATI Certified Translator, Chartered Linguist (Institute of Linguists, UK) and Specialist at the Hong Kong Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. A recipient of the Luce-East Asia Fellowship (National Humanities Center, U.S.) and the Lee Kong Chian Fellowship (National Library Board, Singapore), his research interests span sociolinguistics, experimental poetics, and translation studies. He is the author of Kongish: Translanguaging and the Commodification of an Urban Dialect (Cambridge UP, 2023), Choreographies of Multilingualism: Writing and Language Ideology in Singapore (Oxford UP, 2022), and Translation as Experimentalism: Exploring Play in Poetics (Cambridge UP, 2022).
Dr Lee is also a member of several international research networks/committees, including the Research Development Committee of the International Comparative Literature Association, the Traducción, Ideología, Culturas (Translation, Ideology, Culture) research group based in the University of Salamanca and the Intersemiotic Translation and Cultural Literacy Group set up under the aegis of the European Science Foundation. The latter group obtained an AHRC network grant in 2021/2022, leading to the establishment of the Experiential Translation network of which Dr Lee is a founding member.
For the IAS Fellowship, Dr Lee will collaborate with Professor Binghan Zheng on “reading” museums. The project uses Durham’s Oriental Museum as a site of investigation. Together we will adopt a multidisciplinary approach to theorise on translation in the museum and the museum as a translation, centring on the discursive-linguistic, semiotic-spatial, and cognitive-perceptual dimensions of the museum experience. Spanning the fields of cultural anthropology and translation studies, the project complements ongoing, empirical investigations by a research team at Durham, which uses state-of-the-art eye-tracking technology (using Tobii Pro Glasses wearable eye-trackers) to collect triangulated data on how museum visitors construct meanings when switching their gaze points between displayed objects, images, written and aural text descriptions, and so forth.