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Award-winning journalist kicks off language lecture series

Oct 27, 2009


Award-winning journalist Deborah Haynes this week kicks off the University's series of language lectures with an inaugural lecture on the role of interpreters in warzones.

Deborah will draw on her own experience in Iraq, where she spent two years working as defence correspondent for The Times, to explain the role of interpreters as "the eyes and ears of all sides of a conflict" and the importance of protecting them on the job.

She campaigned for the right of Iraqi interpreters to be repatriated to the UK, and in 2008 won the first Tony Bevins Prize for investigative journalism, [known as the "Rat Up A Drainpipe Award"] and the Amnesty International Media Award, which recognises excellence in human rights reporting.

The lecture is the first of the Language and Society series organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the University's Masters in Translation, covering a range of themes that address the wider importance of language for society.

Deborah's talk will look at how coalition forces, the media and aid agencies in Iraq adapted their treatment of Iraqi interpreters according to the growing dangers they faced. Hundreds of interpreters and translators were killed or forced to give up their job by militiamen and militants who viewed anyone working with the occupying forces as a traitor.

It will also examine the long-term implications for those Governments and other bodies that fail to provide adequate protection for their vital interpreter workforce.

The talk will be held in the Mary Seacole lecture theatre on 28 October, starting at 6.00pm, and will be followed by a celebratory event with refreshments.

Dr Paul Rowlett, Head of the School of Languages, said he looked forward to welcoming all attendees to the events and to the University: "The 25th anniversary of our MA in Translation represents a significant landmark for the School of Languages and demonstrates our long-standing expertise in this area.

"The lecture series has provided us with an opportunity to engage a number of exciting and high-profile public speakers to talk about current and varied subjects. We expect them to appeal to a diverse range of people."

Lectures are free to attend and open to all. However, spaces are limited and interested parties should register their attendance in advance by contacting Deborah Lumb via email at d.lumb@salford.ac.uk or by phone on 0161 295 2096.