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School welcomes language and translation experts as Honorary Professors

21 May 2021

Professors Jairos Kangira and Loredana Polezzi
Professors Jairos Kangira and Loredana Polezzi

Two experts in the field of language and translation will join the School of Modern Languages this month as honorary professors.

Professors Loredana Polezzi and Jairos Kangira were nominated as honorary professors by Professor Claire Gorrara of the School of Modern Languages and Professor Judith Hall of the School of Medicine due to their contribution and leadership within the University’s Phoenix Project. Both professors have played a key role in the project which is a partnership between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia.

Until recently, Professor Polezzi was based at the School of Modern Languages as a Professor of Translation Studies. In September 2020 she moved to Stony Brook University in New York to take up the Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies. Professor Polezzi is a respected member of the international academic community with expertise in transnational approaches to the study of languages and cultures. During her time at Cardiff University, she led on significant projects including the highly successful MOOC, Working with Translation, supported the development of translation studies and made an impactful contribution to interdisciplinary research.

Professor Kangira is the Dean of Arts and Humanities at the University of Namibia. He is highly respected in Namibia and throughout Southern Africa as a scholar with global impact.  Professor Kangira first interacted with the Phoenix Project in 2015 through the communication strand of the project.  A close multi-way collaboration formed, and the Phoenix Project was able to bring in Professor Kangira and his team of language and linguistics experts to participate in the research project ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Global Challenges’, led by Professor Polezzi.

It is anticipated that the honorary professorships will provide a foundation for future collaborations between Cardiff University and the Phoenix project, Stony Brook University and the University of Namibia, above all in the areas of education and development opportunities.

Professor Claire Gorrara said, “We are absolutely delighted to build upon our current working with Professor Polezzi and Professor Kangira. Global partnerships, working towards benefits for those in education and languages, is core to the mission of modern language communities in the UK and we are so pleased to be leading on this from Cardiff.”

Professor Judith Hall, added, “As lead for Cardiff University's Phoenix Project, it has been a wonderful experience working with Professors Loredana Polezzi and Jairos Kangira for the last five years.  They are globally important figures in Linguistics and Multi-lingualism and the Phoenix Project can only benefit from keeping them close to our impact-driven projects.  I congratulate them both on being recognised with Honorary Chairs.”

The Phoenix Project aims to improve the quality of life of the people of Namibia and Wales through shared learning. Projects under the Phoenix umbrella are wide ranging and have included the education of doctors and nurses, support for the creation of a successful software sector in Namibia and encouraging an interest in national culture and languages in young people.

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