The UNESCO Chair in Translating Cultures

The King Faisal Center’s main role is to provide a knowledge platform, bringing together local, regional, and global researchers and research organizations to produce original research in the humanities and social sciences and engage in intellectual discussion and intercultural dialogues.

The Center established the UNESCO Chair in Translating Cultures in October 2023 with the support of the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission. It will help to meet a growing need for interdisciplinary research in the Humanities and Sciences, inclusive and equitable education, and cultural diversity. Its thematic concerns will pave the way for innovative research in translating cultures by supporting collaborations between scholars in Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, Intangible Heritage, the Humanities, and Artificial Intelligence at the local, regional, and international levels. To achieve this goal, the Chair will facilitate the bridging of differences between cultures by exploring and establishing diverse forms of translating cultures; encouraging partnerships that bring together representatives of the academic, creative, and policymaking sectors and foreground translation as a mechanism for intercultural dialogue; establishing initiatives that enhance research, offer fellowships, and organize seminars in the field of translating culture; and enriching current academic discussions that aim to broaden the concept of “culture” and contribute to enhancing cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through translation.

Chair, Professor Moneera Al-Ghadeer

Professor Moneera Al-Ghadeer holds the UNESCO Chair and the leader of the Translating Cultures Lab. She is also a senior advisor at the Ministry of Culture. Professor Al-Ghadeer received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Her work focuses on Arabic, African-American, and Francophone literature, philosophy, oral tradition, and translation studies. She was the Arcapita Visiting Professor of comparative literature in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University and was a Shawwaf Visiting Professor at Harvard University. She was a tenured Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has received a number of fellowships and awards from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin-Madison along with a postdoctoral fellowship from Emory University. Her book, Desert Voices: Bedouin Women’s Poetry in Saudi Arabia (I.B. Tauris/American University of Cairo Press, 2009), is the first English translation and theoretical analysis of Bedouin women’s oral poetry from Saudi Arabia. She has had articles, book chapters, and translations published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, and Bloomsbury Publishing, in addition to having her work published in journals such as the Journal of Arabic Literature, Michigan Quarterly Review, Two Lines Press, asymptote, and Arablit, among others. Recently, she completed the translation of five poetry collections by Badr Bin Abdulmohsin and her anthology, Translating the World: Contemporary Poems from Saudi Arabia is forthcoming. Professor Al-Ghadeer has served on the advisory board of the Journal of Arabic Literature, the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, and several cultural and book awards’ Advisory Committees.

The Chair’s Objectives

  • Foster research and partnerships that promote translating cultures as a process of cross-cultural communication and dissemination of knowledge, bridging differences between cultures, emphasizing the translation of key cultural texts into and from Arabic, and focusing on creating South-South intercultural dialogue.
  • Nurture a new generation of experts in translating cultures by developing and implementing initiatives that enhance teaching, learning, and research in the field of Translating Cultures and the Humanities. This includes offering fellowship programs, grants, and educational events open to the public.
  • Disseminate research findings, best practices, and educational resources related to translating cultures through publications, seminars, workshops, and online platforms to reach a broader audience and foster a global understanding of cultural diversity within translation studies.
  • Inspire innovative approaches, policies, and practices in the field of translating cultures to broaden the concept of ‘culture’ and enhance cultural diversity and understanding of Arab cultures through translation, thus advancing societal and institutional recognition of the value of cultural translation and fostering a more inclusive and diverse cultural landscape.
  • Cooperate closely with UNESCO, other UNESCO Chairs, and UNITWIN Networks on relevant programs and activities.


Rethinking Translating Cultures and its Conceptual Framework
Beyond the River and Across the Seven Seas: Translating Sino-Arab Cultural Encounters
Translating Cultures and Intangible Heritage
Translating Cultures in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Translating Youth Culture/s
Translating Arab Culture/s
Translating Women's Culture/s
Translating Cultures in Arab Social Sciences

The Strategic Languages for 2024

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Korean

Advisory Board

Dr. Abdulsalam Bin Abdulali
Mohammed V University
Dr. Ziyad Al Drees
Former Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO
Dr. Jasir Al Harbash
CEO of the Heritage Commission
Dr. Abdulaziz Alsebail
King Faisal Prize Secretary General
Professor Susan Bassnett
University of Glasgow
Professor William Granara
Harvard University
Professor Waïl S. Hassan
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Professor Lydia H. Liu
Columbia University
Dr. Ali bin Tamim
Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre

About the UNESCO Chair

The UNESCO Chairs programme was launched in 1992 with the aim of promoting international inter-university cooperation, to share knowledge and develop a collaborative work. There are now some 1000 UNESCO Chairs in 120 countries.

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