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Personal profile

Research interests

Professor Napier's research interests/ expertise focuses around three strands of intercultural communication: (1) language and communication in the context of interpreter-mediated communication – primarily with (but not limited to) signed language interpreters and the Deaf community. Adopting sociolinguistic, discourse analytic and sociological explorations of interpreting in context (particularly education, legal and medical) to inform the wider field of interpreting studies and applied linguistics; (2) how deaf adults actually use signed language to communicate in their lives and the challenges this poses for signed language interpreters; and (3)  interpreting pedagogy, using action research to explore aspects of distance education, blended learning, curriculum innovation and discourse-based teaching practices.


Professor Jemina Napier is Chair of Intercultural Communication and Head of the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies in the School of Management and Languages. Prior to that she was Head of Translation & Interpreting and Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Research at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, where she is now an Adjunct Professor. She is an interpreter researcher, educator and practitioner and has practiced as a signed language interpreter since 1988, and works between English and British Sign Language (BSL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan) or International Sign. After completing an MA in BSL/ English Interpreting at Durham University in the UK, Jemina moved to Australia to undertake her PhD studies in 1998. She established the Postgraduate Diploma in Auslan/ English Interpreting in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney in 2002, and was head of the suite of Translation and Interpreting programs from 2007-2012. Jemina has published several books and over 90 articles and book chapters based on research on signed language interpreting and interpreting pedagogy. Jemina is a past President of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) and was an inaugural board member of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI). She was inaugural Editor of the International Journal of Interpreter Education and remains a member of the editorial board.

Roles & Responsibilities

Chair of Intercultural Communication

Head of Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies


Research Group Contact Details

Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies Scotland


  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • intercultural communication
  • signed language interpreting
  • interpreter-mediated communication
  • interpreting pedagogy
  • discourse and communication
  • applied linguistics

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interpreter Social Sciences
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Selected Research Output 2002 2019

Research Methods in Interpreting: A Practical Resource

Hale, S. & Napier, J., 5 Dec 2013, Bloomsbury. 267 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Sign language interpreting research

Napier, J., 2013, The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Chapelle, C. A. (ed.). Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Sign language interpreting profession

Napier, J. & Goswell, D., 2013, The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Chapelle, C. A. (ed.). Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Sign language interpreting: Theory and practice in Australia and New Zealand

Napier, J., McKee, R. L. & Goswell, D., 2010, 2nd ed. Federation Press.

Research output: Book/ReportBook


family physician

Excellence in External Research Partnership

Jemina Napier (Recipient), Oct 2011

Prize: National/international honour

AIDS-Related Complex
Delivery of Health Care

Guardian Social & Community Impact Award Winner

Graham H. Turner (Recipient), Gary Quinn (Recipient), Jemina Napier (Recipient), Jordan Fenlon (Recipient), Stacey Webb (Recipient) & Svenja Wurm (Recipient), 29 Mar 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Heriot-Watt Principal's Public Engagement Prize Nominee

Jemina Napier (Recipient), Christine Walker Leckie Wilson (Recipient), Isabelle Anne Perez (Recipient), Ursula Boser (Recipient), Robert Skinner (Recipient) & Eloisa Monteoliva (Recipient), Jun 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Teaching Excellence Award

Jemina Napier (Recipient), Aug 2011

Prize: National/international honour

university teaching
human sciences

Selected Activities 2009 2016

International Journal of Interpreter Education (Journal)

Jemina Napier (Editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Translation and Interpreting: the International Journal of Translation and Interpreting Research (Journal)

Jemina Napier (Editorial board member)
2009 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

The 14th International Conference on Translation

Jemina Napier (Keynote/plenary speaker)
27 Aug 201330 Aug 2013

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

World Federation for the Deaf (External organisation)

Jemina Napier (Member)

Activity: MembershipMembership of committee