"Humanity and communication are at the heart of everything we do in society. The arts and humanities research disciplines allow us to explore the intersections between the two through creative and interdisciplinary approaches; pushing boundaries in our thinking, enhancing our understanding of the way that people interact, what we value and why; and bringing insights into people, places, language and culture."
Professor Jemina Napier started her career as a sign language interpreter practitioner, educator and researcher, and she has been Chair of Intercultural Communication in the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies (LINCS) at Heriot-Watt University (HWU) since 2013. She served as Head of the Department of LINCS from 2014-2018, as Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Studies in Scotland (CTISS) from 2018-2021, and Director of Research for the School of Social Sciences from 2019-2022. Since November 2022 she has been in the newly created role of Associate Principal of Research Culture & People for HWU. She is an elected Corresponding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a Fellow of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK, an Adjunct Professor in the Dept of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney and a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin. As well as her involvement in SAHA, she sits on several boards and strategic advisory groups to represent HWU, including the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the British Academy-University Council of Modern Languages strategic committee for languages in higher education, the Scottish Government BSL Justice Advisory Group and the UK Government’s Ministry of Justice Visual and Tactile Communication Services Pipeline Strategic Group. Prof Napier’s research expertise concentrates around sign languages, linguistic access, interpreting and translation, linguistic and cultural diversity, linguistic and social inclusion, mediated communication, intercultural communication, and multilingualism. In her research leadership roles, she actively campaigns for, and creates wherever possible, equity in access to opportunity and capability building for academics and PhD students from minoritised and disadvantaged groups, and for women.