PhD title A Corpus-Driven Analysis of Translations of Agatha Christie’s Detective Novels into Dutch and into German“
After my graduation (Magistra Artium in German and English) from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg in 2003 I completed the course “Literarisches Übersetzen aus dem Niederländischen” at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Together with my studies at Heidelberg, it was this translation course that inspired me to start a very interdisciplinary part-time PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2006.
Firmly rooted in the field of Descriptive Translation Studies, the thesis combines areas as diverse as (corpus) linguistics, and literary, cultural, media and socio-historical studies of the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. In analysing the translations of Agatha Christie’s first detective novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (five in total), I do not aim to assess the quality of these translations. Rather, based on the theories by Itamar Even-Zohar (Polysystem Theory) and Gideon Toury (Translation Norms), my intention is to describe the different approaches translators have taken to the text, and to explain their translation decisions by looking at the status and position that translations from English, detective stories as such, and the writer Agatha Christie herself had in each country at the time these translations were published.
In combining this with corpus linguistic tools I endeavour to bring together different strands of translation studies which in recent times have seemed to drift apart.