Translation Studies Research Forum

Decolonising Translation Studies: Towards Transnational Feminism (2021)

As part of decolonising Translation Studies as well as Feminism, Dr Anissa Daoudi  will engage transnationally with theorists and scholars in Translation Studies and Feminism to open a platform for postgraduate students and scholars from the Global South, for example, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Spain, Argentina and many more.

Transnational Feminist Translation: Ongoing Challenges

Prof. Luise Von Flotow in conversation with Dr. Anissa Daoudi
This first major event in the academic year  2021, part of the Translation Studies Research Forum and Arabic Studies  presented an opportunity for  intellectual exchange with the theorist and translation scholar Professor Luise Von Flotow (University of Ottawa, Canada). 

This talk began with a short description/discussion of how locally positioned the early examples of “feminist translation” were, how intermingled with friendships, alliances and shared political motivations. It moved on to discuss how politics of ‘gender’, and more importantly, ‘intersectionality’ have diversified and fragmented work in the field, and how transnational approaches (De Lima Costa and Alvarez 2014, Castro and Ergun 2017, Flotow and Farahzad 2017, Flotow and Kamal 2020) have been brought to the fore in recent years. A few current studies in transnational feminist translation (Yanez 2020, Alsharekh forthcoming, Kamal Mansour 2020) will serve to further expand on the question of how ‘feminist otherness’ has an impact on the work of translation: from selection to translation to dissemination and reception (Flotow 2017/2019).

Feminist Activism and Translation in a Transnational World

Dr Olga Castro: Feminist Activism and Translation in a Transnational World
Dr Olga Castro in conversation with Dr Anissa Daoudi.


Dr Castro will examine the points of friction and connectivity between transnational feminisms and feminist translation studies. First, considering that the future of feminisms is in the transnational and that the transnational is made through translation, she will emphasise the role that language diversity has in feminist solidarity. As such, translation will be put at the centre of feminist politics, analysing the role it has historically played in the making of the feminist transnational and re-envisioning a future where translation is embraced as a tool and model of cross-border dialogue, resistance, solidarity and activism in pursuit of justice and equality for all (Castro and Ergun, 2017). Second, the most influential proposals in the field of feminist translation studies in our Western context will be discussed, in order to assess their hospitality towards current debates in transnational feminisms. The concept of intersectionality, key to explain how different interlocking systems of oppression interact in a world defined by globalization and neoliberal values, will be laid out highlighting the fundamental (ethical) role translation has in enabling (or disabling) cross-border alliances that can challenge prevailing hegemonies (Castro and Spoturno, 2020). A critical reflection on different interventions articulated from the epistemological framework of transnational feminist translation studies will be offered, paying special attention to literary activism and the translation of foreign women* writers in the Anglosphere (Castro and Vassallo, 2020).

Iraqi Women's Stories: Re-Reading their Pathways of Activism in Translation

Dr Ruth Abou Rached: Iraqi Women's Stories
Dr Ruth Abou Rached in conversation with Dr Anissa Daoudi .In her talk Dr Rached discussed the following:

Iraqi women writers – along with their translators, editors, and publishers – have a long tradition of negotiating the English translation of their Arabic literary works on their own terms, alongside and despite Iraq's fluctuating political contexts. This event begins with how this book has focused on feminist translation in the context of six Iraqi woman writers and why I consider that their differing pathways of translation as a key part of the dynamic politics of Iraqi women's story-making. In conversation with Dr. Anissa Daoudi, I then discuss the stories by Samira Al-Mana, Daizy Al-Amir, Inaam Kachachi, Betool Khedairi, Alia Mamdouh and Hadiya Hussein as iconic works of gendered political activism moving across languages. We debate why these stories call many assumptions about transnational translation practice, feminist or otherwise, into creative, transformative question. And amongst other issues, we also discuss and invite questions on what Iraqi and Arab women's story-making teaches us about the possibilities - and challenges - of reading translated works using such approaches.

My Long Journey into Translating Olfa Youssef’s Perplexity of a Muslim Woman: Causes, Evolution, and Future Directions in North African Intersectional Feminist Translation Studies

My Long Journey into Translating Ofla Youssef's Perplexity of a Muslim Woman
Dr Lamia Benyoussef in conversation with Dr. Anissa Daoudi,

This is the fourth major event of this academic year for the Translation Studies Research Forum, Arabic Studies and Forging Links Research stream. It will benefit from intellectual exchange with the scholar Dr. Lamia Benyoussef.

Translation Studies Research Forum 2018

The 2018 forum feature a guest lecture by Professor Mona Baker, Professor Emeritus of Translation Studies at the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester. It also included presentations from Birmingham staff Dr Anissa Daoudi, Professor Rebecca Gould and Dr Xiaohui Yuan, and from Birmingham PhD student Balsam Mustafa. 

Translation Studies Research Forum 2017

The 2017 forum featured a public lecture by guest speaker Carol O’Sullivan on The invention of subtitling in the US and the UK and a performance by Dr Heather Connelly entitled Translation Zones – This is me.

The following BCT members presented their research:

  • Jennifer Arnold - Anthologizing translated exile literature
  • Dr Sofia Malamatidou - Creativity in translation through the lens of contact linguistics: a multilingual corpus of A Clockwork Orange
  • Dr Gillian Wright - Aphra Behn translates Latin(?)

For more information see the event page.

Translation Studies Research Forum 2016

The 2016 Forum focused on the theme of "Transcultural Reading". Speakers included Professor Susan Bassnett (Warwick), Dr Chantal Wright (Warwick), Dr Beth Driscoll (Melbourne) and Dr Natasha Rulyova (Birmingham). The Forum tied in with a project run by BCT members Dr Angela Kershaw, Dr Danielle Fuller and Dr Gabriela Saldanha on "Reading Transculturally, Consuming Foreignness? Investigating Reading Fiction in Translation in the West Midlands" which looks at practices of reading around translated literature in the UK generally and in the West Midlands in particular.

Translation Studies Research Forum 2015

The 2015 forum of the Birmingham Centre for Translation included a public lecture by Dr Helena Buffery and readings and discussions with acclaimed author of Catalan crime fiction, Teresa Solana and her award-winning translator, Peter Bush

Translation Studies Research Forum 2014

The 2014 forum marked the official launch of the Birmingham Centre for Translation and was celebrated with two public lectures: by Honorary Director of the Centre, Prof. Susan Bassnett, and guest speaker Prof. Andreas Musolff. 

Translation Studies Research Forum 2013

2013 Translation Studies Research Forum took place on Tuesday 28 May and featured world-renowned translation studies scholar Michael Cronin. Michael Cronin, a Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Dublin City University, is the author of numerous books on translation, including Translation in the Digital Age(2012), Translation Goes to the Movies(2009), Translation and Identity(2006), Translation and Globalization(2003), and Across the Line: Travel, Language, Translation(2000).

Translation Studies Research Forum 2012

2012 Translation Studies Research Forum was held on Tuesday 22 May and was well attended by staff, postgraduate students and visiting scholars from across the College of Arts and Law. After informal presentations from staff and students, and tea, participants enjoyed a lecture by our distinguished guest Susan Bassnett. A Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, Susan Bassnett is a leading figure internationally in the field, and her publications include the seminal textbook Translation Studies(3rd ed 2002). She has also (co-) written or edited Translation, History and Culture(1990), Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation(1996), Postcolonial Translation: Theory and Practice(1998), The Translator as Writer(2006), Translation in Global News(2008), and Political Discourse, Media and Translation(2010).

Translation Studies Research Forum 2009

The inaugural Translation Studies Research Forum was held on Monday 8 June 2009 and was attended by 25 colleagues from a wide range of subject specialisms across the College of Arts and Law. The event was an opportunity for participants to share information about their research interests and current projects and to make connections between the diverse areas of specialism represented. The guest speaker was Theo Hermans, Professor of Dutch and Comparative Literature at University College London. Professor Hermans is a leading figure in translation studies both nationally and internationally, and his books include Translation in Systems: Descriptive and System-Oriented Approaches Explained(1999), The Babel Guide to Dutch and Flemish Literature in English Translation(2002), and The Conference of Tongues(2007).