School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Kathryn Batchelor

Associate Professor of Translation and Francophone Studies, Faculty of Arts


Teaching Summary

My teaching interests span two broad areas, both of which are linked to my own research interests and experience.

I teach translation at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, offering a module on Literary Translation (French-English) for final year undergraduates, as well as supervision in various aspects of Translation Studies for MA and PhD students. I am Course Director and tutor for the BA(hons) in Modern Languages with Translation. I have also taught at the prestigious Translation Research Summer School (TRSS) a joint initiative led by the University of Manchester, the University of Edinburgh and UCL, and am a member of the Steering Board for ARTIS (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies), a new international research training initiative.

I also teach and supervise on topics relating to Francophone Africa. In my second-year undergraduate module, 'Francophone Africa: Exploring Contemporary Issues through Culture,' students are introduced to some of the key issues relevant to contemporary African societies, including political leadership, education and emigration. These issues are explored through the prism of cultural expression, with a focus on literature, documentary film and popular music. At the same time, students are also introduced to the linguistic features of African varieties of French and are encouraged to broaden their comprehension of French as it is used outside France itself.

I welcome enquiries from students wishing to pursue postgraduate or postdoctoral study in either of these broad areas.

Research Summary

My main research interests lie in the field of translation studies, particularly in the areas of translation theory, translation in or involving Africa, literary translation, and the translation of… read more

Current Research

My main research interests lie in the field of translation studies, particularly in the areas of translation theory, translation in or involving Africa, literary translation, and the translation of philosophical thought.

I have carried out extensive research into the translation of Francophone African literature, and published a monograph on this topic (Decolonizing Translation) with the specialist translation and intercultural studies publisher, St Jerome, in 2009 (reissued by Routledge in 2014). As part of this project, I explored and sought to develop postcolonial translation theory, examining the ways in which terms such as 'hybridity' and 'Third Space' have been appropriated by translation theorists. An article on this topic appeared in The Translator in 2008. I have also published a co-edited book on the theory and practice of translation across a variety of Francophone spaces, notably Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean (Intimate Enemies: Translating Francophone Texts, Liverpool University Press, 2013). My own contribution focused on the translation challenges posed by the intertextuality of novels by Alain Mabanckou. Most recently, I have been researching the translation of Frantz Fanon's works, and published a co-edited volume on this topic, Translating Frantz Fanon Across Continents and Langauges in 2017 (Routledge). My own chapter explores Fanon's influence on the IRA in the 1970s and 80s. In another article (2015), I explore the translation of Fanon's Sartre-inflected language in The Wretched of the Earth, combining my interests in postcolonial and philosophical translation.

I am currently working on three research projects:

Building Images: Exploring 21st century Sino-African dynamics through cultural exchange and translation. This AHRC-funded project seeks to identify the dominant images of Africa that are being 'translated' for the Chinese and vice versa, and to explore questions of agency in the translation process. My co-investigator on this project is Xiaoling Zhang (School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, University of Nottingham). The funded part of our project ran from 2014-2016. We have published a co-edited volume of essays on this topic with Routledge in 2017 (China-Africa Relations: Building Images through Cultural Cooperation, Media Representation and Communication), and are now continuing to write up other parts of the research.

Translation Thresholds: this forthcoming monograph, for the Translation Theories Explored Series (editor: Theo Hermans, Routledge), explores the relevance of Gérard Genette's theory of paratexts to translation theory, highlighting the places in which Genette's theory needs to be stretched and adapted, often contra its original definition and scope.

Interlingual Translation and Healthcare Communication in West Africa: Identifying Problems and Examples of Best Practice: this 2-year project (2017-2019), funded through the award of a Wellcome Prime Scholarship, investigates the extent to which interlingual translation and interpreting needs are being overlooked in strategic planning for healthcare communication in West Africa. The project also explores current initiatives to provide translation of healthcare messages in West Africa, identifying best practice and reflecting on barriers to wider take-up. Scholars and professionals working in any field relevant to this domain (e.g. translation studies, translation technology, healthcare communication, West African languages and cultures) and who would be interested in collaboration are encouraged to get in touch.

From 2007-2014, I was in charge of the Translating Thought Research Group at the University of Nottingham. We welcomed internal and external participants and met regularly to discuss translation issues relating to the transposition of philosophical thought from one linguistic and cultural context to another. In 2009, I co-organised a conference around the Vocabulaire européen des philosophies (ed. Barbara Cassin) featuring a number of internationally acclaimed speakers, and the proceeds of the conference, together with additional articles by myself and another colleague, were published in a special issue of Nottingham French Studies in 2010. A follow-up event took place on 21 May 2014, at which editors and translators of the English-language version of the Vocabulaire gave papers to celebrate the launch of the new publication (Dictionary of Untranslatables, Princeton University Press).

My main languages of expertise are French, German and English.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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