Dr Cristina Marinetti
Lecturer in Translation
My primary area of research is translation studies but I also have a strong interest in theatre history and theatre practice. I have written on translation theory in relation to identity and performance, on drama and multimedia translation and on the interface between translation theory and practice. My research is comparative in nature and combines historical/cultural analysis with reflections on my own translation practice.
My most recent project is Intercultural Dialogues in collaboration Prof. Maggie Rose of the University of Milan. The three-year project (2011-2013), sponsored by the British Council Italy and supported by major Milanese theatres, uses translation and site-specific performance as ways of involving minority communities in the making of culture.
I graduated with a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Venice (Ca’ Foscari) in 2001. In 2002 I moved to Warwick where I completed an MA in Translation Studies (2003) and then a PhD on translation and theatre history (2008) with Prof. Susan Bassnett. I lectured at Warwick until September 2012 when I moved to Cardiff to take up my current post as a Lecturer in Translation Studies.
Before embarking on an academic career, I worked as a freelance technical translator (chemistry, automotive, mental health, infertility), as translator and location researcher for BBC Education (Italy Inside Out, Talk Italian), as an interpreter and guide for Venice city council and as a public service interpreter for Warwickshire county council.
Selected Recent Papers
2012 ‘Il servo di due padroni and commedia dell’arte as key cultural texts’ Key cultural texts in translation network meeting, University of Leicester, 1 December.
2012 ‘Translation, Performance and Ethnography’ School of Languages research seminars series. Queens University, Belfast. 5 November.
2011 ‘The role of the text in theorizing translation’. School of Languages research seminars series. Queens University, Belfast. 5 May
2010 ‘Translation in contemporary theatre’. Keynote for the opening of the Translation in Performance Conference, University of Verona, 9-11 December.
2010 ‘Translation in the theatre: From text to performance, from language to body’. Guest lecture on translation research seminar series, University of Edinburgh/Heriott-Watt. 17 November.
2010 ‘Italian Grotesque Theatre’. Invited paper at Translating and Performing Cultural Extremity Workshop. King’s College, London. 26 February.
2009 ‘Multilingual Performance’. Invited lecture at the symposium New European Identities. Università Statale, Milan. 7-8 April.
2011 ‘The role of translators in the reception of translated plays’. Research Models in Translation Studies II. University of Manchester. 29 April- May.
2011 ‘Translation in the plural: the multiple voices of a translation project’ Invisible Presence: Translation, Performance, Dramaturgy. Queens University Belfast. 17-19 April.
2010 ‘Performing l’alieno: identity and cultural translation in Teatro delle Albe’s Lo straniero, Madre Ubu and Ruh’ Translating Theatre: Migrating Texts. University of Warwick. 12 June.
2010 ‘Translation and métissage in the work of Teatro delle Albe’ Mediating the Clash of Cultures, first Warwick-Monash workshop. University of Warwick. 19 January.
2009 ‘Managing the Stages of Translation’. Translation in the Air: Process and Performance. King’s College, London. 6-7 February.
2007 ‘Translation Studies and Theatre Studies: dialogue or monologue’. 5th EST Congress Ljubljiana, Slovenia. 3-5 September.
2007 ‘Performance, Translation and Multilingual Spaces in commedia dell arte’. Translation, Process and Performance Conference. IGRS, University of London, 22-24 November.
I am the undergraduate programme director for Translation Studies
Honours and awards
- 2010 Warwick University Roberts Fund (with Annunziata Videtta and Alessandra Cappuccio), for the international symposium Translating Theatre. Migrating Texts. Warwick University
- 2007 British Academy conference grant (with Roger Baines and Manuela Perteghella), for the international conference Staging Translated Plays, UEA
- 2005 Department of Education and Skills (DfES) grant to carry out a feasibility study for a postgraduate course for professional translators on Research Trends in Translation Studies
- 2003 University of Warwick Postgraduate Research Fellowship
- 2003 Arts and Humanities Research Board Doctoral Scholarship
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (MCIL)
- Member of the European Society for Translation Studies (EST)
- Member of the International sociation of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS)
I currently teach translation theory and practice in Year 1 and 2 (Introduction to Translation Theory, Introduction to Translation Methods, Principles of Translation Theory) and contribute to the core modules of the MA in Translation Studies (with sessions on Terminology, Research in TS, Cultural approaches, Psychoanalysis and Translation). I am also designing with Prof. Alexis Nouss the Year 3 translation modules ‘Translation as a Profession’ and ‘Politics of Language and Translation’.
I have extensive and proven experience in the supervision of MA dissertations in translation studies and in the joint supervision of PhD research. A significant feature of my teaching and supervision experience has been working with students from very different cultural backgrounds. I would welcome applications from doctoral candidates working in several areas within translation studies, but especially on cultural approaches to translation, theatre translation and adaptation, translation and new media, translation and performance, translation and creative practice, the reception of translation and translation and identity.
My primary area of research is translation studies but I also have a strong interest in theatre history and theatre practice. I have written on theatre translation and the cultural transmission of drama, the role of translation in contemporary theatre, translation as a collaborative and reflexive practice, and the social dimension of the translation process. My research is comparative in nature and combines historical/cultural analysis with reflections on my own translation practice.
My doctoral research, which was funded by the AHRB and a Warwick Post-graduate Fellowship, set out to challenge conceptualizations of translation based on the assumption of a stable source text, an ‘original’, as the ontological point of departure of the act of translation. It did so by exploring the multiple forms of authority that characterise the cultural transmission of drama. Studying the translation, production and reception history of Carlo Goldoni’s Servitore di due padroni in Britain,the thesis gave prominence to the role played by acting techniques, theatrical traditions and travelling productions in creating a British Goldoni. The thesis thus questioned the dominance – assumed by much scholarship in translation – of the ‘literary’ authority of the author/translator/critic in shaping the cultural transmission of drama and suggested the need for a greater focus on the multiple authorities of ‘performance’ (the actor’s, the director’s, the audience’s). I am currently taking this work forward as part of the ARHC-funded project Key Cultural Texts in Translation by looking at yet another form of authority that mediates how we access canonical texts in translation, that of new technologies.
Since completing my PhD, I have continued to develop my expertise in translation theory in a number of ways. My co-edited Palgrave book Staging and Performing Translation (2010) explores the territory between the theory and practice of translation in contemporary theatre and the position occupied by practitioners (translators/actors/dramaturgs/literary managers). The role played by translation in an increasingly global and transnational market is also the focus of an article for a Routledge book (In press) that suggests the need to rethink the boundaries of theatre translation to include intercultural theatre and multilingual performance. This suggestion is also at the core of many of the articles of the special issue of Target I am currently editing (‘Translation in the Theatre’ 2013). In a position piece I am writing for the issue, I argue, after Emily Apter, that it is time to explore contemporary theatre as a translation ‘zone’.
I have also become interested in forms of contemporary theatre that emerge from contexts of migration and the role that translation plays in their performance aesthetics and in the construction and circulation of ideas of foreignness/otherness. In particular, I have studied the work of the first Italian multicultural theatre group (Teatro delle Albe) which I see as an important form of cultural translation that has influenced the representation of the condition of migrancy in contemporary Italian theatre.
My theoretical expertise in translation is accompanied by a firm commitment to practice. I believe, with Antoine Berman, that translation studies should be a ‘reflection on the experience of translation, on the basis of its very nature as experience’. I have professional experience of both literary and non-literary translation and translate both into Italian and into English. I am currently working on the first English translation of Pirandello’s play Scamandro for Alma Classics but the majority of my translations have been of new plays for specific productions and have involved close collaboration with actors and directors through the process of rehearsal and staging. My experience as a translator for the theatre has become central to my research as a source of reflection on theory. In a forthcoming article for Translation Studies (2013) I argue that studying collaborative practice ‘from the inside’ offers a privileged view of the multiple agencies that mediate the reception of literature and reveals elements of the translation process that historical and social approaches overlook.