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Researcher wins funding to investigate translation and literature in Europe

10 October 2014

Translation definition

Rhian Atkin, along with colleagues at the University of Bristol and University College London, has recently been awarded a substantial grant to aid further research in the translation of literatures of small European nations.

The AHRC Translating Cultures Research Innovation Grant, worth £186,279, will bring together diverse perspectives on literatures written in Czech and Slovak, Portuguese, Scandinavian and South Slav languages and investigate how the literatures of small European nations seek to find a wider audience within the literary mainstream through translation.

The project, led by Dr Rajendra Chitnis from Bristol University, will provoke dialogue between those working “outside” and those working “within” national contexts, bringing together agents, publishers, authors, translators, and the reading public. In this way, it will be possible to explore the dynamics of translation and the complexity of cultural and political interaction between Europe’s nations.

Rhian, who has recently joined the School of Modern Languages and will be teaching Portuguese, said:
“This award provides a unique opportunity to open dialogue between scholars working in fields that are often understood as peripheral, to work with writers and publishing industry partners, to immerse ourselves in a truly comparative study, and to challenge ideas of mainstream and explore notions of centre/periphery and cultural and linguistic hegemony. All of the investigators are delighted, and we stand to learn a lot from this collaboration.”

A number of workshops and academic events will take place as part of this project, which will also involve working with advisors, bookshops, publishers, authors, translators, literary and cultural institutes and other external partners.

Rhian Atkin is Programme Leader for Portuguese and Lusophone Studies at Cardiff University, and a specialist in modern Portuguese literature and culture.

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