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Dr Dorota Goluch

Dr Dorota Goluch

Lecturer in Translation

School of Modern Languages

Email
goluchd@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5601
Campuses
1.03, 66a Park Place, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

My research has been anchored in translation studies, postcolonial studies, Polish studies and comparative literature. My work has revolved around the issues of representing, translating and receiving otherness - past and present - in relation to collective perceptions of the self; I have focused on the Polish translation and reception of postcolonial prose and, more recently, on the links between translation and the construction of national and transnational memory in memorial museums. Thinking about the relationships between the self and others also led me to interrogate various conceptualisations of solidarity; my attempt to theorise solidarity from within translation studies centres on the notion of commonality and asks how translation can help to enlarge solidarity in today's world.  

My main research interests include:

  • translation and post-colonialism;
  • literary translation and reception;
  • translation and solidarity;
  • translation history;
  • translation, memory studies and the Holocaust.

I have also co-authored a short online course Working with Translation, which is intended for the general public, including translation and interpreting users and practitioners. The course has run regularly since 2016, attracting many thousands of learners from around 150 countries.

Biography

I joined Cardiff as a lecturer in translation studies in 2013. Before that, I completed an AHRC-funded PhD project at University College London (2009-2013) and worked as a postgraduate teaching assistant at UCL as well as the University of Leicester. Prior to my PhD, I studied postcolonial studies at the University of Kent (MA in 2009), English philology and translation studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (magister in 2008) and postcolonial literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (exchange year).

I have also been involved in the work of academic associations: I acted as the secretary of the Legenda Studies in Comparative Literature editorial committee (2013-2018), a postgraduate representative of the British Comparative Literature Association (2010–2013) and a web officer of the Postcolonial Studies Association (2011–2014). 

Alongside my academic work I gained experience in translating popular literature, localization and teaching English as a foreign language.

Honours and awards

Enriching Student Lives award for the Student Rep Coordinator of the year (2016)

Publications

2017

2014

2013

2011

Teaching

I have taught and convened translation-related courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, contributing primarily to the following modules:

  • Introduction to Translation Theory (Year 1),
  • Introduction to Translation Methods (Year 1),
  • Principles of Translation (Year 2),
  • Translation as a Profession (Year 4),
  • Theory of Translation (MA),
  • Translation Methods and Skills (MA),
  • Translation and Adaptation in the Arts (MA),
  • Specialized Translation: Politics and Law (MA),
  • Translation and Culture (MA).

I have also supervised about fifteen undergraduate projects and around thirty MA dissertations.

In addition to my regular teaching, I have co-authored a short online course Working with Translation, which is intended for the general public, including translation and interpreting users and practitioners. The course has run regularly since 2016, attracting many thousands of learners from around 150 countries.

Anchored in translation studies, postcolonial studies, Polish studies and comparative literature, my work has revolved around the issues of representing, translating and receiving otherness. I have examined the Polish translation and reception of postcolonial prose in the last decades of the Cold War, revealing an interesting interplay of pre-existing discourses of difference with new discourses of similarity, which draw on shared historical experiences. I then moved towards thinking about commonality as I attempt to theorise solidarity and ask how translation can help to enlarge solidarity in today's world. I am also interested in the connections between translation, memory studies and Holocaust research, which inform my new work on translation and the use of multiple languages in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

My main research interests include:

  • translation and post-colonialism;
  • literary translation and reception;
  • translation history;
  • translation and solidarity;
  • translation, memory studies and the Holocaust.

I am currently investigating how the use of translation in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum influences the ways in which the Holocaust and World War Two are remembered by diverse groups of visitors. A pilot study explored the role of translation and rewriting in the textual production in the museum and in the delivery of oral guided tours; preliminary findings have been presented at a Holocaust studies conference, a translation studies symposium and a memory studies event

I have contributed to a volume on the history of Polish literary translation: my chapter retraces Polish reception on translated postcolonial prose during the Cold War, showing that the reviewers surprisingly often discussed the translations as translations. I demonstrate how the reviewers' preferences for fluent, if non-standard, language and for informative paratexts were framed, but not determined, by the historical and political context. The chapter also intervenes into theoretical debates around translation effects, textual fluency and the metonymic character of translations as representations of their source cultures.

My earlier writing dealt with the Polish reception of Frantz Fanon, as part of a larger project examining Fanon's texts and legacies in multiple languages and locations. I co-authored a comparative 20,000-word chapter on shifting, selective constructions of the Fanon figure in the ex-Yugoslavia, Poland and the former USSR. We demonstrated that the emphasis on Fanon's Marxism in state-sponsored publications made him relatable to some constituencies and not others. Nonetheless, our account of his influence behind the Iron Curtain clearly shows him as an active player in Cold War politics, challenging perceptions of Third World countries as mere pawns in a polarised political game.

Prior to that, I completed an AHRC-funded doctoral project, entitled Postcolonial Literature in Polish Translation (1970–2010): Difference, Similarity and Solidarity. The thesis examines Polish reviews of translated postcolonial prose to discuss Polish perceptions of postcolonial peoples and the corresponding Polish self-perceptions in the context of debates about East European postcoloniality. It demonstrates that postcolonial literature in translation was consistently – post-1989 discursive shifts notwithstanding – viewed by Polish reviewers as vital to developing knowledge of postcolonial peoples and that this goal determined the preferred translation effects (i.e. intelligibility and informativeness). The reviewers’ interest in translation may suggest that in the case of translating across a conspicuous cultural divide, translation need not be as ‘invisible’ as it tends to be otherwise. Moreover, the thesis reveals that while the long-standing perceptions of civilizational difference between Poland and non-European, postcolonial countries remained salient, statements of Polish-postcolonial similarity were gaining currency. Finally, I ventured a view that, enabled by the perceptions of similarity, solidarity could be forged between nationally, socially, politically and culturally delineated Polish and postcolonial constituencies.

Alongside studying reviews, I have analysed Polish translations of African literature, including Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958), The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) by Amos Tutuola and Weep Not, Child (1964) by Ngũgi wa Thiong'o. I initially assumed that because postcolonial authors purposefully intervened into the European languages they used, translations should convey defamiliarizing effects to capture the postcolonial (self-)representations. The novels I studied underwent partly normalizing translations instead. Yet, after learning the translators’ viewpoints from prefaces and an interview, I appreciated potential merits of linguistic normalization, such as granting African texts a measure of prestige associated with fluent language. I also commented on the universalist discursive framing of Tutuola’s translation: I associated it with Cold War propaganda about brotherhood with Africa, without ruling out its significance for intercultural understanding.

In my early work I applied critical tools derived from the writings of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak to literary works by the Indo-Caribbean female authors Shani Mootoo, Ramabai Espinet, Lakshmi Persaud and others. I showed how their subaltern, or disenfranchised, female characters subverted regulative psychobiographies (i.e. model narratives imposed by society) through paid work, sexual emancipation, or, in extreme cases, murder and suicide.

Supervision

I welcome inquiries from potential PhD candidates, especially in the areas of:

  • translation and post-colonialism;
  • literary translation and reception;
  • translation and solidarity;
  • translation history;
  • translation and heritage;
  • translation, memory studies and the Holocaust;
  • translation from and into Polish.

I have co-supervised eight doctoral projects in the field of translation studies on a range of subjects, including fan translation, fansubbing, bilingualism and 'natural' translation, translation training, translation and psychoanalysis, translation and the Holocaust, minority language translation, as well as sociology of translation.

Current PhD students:

Past projects

Previous PhD projects:

  • Stephanie Munyard: 'Defying and Defining the Darkness: Translating French Memories of the Holocaust' (awarded 2020)
  • Seyed Hossein Heydarian: 'Towards a Methodology for Improving Strategy-Based Translation Training: Explored Through an English-Persian Case Study' (awarded 2018)
  • Dhyiaa Borresly: 'Natural Translators and Skilled Translators in the Context of Societal Bilingualism' (awarded 2016)
  • Matteo Fabbretti: 'A Study of Contemporary Manga Scanlation into English' (awarded 2015)