Dr Dorota Goluch
Lecturer in Translation
My research has been anchored in translation studies, postcolonial studies, Polish studies and comparative literature, and it has revolved around the issues of representing, translating and receiving otherness. My main research interests include:
- translation from a post-colonial perspective;
- translation and reception of post-colonial literature;
- questions of similarity and solidarity between ‘marginal’ regions, in particular between Eastern Europe and post-colonial countries.
Currently I am studying six Polish translations of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and their reception, while in a recent project I examined the Polish reception of translated postcolonial prose from the period between 1970 and 2010, focusing on the discourses of difference and similarity featured in the relevant book reviews.
I studied English philology and translation studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (magister in 2008), postcolonial literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (exchange year) and postcolonial studies at the University of Kent (MA in 2009). After that, I completed an AHRC-funded project on the Polish reception of translated postcolonial literature at University College London, where I worked under the guidance of Professor Theo Hermans and Dr Katarzyna Zechenter (PhD, 2013).
During my PhD study I worked as a postgraduate research assistant at UCL, a tutor at the University of Leicester and an administrator of the Translation Research Summer School. I have also been involved in the work of academic associations: I acted as a postgraduate representative of the British Comparative Literature Association (2010–2013) and a web officer of the Postcolonial Studies Association (2011–2014). In 2014 I joined the publications committee of Legenda as a secretary.
Alongside my academic work I gained experience in translating popular literature, localization and teaching English as a foreign language.
I joined Cardiff as a lecturer in translation studies in 2013.
I teach on the following modules: Introduction to Translation Theory (Year 1), Introduction to Translation Methods (Year 1), Advanced Translation Practice (Year 3), Theory of Translation (MA), Translation Methods and Skills (MA), Translation and Adaptation in the Arts (MA), Specialized Translation: Politics and Law (MA), Nationalism in Europe (MA).
I am currently co-supervising two doctoral projects in the field of translation studies (on the 'natural' translator and on fan translation). I welcome inquiries from potential PhD candidates, particularly those who are interested in translation and such problematics as power, representation, narrative, identity, culture, history or marginality. I am also interested in supervising theses on translation from or into Polish.
Anchored in translation studies, postcolonial studies, Polish studies and comparative literature, my work has revolved around the issues of representing, translating and receiving otherness. My main research interests include:
- translation from a postcolonial perspective
- postcolonial literatures, their translation and reception
- questions of similarity and solidarity between ‘marginal’ regions, in particular between Eastern Europe and postcolonial countries.
My current project explores sixPolish translations of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darknessand their numerous editions, asking how Conrad’s image of Africa has been received and revised in Poland in the pre-war period, during Communism and after 1989. I am also working on another project, which deals with the Polish reception of Frantz Fanon, focusing on two constructions of the Fanon figure: as a Marxist fighter and, later, as a postcolonial intellectual.
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 reception of translated postcolonial prose to discuss Polish perceptions of postcolonial peoples and the corresponding Polish self-perceptions in the context of timely debates about East European postcoloniality and, generally, contemporary global synergies and solidarities. The examination is based on a discursive analysis of circa one thousand Polish reviews of translated African, Indian, Middle Eastern and Caribbean prose, which were published in Poland between 1970 and 2010.
Overall, the thesis 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). Notably, 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) and The Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) by Amos Tutuola. 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.