Found in translation? Voicing the feminine across borders.
This panel proposes a “research in progress” session, in which researchers at different career stages unfold a conversation interspersed with multimedia clips and short creative readings. Varied methodological and disciplinary approaches coalesce around the theme of translation, engaging issues of mental health and decolonisation as they intersect with feminine experience.
Leslie McMurtry, early career researcher and Lecturer in Radio Studies, will open a critical discussion of “The Vampire in Translation” in which she explores Angela Carter’s adaptation practices as they relate to radio and the short story. Angela Carter well understood the intrinsic qualities of radio. According to Lorna Sage (1994:1), this was in part due to Carter’s embodiment of the “wise woman” and the oral tradition of storytelling that this role implies. In 1976, Carter’s original radio drama Vampirella was broadcast on Radio 3, beginning her long association with BBC radio drama. Uniquely, Carter translated Vampirella across media when she reworked it as the 1979 short story “The Lady of the House of Love.” A complete artistic circle was accomplished in 2015 when “The Lady of the House of Love” was “retranslated” across media as an adapted reading for Radio 4 Extra. Leslie will explore how Carter’s understanding of the ontology of the media in which she worked (radio, short story) influenced her repositioning of the narrative of Vampirella / “The Lady of the House of Love.” Sound clips and readings will be included.
Rachel Newsome, PhD candidate and Lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies, will offer an account of her practice-led research exploring the short story as a container for trauma. Informed by her experience of Jungian analysis, Rachel’s creative writing traverses borders between inner and outer realms to investigate how trauma can be represented and worked through with the aim of shedding light on difficult and intangible experiences and emotions (Van Der Weil 2014). Sharing works in progress that explore vampiric imagery, ghostly archetypes and the ways metaphoric symbolisation can enable the passage between invisible borders (May 1989; Woodman 1997) she will ask: where do the borders between inner “trauma worlds” (Sieff 2017) and the external world begin and end? How can they be crossed in the real and the imaginary? What are the ways this border-crossing can enrich an understanding of trauma for writers and readers alike when more broadly considered in terms of health and well-being (DeSalvo 2000)?
Szilvia Naray-Davey, early career researcher and Lecturer in Drama and Translation, and Ursula Hurley, Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, will explore decolonising the reproductive body via co-translation of Anna Szabó’s short fiction. Offering a Hungarian/English reading they will draw on a developing collaborative feminist translation project to reflect critically upon efforts to relocate contemporary Hungarian short fiction by women into English. This account is particularly concerned with exploring how we might honour and amplify the source text's politics when it is adapted to a new language, different readerships, and political contexts. The focus of this exploration is Anna Szabó’s short story, “Moon and Palm”, and the experience of translating it. Their translation process engages Eve Ellen Frank's concept of literary architecture (1983) to “unbuild” the Hungarian text into English. The process of unbuilding aims to evolve feminist translation practices which decolonise spaces and territories in various ways.
Together, the researchers will open a conversation around female vampires, Eastern European constructs, inner and outer worlds, and geographical and bodily territories as they help us to delineate gendered experiences across borders.
All panellists are members of the School of Arts and Media, The University of Salford