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Mary-Jane Holmes

Research Project Title:

A Girdle Round the Earth. Strategies of Resistance in Translation and the Un-silencing of the Female Voice



Dr Tara Bergin, Prof Sinead Morrissey and Dr Pauline Henry-Tierney

Contact Details:



Research Interests:

  • Poetry
  • Feminist Translation
  • Transcultural Studies
Mary-Jane Holmes

Brief Outline of Research Project:

Drawing on feminist translation theory and poetic formalism to investigate whether translation can be successful in releasing the target text from its own gendered constraints, my PhD investigates the ancient poetic form called the Muwashshaha (Arabic for ‘girdled’; plural Muwashshahat) to ask whether translation of form across languages can create a new route to understanding how gender can be voiced in poetry today. I will produce a sequence of English ‘girdle songs’ in order to enact and respond to the effects of formal transference, and a critical essay that will explore the regenerative act of performative and dialogic translation.

Research Activities:

Research Groups:

  • Translating & Interpreting Research Group
  • Gender Research Group

Academic Background:

  • Master of Studies (Distinction) in Creative Writing at Kellogg College, Oxford
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English Language and Literature, The University of Manchester