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FRE4015 : From Experimental to Explicit: Translating Women's Writing in French

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Pauline Henry-Tierney
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, the aims of this module are:

- to introduce students to different trends in (and examples of) contemporary French and Francophone women’s writing;
- to encourage critical thinking on the relationships between translation and contemporary women’s writing in French, particularly in relation to the dynamics between translation and gender; translation and sexuality; and translation and corporeality;
- to introduce the core theoretical concepts of gender-conscious approaches to translation such as feminist translation theory;
- to improve students’ skills in translating literary texts from French into English
- to develop an ability to analyse and evaluate specific translation strategies in their own and other translators’ work.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will expose students to a variety of exciting new and established contemporary French and Francophone women writers and the English translations of their texts. The comparative study of these source texts and their translations will be used to introduce students to the ever-growing body of theory in Translation Studies related to gender-conscious and feminist approaches to translation. As well as critically analysing existing translations of women’s writing in French, students will also have the opportunity to translate selected passages from the texts under study as well as examples from contemporary women’s writing in French which have yet to appear in English translation.

The module will broadly cover the following topics using a variety of different literary texts as well as academic articles:

- Trends in Post ’68 to Post-Millennial Women’s Writing in French

- The Evolution of Feminist Translation Theory

- Translating Experimental Feminist Writing in French

(works to be studied and/or translated may include excerpts from texts by Nicole Brossard, Madeleine Gagnon, Louky Bersianik, Barbara Godard and Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood)

- Translating (and retranslating) Theoretical Feminist Texts in French

(examples may include work by Simone de Beauvoir, Monique Wittig, Hélène Cixous and Virginie Despentes)

- Translating Transgressive Women’s Writing in French

(students will confront the challenges of translating transgressive topics such as explicit articulations of sexual experiences, graphic depictions of the female body, and transgenderism via writers such as Nelly Arcan, Nina Bouraoui and Catherine Millet)

- Autofiction and Paratextual Translation

(students will study paratexts such as front covers, blurbs and cover reviews in order to analyse the implications these paratranslated elements have for contemporary women writers of autofiction)

This course will be taught and assessed in English. Students will be required to read and translate from French source text material.

*NB - Part of this module will involve reading and translating transgressive texts which may be explicit in terms of content and theme (i.e. graphic representations of sex, sexuality and the body; anorexia; prostitution) If students feel that they may be sensitive to such material then they would be advised to make an alternative module option choice.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists