I completed my PhD in October 2010 at the University of Warwick. Throughout this section of my eportfolio you will find details of my PhD research, including insight into my methodology and key research questions, the structure of my thesis and primary research conducted whilst in Senegal. My thesis is entitled:
Translating Francophone Senegalese Women's Literature: Issues of Change, Power, Mediation and Orality
The aim of this thesis was to apply translation studies theory to the analysis of Francophone Senegalese women’s literature in order to formulate a series of translation strategies for the rewriting of texts within the genre. Francophone Senegalese women’s literature and the impact of cultural studies upon the translation of postcolonial texts had never before been researched. My thesis investigated areas of cultural identity such as language, gender, sociopolitics, religion or orality, and the way in which they impact upon the writing of Francophone Senegalese writers and therefore upon the way in which we read texts and possibly translate them. For example, I analysed the local language of Wolof, used both subtly and aggressively in the Francophone poetry, prose and theatre of writers such as Mame Seck Mbacké, Kiné Kirama Fall and Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, questionning whether the translator has a duty to learn local languages when translating Francophone African women's literature. Regarding issues of gender, I analysed the traditional and modern role of women in Senegalese society, the education of women, and variations in subject matter and language use between texts written by female and male authors. Furthermore, in order to highlight the effect of Senegalese cultures on postcolonial texts and therefore translation theory and strategies, the thesis considered the impact of customs such as orality upon postcolonial literature, and other factors like religion, including traditional beliefs, Islam and Christianity. While this thesis clearly aimed to clarify the effects of different cultural elements upon translation strategies for Francophone Senegalese women’s literature, it also sought to provide a comprehensive guide to translating works of this genre, and endeavoured to increase the amount of critical work on Francophone African women writers in general.