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Chris Waite


Chris is a budding literary translator working from Spanish into English and is studying the PhD in Literary Translation Studies on Warwick Writing Programme. He has a special interest in literature of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939) and the translation of avant-garde texts. His MA dissertation What Celia Tells Us: Translating Elena Fortún provided the first English translations of the ‘Celia’ stories of Fortún (a pseudonym of Encarnación Aragoneses Urquijo, 1886-1952) along with creative-critical commentaries on the influence of Don Quixote, translation as bearing witness, and feminist psychoanalytic perspectives on Fortún. He is also interested in psychoanalysis and translation and exploring the intersections between the work of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), Antoine Berman (1942-1991) and the Australian philosopher Andrew Benjamin (1952-).


Translating transgression, translation as transgression: the ‘crimes’ of Agustín Espinosa

This practice-based literary translation project unveils two works of Agustín Espinosa (1897-1939) to English readers for the first time. Espinosa was a prominent Canarian writer during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939). The experimental nature of his writing transgressed Francoist Catholic values and consequently he fell under investigation during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). This destroyed his academic career and is also implicated in his early death. The two works to be translated, Lancelot, 28º 7º. Guía integral de una isla Atlántica (1929) and Crimen (1934), were instrumental to the development of the internationally influential Canarian avant-garde. Despite this, Espinosa is overlooked in critical studies of the ‘Generation of 1927’ group of avant-garde Spanish poets; frequent republication in Spain since the 1960s has not yet attracted English translation. This project responds to growing interest in the literature of the Second Spanish Republic and the need to recover a diversity of voices stifled by Francoist repression. The translational approach will use a cognitive stylistics framework (Boase-Beier 2011, 2014) and the project endeavours to enrich translation theory by extending Stockwell’s (2017) The Language of Surrealism by directly addressing the translation of avant-garde texts. In addition, and in response to Wright (2016), the commentaries will make a significant contribution to the limited engagement with Berman’s (1992) negative (psycho)analytic of translation, exploring the possibility of a positive role for the (transgressive) unconscious in translation. In examining ‘translation as transgression’ and how this might be expressed stylistically in texts. If translation itself is a kind of transgression—a crossing of the boundaries between languages and cultures—then the translation of transgressive texts offers an opportunity to amplify the disruptive and creative potential of translation; this project will explore the creative possibilities of this in practice.

For anyone interested in the work of Agustín Espinosa, the complete works are available for download from the blog of Espinosa scholar José Miguel Pérez Corrales, Obra en LibertadLink opens in a new window


Maureen FreelyLink opens in a new window (Warwick Writing Programme)

Alison Ribeiro de MenezesLink opens in a new window (School of Modern Languages and Cultures)

Chantal WrightLink opens in a new window (External advisor, formerly Warwick Writing Programme)

Other projects

Contributor to the Virtual Museum of the Spanish Civil WarLink opens in a new window


MA Translation and Cultures, University of Warwick, 2019-21

BA(Hons) Humanities with Spanish and Music, Open University, 2007-2017

Dip(ABRSM) Piano Performance, 2006


Midlands 4 Cities AHRC Doctoral Studentship Oct 2023- March 2026


Emerging Translators NetworkLink opens in a new window