Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Researchers

Ayten Alibaba

University of Warwick


Keywords: Identity construction, intercultural communication, city

Terms such as multiculturalism, migration and culture are popular in today’s media and politics. Unsurprisingly, the role of immigrants within the larger society has attracted significant attention. Within academia, some extant literature depicts, for example, the life experience of immigrants as moving in a linear trajectory from heritage culture to an immersion in host culture whilst in the media, the debate tends to evolve around whether or not immigrants ‘integrate’ to the wider society. There is, however, insufficient empirical evidence to identify what constitutes this cultural integration. What does cultural integration really mean? Can any society ever be considered as a homogenous entity? What does immigrant identity constitute and is this in itself a homogenous concept? These questions are important for our understanding of immigrants’ experience and the adaptations on behalf of the host culture. Recent research suggests we should think of culture and identity issues as much more dynamic than linear progression and also much more nuanced and context specific. My research project aims to expand these notions and provide a wider understanding of this process by focusing; firstly on women immigrants, secondly on different generations, and thirdly on the immigrant communities in two transnational cities, London and Berlin.

Louis Bravos

Monash University

Email: Louis dot bravos at monash dot edu 

Research keywords: Literary translation, Japanese, Yukio Mishima, performance, identity

Doctoral project: ‘Stage Blood is Not Enough: Autobiography and Performance in an English Translation of Yukio Mishima's Kyoko no Ie’

For my research I am undertaking a translation into English of Yukio Mishima’s 1959 novel Kyōko no Ie (Kyoko’s House). The novel represents a turning point in Mishima’s career – while his earlier novels focussed on the individual, Kyoko’s House focuses more broadly on the postwar era and its difficulties. The plot examines the lives of four young men, who are often read as representing different aspects of the author’s personality, and is considered to foreshadow Mishima’s own slide into right-wing extremism, and later ritual suicide. I believe that this reading is overly-simplistic, and I hope to make this novel available to readers of English, to allow them to fully enjoy this novel’s complex philosophy, along with its portrait of postwar Japan.

My early research has looked into postwar Japan’s view of itself, which is made more complex by Mishima’s recurring motifs of masks and constructed identities. I have also examined the role social memory and the repression of pain and individuality in 1950s Japan, and the sense of nostalgia some Japanese felt for the pre-war and wartime periods. Recently I’ve been examining the reasons the critical reception of Kyoko’s House was so cold upon its release, and questioned whether this critical reception is part of the reason the novel has so far been unavailable in translation. My research is both practical and theoretical, attempting to both offer the novel to English readers in translation, as well as create a critical framework to discuss the way the novel speaks to 21st century readers, based on associated readings from both Japanese and English.

Rachel Chimbwete Phiri


Research Keywords: health care discourse, HIV/AIDS, health care client, knowledge, and health communication.

Project title: 'The (co-) construction of knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Malawi’s health communication'

My current research aims at understanding how participants of health communication in Malawi construct knowledge of HIV/AIDS. In Malawi there is usually a gap of knowledge between classes due to challenges in literacy levels and language use, therefore this study wants to understand the positioning of the client in health care discourse. My focus is on both health professionals’ way of reproducing knowledge of HIV/AIDS with clients, and clients' reception of this knowledge and reproduction of their own knowledge about HIV/AIDS as they interact with health professionals and other health information sources. I will analyse HIV/AIDS discourse of clients and health professionals at a health centre in Malawi. I would like to consider how clients’ understanding of their position in the medical interaction could empower them to manage their health and adhere to appropriate HIV/AIDS care or treatment. In the long run, the findings will offer insights into encouraging health care clients and individuals in Malawi to be active participants in decision-making about health and management of illnesses in the health care communication contexts.

Christian Griffiths

Monash University

Email: christian dot griffiths at monash dot edu


Research keywords: Shakespeare Studies, Interdisciplinarity, Music and Literature, Post-structuralism, Cultural Materialism, New Historicism

Doctoral project: ‘Cultural Materialism and the songs of The Tempest’

The aim of my PhD project is to theorise the use of music in Shakespeare through a cultural materialist framework. This approach utilises early-modern music theory to arrive at philosophical understandings of music, and applies these to readings of The Tempest in both critical and performance contexts.

However, my interest in the use of music Shakespeare is just one part of my broader interest in critical histories of Shakespeare across various disciplinary, cultural and language domains. To pursue this interest I have initiated a 'Shakespeare and translation' project that examines the ways that Shakespeare is constructed in different cultural contexts. The project aims to use translation to bring those understandings into Anglophone scholarship. Information about the project can be found here: Shakespeare and Translation Project.

Kyoungmi Kim

University of Warwick


Research keywords: multinational/ transnational company, workplace interaction, co-orientation and coordination as social practice, agency, performativity

Diverging interests of agents and operational gaps between headquarters and subsidiary are a common phenomenon in multinational corporation (MNC) contexts. Such a context is particularly interesting for studying coordination as a practice and the discursive activities involved in the practice, as the organisational members negotiate the practices of head office and their own subsidiary and team.

Coordination in my project is considered to be a process and outcome of the communicative constitution of organizations that occurs through the co-orientation of actors. Co-orientation, simply put, takes place when organisation actors relate to each other through their common object and each other’s orientation toward the object in the flow of activities. To reveal the dynamics that underlie co-orientation, my project investigates specific events, activities and issues that are involved in staff members’ co-orienting activities around the company’s prevailing practices. By examining social, linguistics and pragmatic aspects of co-orienting, this study ultimately aims to implicate how MNC actors’ local practices permeate and orient changes in the way organisational structure and culture are constituted through activity.

The project will contribute to giving voices to both local and global staff members in providing insights into what the multinational corporation is or does, and ways of being its member. Emphasising organisational actors as creative agents who are capable of making a difference in their activities and practices, the outcome of in-depth qualitative analysis of discursive practices will implicate how organisational actors can improve their practices and interaction.

Dr Reagan Maiquez

Monash University

Email: rmai9 at student dot monash dot edu

Keywords: theatre, dramaturgy, scriptwriting, autoethnography, ethnography, performance

Reagan completed his doctoral degree within the Theatre, Performance and Music Program of Monash University. Previously, he has taught literature, critical and creative writing at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. His work in theatre includes dramaturgy, scriptwriting, and consultancy in projects involving science and agriculture in applied and community settings. His doctoral project examined flow through autoethnography of performances in a religious and cultural event, known as the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, Philippines.

Marlon James Sales

Monash University

Email: Marlon dot Sales at monash dot edu

Research keywords: Translation Studies, Translation History, Missionary Linguistics, Philippine Hispanism, Postcolonial Studies, Spanish as a Foreign Language

Doctoral project: ‘Elegance in colonial translation:

The case of Arte y reglas de la lengua tagala (1610)’

My PhD research examines missionary exo-grammatization as an act of translation. Missionary exo-grammatization refers to the process in which various European religious writers from the 15th to the 17th centuries reduced non-European languages into replicable grammatical rules patterned after Latin to help in the proselytization of the colonies. I am particularly interested in the Fil-Hispanic missionary corpus, and am analyzing the 1610 edition of Arte y reglas de la lengua tagala by Fray Francisco Blancas de San José, the oldest extant grammar of the Tagalog (Filipino) language. Using a postcolonial approach, I seek to reflect on the translated-ness of colonial literacy and history, and the positionality of the missionary grammarian as a translator within the linguistic geopolitics of the colony.

I am also a literary translator, and some of my works include Ang Kuwento ng Haring Tulala (Cacho Hermanos Publishing, 2013), my translation to Filipino of Gonzalo Torrente Ballester’s Crónica del rey pasmado, and my translation to English of the two Oleza novels of Gabriel Miró (UST Press, 2011). Both projects were funded through grants from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Instituto Cervantes de Manila.

Beatrice Spallaccia

Monash University

Email: beatrice dot spallaccia at unibo dot it

or beatrice dot spallaccia at monash dot edu

Research keywords: hate speech, misogyny, critical discourse analysis, gender identity, social media, queer identities, gender performativity, postfeminism, web 2.0, gender in language and translation.

Doctoral project: "Sexist Hate Speech in Web 2.0: a critical discourse analysis"

The project consists of a critical discourse analysis on sexist online hate speech against women in social networks, and especially on Twitter.

The research is motivated by the need to recognize the discourse against women as hate speech and to give a critical analysis of the sexist and misogynist user-generated contents of web 2.0 which tend to reaffirm stereotyped gender identities and make the Internet an unsafe and offensive environment.

Through the methodology of critical discourse analysis and the Nvivo10 software, the project includes a comparative study of the phenomenon through the analysis of materials from Italy, Australia and the USA. It also implies a translation of the Italian contents into English, and in so doing, a comparison between the different cultures in question. 

Angela Tarantini

Monash University

Email: Angela dot tarantini at monash dot edu

Research keywords : theatre, translation, dialogue, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, developmental psychology, phonetics, gesture

Doctoral project: ‘Visions of Australia: the Theatre of David Mence in Italian Translation’

My research project in translation studies focuses on theatre translation. Specifically, I have translated into Italian two plays, Convincing Ground and The Gully, written by David Mence. The selected plays depict past and future Australia. Convicing Ground is set in the 1830s and is about the life of the early whalers and sealers who pioneered the rugged Western coast of Victoria in the 1830s, and the complex, violent relationships they had with the local population. The Gully, instead, is a dystopic play set 2109 in a post-apocalyptic Australia. After some undefined catastrophe Australia has become an arid and dangerous world a la Mad Max. The reasoning behind the choice of the plays is that they represent a vision of Australia that so much differs from the stereotypical Australianness known to the average Italian audience and reading public. My ultimate goal is to develop a multidisciplinary methodology to translate naturalistic theatre. Analysing drama dialogue as mimicry of naturally-occurring conversation (well aware that the differences between the two are by no means minor) allows for the combination of different theoretical frameworks including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, cognitive and developmental psychology, psycholinguistics, and of course translation studies. Other theoretical frameworks that I will be using and that are more closely related to the eventual performance of the translated text are phonetics (including studies on intonation) and the relatively new field of gesture studies.

Amaryllis Gacioppo

Monash University

Email: amgac1 at student dot monash dot edu

Research keywords: cultural identity, transnational subjectivities, lyric essay, experimental nonfiction, psychogeography, urban walker, transient space, migration, travel narrative

Doctoral project: ‘Other Islands: Mapping the transnational self across three generations’

This project has stemmed from a long-standing interest in the complex relationship between the self and notions of homeland, and the effects of culture and genealogical history on identity formation. In light of increased migratory mobility, globalisation, and the proliferation of social technologies, I would argue that contemporary society is faced with the impetus to outline new ways of redefining concepts of cultural identity. This issue has led me to seek contemporary theories regarding the self in transient spaces, interstitial cultural fractures, and temporality. My search for an alternative framework has revealed a transnational ideology as one which allows for these multiplicities. As a creative writer, I am interested in the issue of how to map the transnational self in literary practice in order to contribute to a burgeoning transnational poetics. Taking the experimental form of lyric essay, this project will deal with the idea of transnational subjectivity driven by the actuality of experience, following the personal path of the urban walker. Through a psychogeographical undertaking of the localities significant to my matrilineal heritage, this project seeks to express the complex spatiality of subjectivities in 'between-space'. The subjectivity of the 'body in movement' will be presented as the reciprocal space in which the transnational self resides. In its focus on the relationship between the self and the external, this project will investigate personal struggles in attempting to locate a cultural and geographical ‘home,’ and navigate the wider implications of diasporic subjectivity. This work will subvert traditional notions of a mono-cultural identity, instead referring to an emerging narrative of geographical transience and cultural complexity.

Alice Whitmore

Monash University

Email address: alicerosewhitmore at gmail dot com


 Research keywords: Mexico City, Guillermo Fadanelli, translation studies, urban space, dirty realism, trash literature.

Doctoral project: ‘Tasting Other Tongues: The Translation of Guillermo Fadanelli's ¿Te veré en el desayuno?’

As a PhD candidate at Monash University, my research centres on the Spanish-to-English translation of Mexico City novelist Guillermo Fadanelli. The focus of my current thesis is a 1999 work entitled ¿Te veré en el desayuno? [See You at Breakfast?], which will be released in English translation through Australian small press Giramondo Publishing in late 2015.

Fadanelli is a key figure in countercultural Mexican literature, although still relatively little-known in the Anglophone world. While he is often analysed through the optic of ‘realismo sucio’ (Latin America’s incarnation of the ‘dirty realist’ genre that burgeoned in the United Stated in the 1980s), Fadanelli describes his own work – rather provocatively – as ‘literatura basura’ [trash literature]. The notion of ‘trash’ culture reveals a great deal about the ethical and aesthetic principles underpinning Fadanelli’s writing.

Through an examination of Fadanelli’s place within the North and Ibero-American literary landscapes, my aim is to defend a translation strategy that prioritises the tension, hybridity and alienation inherent in Fadanelli’s own portrayal of Mexico City. Such a project implies a profound study of Mexican identity and cultural displacement; fraught concepts in a complex, postmodern society that currently finds itself at the crossroads of the first and third worlds.

My research draws upon a range of disciplines, from translation methodology (George Steiner, Sherry Simon) to sociological examinations of urban space (Néstor García Canclini, Manuel de Solà-Morales) and postcolonial theories spanning the fields of cultural and translation studies (Homi K. Bhabha, Gayatri Spivak).

Dr Naomi Wells

University of Warwick


Keywords: multilingualism, multicultural, transnational, migration, Italy.

Naomi Wells is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Italian Studies at the University of Warwick on the AHRC-funded project Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility, Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures. Her current research centres on the cultural and linguistic practices of migrant and intercultural associations in the city of Bologna, Italy. Focusing on an Intercultural Centre where these associations are based, she is interested in spaces in which cultural and linguistic diversity is negotiated through daily practices of cultural exchange, transmission and production. Her research adopts an interdisciplinary approach, but draws primarily on sociolinguistics, cultural studies, and cultural and social geography.