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Our Alumni

Melissa Pawelski (2017-2021) - currently Teaching Fellow in German Studies in SMLC

I joined the University of Warwick in October 2017 as a PhD student and my project was supervised by Dr Oliver Davis (French Studies) and Professor Stuart Elden (PAIS). I was based in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and my research was generously supported by CADRE.

My thesis considered the English and German translations of Michel Foucault’s Surveiller et punir. Naissance de la prison (Paris: Gallimard, 1975):
Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison, translated by Alan Sheridan (London: Penguin, 1991 [1977])
Überwachen und Strafen. Die Geburt des Gefängnisses, translated by Walter Seitter (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1977)

I have been particularly interested in the translation of concepts and ideas, such as pouvoir, puissance, supplice, dispositif and assujettissement. I have also explored Michel Foucault’s writing style and use of rhetoric, including metaphors and irony. The aim of this project was to make a contribution to the emerging disciplinary association of Translation Studies, Philosophy and Theory that recognises philosophical and theoretical texts as particularly challenging for translation.

I have been fortunate to receive funding from the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) at Warwick in the form of a Doctoral Fellowship to organise a one-day interdisciplinary conference on Saturday, 11th May 2019. My research interests include: Translation of Philosophy and Theory, Michel Foucault, Philosophy of Geography, Reception and influence of philosophy and social theory in the social sciences.

Previous qualifications:
  • BA (Lyon), 2015
  • Msc by Research (Swansea), 2017
  • 2018-19 Term 1 Seminar tutor for FR121 Story of Modern France, Mondays 2-3pm
Administrative Roles:
  • 2018-19 SSLC Chair for SMLC
  • 2017-18 SSLC Course Rep French Studies for SMLC
Robert Stock (graduated 2018) robert picture

I completed an MA in translation studies in 2013 after a 25-year career in the commercial world. That experience led to a fascination for literary translation, and encouraged me to pursue a PhD in translation studies at Warwick supervised by Dr Chantal Wright. My project was on theatre translation and explores the phenomenon of celebrity translation in the British theatre. Why do theatres constantly commission well-known (and often monolingual) playwrights to produce new 'translations' of canonical plays, and to what extent do audiences infer something of that well-known playwright's familiar voice when experiencing his or her work in performance? My research raised all sorts of questions about translator visibility, the reception of translation, and the ethics of two-stage translation whereby the celebrity playwright gains public glory at the expense of the literal translator working tirelessly behind the scenes. I successfully passed my viva in May of 2018 and graduated in July 2018. My next challenge is to write a book based on my thesis, which will be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.