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Dr Kasia Szymanska

Kasia Szymanska

Kasia is an assistant professor in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies at Trinity College Dublin.  She was previously Junior Research Fellow in Modern Languages at University College, Oxford, and co-convenor of the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation research centre.  Her research lies in comparative literature, translation, and multilingual writing — especially with reference to the East European context.

Her work to date has appeared in, among others, PMLA, Contemporary Literature, Slavic and East European Journal, the volume Prismatic Translation and other books on the intersection between translation, literature, and politics. She was recently named the 2022 Martha Cheung Award winner for the best English article in Translation Studies by an early career scholar.

Her first project Translation Multiples: From Global Culture to Post-Communist Democracy focused on a new genre of writing across English, Polish, German, and other languages; it discussed cultural and political ideas behind the gesture of multiplying different translation variants by the same translator or a group of translators. She was invited to give a talk about translation multiples for Trinity's Long Hub Room, Cardiff's Transnational Cultural and Visual Studies research series and Polonium Foundation webinars. The recording of the Cardiff session is available here.

She is currently working on two other book projects. The first one is provisionally entitled The Other Europe: Literature That Divided the Continent and will examine fantasised representations of Eastern Europe during the Cold War (such as exoticised translations, literary representations of invented Eastern European languages, travelogues to non-existent places beyond the Iron Curtain, different takes on spy novels, and many others). The other one is an edited volume of essays exploring translations of Olga Tokarczuk across multiple languages under the tentative title: The Tender Translator: Olga Tokarczuk Across Languages.

Kasia was awarded the 2015 EST Translation Prize, served as one of the judges of the 2018 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and has contributed to Words Without Borders.  She is also one of the researchers involved in the AHRC/OWRI-funded project on Prismatic Jane Eyre as well as the Global Humanities Institute on Challenges of Translation. A keen learner of modern languages, she works across English, Polish, and German, continues with her French and Yiddish, and recently started learning Russian.

In 2018/2019, she taught the method option 'Spaces of Comparison' for all MML graduate students. In 2020/2021, she co-taught a seminar and supervised a thesis for the MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation. Her lecture given in 2018 for the Literatures of Multilingual Europe series is available here alongiside the accompanying blogpost.

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