My doctoral research project on the English retranslations of Gustave Flaubert and George Sand was essentially an interdisciplinary one which traversed the fields of French and Translation Studies. By drawing on the theoretical, conceptual and methodological frameworks of both areas of enquiry, I was able to identify meaningful points of convergence and establish a broader, more innovative context in which to explore my research questions. This experience of working between and across two different fields was greatly enhanced by my doctoral supervisors, Professor Peter Dayan (French) and Dr Charlotte Bosseaux (Translation Studies), whose support, encouragement and astuteness allowed me to more confidently navigate the challenges of interdisciplinary research. Not only did their own respective interdisciplinary backgrounds mean that they were alert to those challenges, helping me to remain focused and up to date with developments, but their ability to respond critically and constructively to a wide range of ideas and issues further meant that I felt in a position to approach the various strands of my work in more creative and productive ways. As a doctoral student in DELC and the Translation Studies Graduate Programme I was also well placed to become involved in the wider academic community of the School and beyond; my various contributions to research seminars were always met with enthusiasm and feedback that was insightful and much appreciated, while I also benefitted hugely from the encouragement (and the funding) to participate in relevant international conferences such as the International George Sand Conference in Santa Barbara. Similarly, I profited from the French section’s links with the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris where I had the opportunity to build on my language skills and examine stylistics and genetic criticism in more depth during the second year of my PhD. In short, DELC and TSGP have provided an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment in which to carry out interdisciplinary doctoral research, and I look forward to continuing my work as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in this same setting.
This article was published on Oct 30, 2012