Dr Madeleine Campbell (SFHEA)

Lecturer in Language Education


Born in Toronto, Madeleine Campbell lived in France before settling in Scotland, where she is Lecturer in Language Education at Edinburgh University.  She is currently researching the potential of both verbal and non-verbal translation as participatory pedagogy in language education. 

She is Co-Leader of the Language(s), Interculturality and Literacies (LIL) Thematic Research Hub, where she is Ethics Lead for the Hub and organises the LIL Hub Seminar SeriesThe LIL Hub is a space for interdisciplinary scholarship, aiming to connect researchers across the University of Edinburgh and beyond, working on a wide range of issues relating to education and communication through language and multimodality, in the context of global and local spaces of learning. 

She has been Co-Investigator of the AHRC-funded Experiential Translation Network (ETN) since Jan 2021. The ETN comprises a group of international scholars, artists and translators who investigate translation between languages (interlingual) and between media (intersemiotic) as a method of creation and communication, as a method for learning and teaching, collaboration and participation within multilingual, multicultural and multimodal settings.

Her book Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders (2019), co-edited with Ricarda Vidal, challenges traditional notions of literary translation through the embodied perspective of practitioners working in a range of media, including dance, film, materials and the visual arts. She spoke on WorldCanvass about translating across borders at the University of Iowa’s Reading and Re-Translation Colloquium (2018).

In a bid to explore the embodied and multi-modal nature of poetry, she translated Algerian Mohammed Dib collaboratively and across disciplines – in words, movement, sonic and visual media (Arabic Literature). This practice-based research project in intersemiotic translation is documented in the case study Haجar and the Anجel. She is also interested in surrealism, francophone literature and endangered languages and writes ekphrastic and found poetry. Her translations have been published in the University of California Book of North African Literature(2012) and MPT Magazine(2016). More recently her translations of Occitan poet Aurélia Lassaque appeared in Poetry International (Rotterdam 2018).


  • PhD in English Literature (Translation & Translation Theory), School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
  • MSc Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh 
  • MA, University of St Andrews


Responsibilities & affiliations

Postgraduate teaching

Core Course Organizer, Language and the Learner, for MSc Language Education and MSc TESOL

Option Course Organizer, Teaching Texts across Borders, open to MSc Language Education, MSc TESOL, and MSc Language and Intercultural Communications

Research summary

I am interested in the emic and embodied self in language learning and teaching. This includes intersemiotic meaning-making as well as translanguaging in both the linguistic and multimodal sense. The rationale for this interdisciplinary perspective lies in the recognition that translation and translanguaging are inevitable, conscious or unconscious mechanisms which are often discounted (if not actively discouraged) in second or foreign language settings, yet could prove a powerful ally if embraced as a fundamental aspect of the learner’s identity and actively supported as integrated pedagogical tools. I am further interested in how intersemiotic practices might be employed to assist and enhance verbal means of second language learning and literacy and in the transformative learning strategies that may arise from such practice. In this respect, I am examining and identifying links with theory and empirical findings in translanguaging, pluriliteracy and meaning-making in multicultural teaching and learning environments.

Current research interests

I am currently holding a series of intersemiotic workshops with artists, language educators and language learners with the aim of developing collaborative conceptual tools, teaching methods and ethical protocols for intersemiotic practice in language education and translation. A key objective in their development is to enhance sustainable literacies that reflect the plurilingual and intermedial ecologies of second or foreign language-based teaching and learning in higher education.

Past research interests

As leader of CLE’s SIG on Intersemiotic Translation and Cultural Literacy, I initially examined whether and how the methodologies of practice as research, principally those developed in the performing arts, could be applied to understand the process of intersemiotic translation. I was also concerned with the pedagogical implications of this inquiry, and began to investigate how the explanatory framework we were developing within the SIG might contribute to cultural literacy in a plurilingual workshop setting. The outcome of one such workshop is documented in a joint peer-reviewed article (2018), and forms part of a larger research initiative, which I launched with colleague Ricarda Vidal through a symposium at Kings College London in 2016. These activities led me to propose and co-edit the book Translating Across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between Media, published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan. Intersemiotic Journeys brings together first person narratives from over twenty intersemiotic practitioners in a variety of media. It includes contributions from performers, artists, poets and curators, many of whom work in language education and intercultural communication. As such this practice-led inquiry engages with the role of language and its non-verbal, social and conceptual meaning-making schemata in interdisciplinary areas common to IETL’s Language, Culture and Communication research cluster. The introductory chapter of Intersemiotic Journeys (2019) which I wrote with co-editor Ricarda Vidal, proposes an explanatory framework for investigating both the practice and impact of intersemiotic translation and is informed by the fields of semiotics, cognitive poetics, psychoanalysis and transformative learning. Engaging in particular with Lars Elleström’s (2010) taxonomy of media and their perception, from material through to sensorial, spatio-temporal and semiotic modalities, this chapter differentiates intersemiotic translation from both literary translation and intermedial arts practices as a highly individualized process of meaning-making. While Intersemiotic Journeys is principally concerned with how the translator negotiates and gives expression to the multimodal, embodied nature of language, several chapters in this volume are devoted to the affordances of intersemiotic translation in developing individual agency and conceptual tools for professional development and intercultural communication. In the next phase I aim to extend the socio-cognitive framework elaborated thus far to investigate the potential of intersemiotic practice to foster agency and investment in language learning in diverse educational settings, based on an iterative approach where theory and practice inform each other.

Knowledge exchange

The impact of a completed research project is documented in the following SWAY presentation




Affiliated research centres

Project activity

The Experiential Translation Network comprises a group of international scholars, artists and translators who investigate translation between languages (interlingual) and between media (intersemiotic) as a method of creation and communication, as a method for learning and teaching, collaboration and participation within multilingual, multicultural and multimodal settings. 

Our research is grounded in theory and practice. Collaboration and the exchange of skills and knowledge is central to what we do. We are organising a series of public participatory creative workshops where we invite people to join us in the exploration of intersemiotic translation via creative methods (e.g. writing, performance, artmaking, etc.). Workshops will take place in venues across Europe and/or online.

Current project grants

AHRC Network Grant AH/V008234/1

Invited speaker

Campbell, M. and Ricarda Vidal ( 2019, Feb 27). The Translator’s Gaze:  Intersemiotic Translation as Transactional Process. Translation, Transmission, and Cultural Transfer Seminar, Queen Mary, University of London.

Campbell, M. (2019, Mar 28-30). Translation and Re-translation as Embodied Reading.  Iowa Colloquium on Reading and Re-Translation, Iowa University, USA.

Campbell, M.  (2019, Nov 20). Translation Studies Seminar Series, School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh. Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between Media.




Organization of Academic Conferences, Workshops and Symposia 

  • Glasgow College of Arts PG Conference: Assembling Identities, 23-24 May 2013. Member of Conference Committee. http://assemblingidentities.wordpress.com/ 
  • University of Glasgow BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Alternatives: Translation and the(Anti-)Canon,24-25 April 2014. Member of Organizing Committee. Secured funding for keynote speaker from USA.
  • Cultural Literacy of Migration: Affects, Memory, Concepts. The Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw 18-20 May 2016. Member of Planning Workshop for CLE Biennial Conference 2017.  
  • Intersemiotic TranslationWords, Brush-strokes and Dancing Shoes– a Symposium on Translatability across Invisible Borders, Co-organised with Ricarda Vidal, King’s College London, 1 July 2016, 11am – 5pm. http://preview.tinyurl.com/h3dvlms
  • CLE Second Biennial Conference, Motion and (e)motion: Cultural Literacy on the Move, The Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Member of Programme Committee (10-12 May 2017, Warsaw).
  • CLE Third Biennial Conference, Cultural Literacy and Cosmopolitan Conviviality, CECC, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Member of Programme Committee (Forthcoming, 9-11 May 2019, Lisbon).


Papers delivered

1. Campbell, M. (2012, May).Mohammed Dib’s Treatment of the Desert as a Space of (Dis)location. Paper presented at the Spaces of (Dis)Location Conference, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

2. —. (2012, November). Translating Mohammed Dib: Performance or Representation?Paper presented at the Processes and Outcomes, Paths and Products: A Scottish Practice-as-Research Symposium, CCA Glasgow, UK.


3. —. (2013, March). Nachleben for a Past that Won’t Pass:  Habib Tengour in Translation. Paper presented as the Reading the Target: Translation as Translation Symposium, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.


4. —.(2013, July). Mohammed Dib: A Liminal yet Multilingual ‘Reference System’ (système de références) within the Framework of the French language. Paper presented at the International Comparative Literature Association Congress, Paris. http://icla-ailc-2013.paris-sorbonne.fr/

5. —. (2013, September). « Hagar et l’ange : intersémiotique du désert dans L’Aube Ismaël». Paper presented atColloque–Hommage à l’écrivain Mohammed Dib, sur les chemins du monde, avec l’Institut français sous la direction scientifique de Abd El Hadi Ben Mansour, Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris, France. http://preview.tinyurl.com/gnlaae9

6. —. (2014, June). Mohammed Dib’s poem ‘Hagar aux cris’ and its relevance to contemporary themes of migration and family life, Paper presented at GRAMNet Workshop Migration and Intimate Life, University of Glagow, UK.

7. —. (2014, September). Intersemiotic Translation of Mohammed Dib’s Poetry. Paper presented at the International Conference "Language – Literature − the Arts: A cognitive and semiotic interface", Ukrainian Association of Cognitive Linguistics and Poetics, Kiev University of Linguistics, Ukraine.

8. —. (2014, October). In the Belly of the Cactus: Charting Mohammed Dib’s Expression through the Lens of Joris and Tengour’s Diwan Ifrikiya/ In the Belly of the Cactus: Joris ve Tengour’un Diwan-ı Ifrika Eserinde Mohammed Dib’in Yansımaları. Vth International Comparative Literature Conference, Local Contexts, Global Connections, Transitions, Deviations, Innovations In Literature, Culture and Art, Mersin University, Turkey.

9. —. (2015, April 16-18). Atavism in “Minor Literatures”: Mohammed Dib and the Transcultural Emergence of Identity. Paper Presented at the Cultural Literacy in Europe Conference, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London, UK.

10. —. (2015, April 16-18). TheJettiesProject: Engaging with Diasporic Communities to Express Individual Narratives through Gesture, Sound and Movement. Project Presented at the Cultural Literacy in Europe Conference, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London, UK.

11. —. (2016, May 20-22). Ekphrasis as Intermedial Metaphor: Ashbery’s ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror’. Paper presented at Advances in Metaphor Studies Conference, University of Genoa, Italy.

12. —. (2016, Oct 4-8). Inside-Exile: Dib, Meddeb and Sohrawardi. Paper presented at Outside-in/Inside-out Conference, University of Glasgow, UK.