BCLT is a research centre in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
Through the BCLT Research Group, the Centre serves as the focus for literary translation research within the School and beyond, by academic staff and research postgraduates. BCLT hosts regular research events such as research seminars, book launch symposia and more substantial conferences. We also partner with other research organisations across the UK and overseas on research projects such as the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative project “Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community”.
If you would like to work with BCLT as a partner on a research project, or are interested in applying to UEA for postgraduate research, please get in touch.
British Centre for Literary Translation offers two BCLT translation residencies every year for UK-based literary translators. The residencies are for 4 months, one day per week (Feb-May 2023).
Applications are now CLOSED for the 2022-23 BCLT Translators in Residence.
To be eligible to apply you must:
- be a practising literary translator, working with any language(s), based in the UK, and with a project currently in progress, preferably prose fiction
- have a keen interest in and enthusiasm for the process of translation and cross-cultural dialogue
- be able to work independently, as well as in a team
- have excellent communication skills (both verbal and written)
- have an interest in research in literary translation studies, with a focus on making a contribution to the BCLT’s research programme
- have an interest in the professional development of literary translators
It is desirable for each resident to also have:
- Some experience of leading workshops
- Some experience of publishing written and online content
Applications are now closed.
Watch this video to find out more about the scheme:
The inaugural BCLT Translators in Residence were Olivia Hellwell and William Gregory (October 2020-January 2021).
The 2021-22 BCLT Transators in Residence were Sawad Hussain and Laura McGloughlin (February 2022-May 2022).
You can watch some of the online events that our BCLT Translators in Residence have taken part in during their residencies on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Our Translators in Residence meet regularly with BCLT's Cecilia Rossi to discuss questions surrounding literary translation. These discussions have resulted in collaborative blog posts that can be viewed on the NewWriting.net website.
"My time as Translator in Residence granted me space to think creatively about connections between my translation work and my research; it offered a platform from which to hold conversations and to build working partnerships, and most importantly, I think, it carved out a regular, financially supported portion of time which I could dedicate to doing the thing I love to do the most: translating."
"It is wonderful news that, following my and Olivia's time as the inaugural Translators in Residence, the BCLT has confirmed that the programme will continue...I cannot recommend this opportunity highly enough and I urge all fellow translators, however you came into literary translation, to consider applying."
The Charles Wallace India Trust
The Charles Wallace India Trust translation residency has been offered by the British Centre for Literary Translation since the 1990s. It offers translators from India the opportunity to spend time at the University of East Anglia working on a literary translation project of their choice.
While their translation project forms the focus of their stay with us, we also encourage Fellows to engage in the academic, cultural and social life of the faculty.
BCLT is located within the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, which offers teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate level in literary translation. We aim to offer CWIT Fellows the opportunity to present papers and talk about work in progress with translators and creative writers.
Translation Fellowship 2022
The 2022 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship (18 September - 10 December 2022) has been awarded to Sujit Kumar Mandal.
Sujit Kumar Mandal, born in 1977, is Associate Professor and presently the Head of the Department of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. His research areas include reception, translation, traditional cultures and performance. He has translated various short stories, plays, and essays from English to Bengali. His publications in Bengali include Bideshi Phuler Guchchha: Rabindranath Thakur-krita a-Bharatiya Bhashar Kabita-Anubad (an anthology of the poems translated by Rabindranath Tagore from non-Indian languages into Bangla with the originals and elaborate annotations, 2011), Dukhushyam Chitrakar: Patua Sangit (an anthology of traditional songs sung with the scroll paintings of Bengal, 2011), and Banabibir Pala (literatures of the Banabibi cult of the Sunderbans region, 2009). He has recently completed a voluminous translation of Man'yōshū, one of the oldest collections of Japanese poems, into Bengali.
For more than a decade, Sujit has been working with the patuya (scroll painter) community in Bengal. He has been awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Literary Translation Fellowship in 2022 to translate the scroll narratives. The scroll painting of Bengal (patachitra) is one of the most significant forms of traditional Indian art. This is a composite art form in which the painters not only create the paintings but also compose songs, perform the music, and exhibit their art – travelling from village to village to make a living. The paintings are usually based on mythological or social (sometimes even journalistic) narratives, which are set to verses in folk tunes. Thus the form includes at least three prominent media, including painting, literary narrative, and music. The earliest collection of such long narrative verses was edited by Gurusaday Dutt and printed in 1939. This collection was based on his travels in two districts of Bengal, Birbhum and Murshidabad. Sujit undertook extensive fieldwork throughout the districts of Bengal during 2007-2010 and collected the traditional songs that survived in the memory of the scroll painters (patuya). This was mostly done with the help of the legendary traditional scroll painter Dukhushyam Chitrakar (who died recently in 2022). This collection, the only full-phased and contemporary collection of the songs associated with the traditional scroll paintings of Bengal was published in 2011. The volume titled Dukhushyam Chitrakar: Patuya Sangeet edited by Sujit is a collection of 78 long narrative verses along with photographs of traditional scroll paintings. This is perhaps the only complete collection of such contemporary narrative verses in the field of the scroll paintings of Bengal. In this context, Sujit plans to translate the lyrics he has collected from Bangla into English, primarily for the sake of dissemination of knowledge. The translation work has already started. An initial draft has been done for 40 of the 78 long narrative verses. His Charles Wallace India Trust translation residency at BCLT will be focused on completing the translation of the remaining verses of the abovementioned volume and to finalise the translations with notes and proper introductions over the next three months.
Translation Fellowship 2021
The 2021 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship (27 September - 3 December 2021) was awarded to Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha .
Anindya Sekhar Purakayastha is Professor of English and Coordinator, Center for Critical Social Inquiry, Kazi Nazrul University, India.
Anindya's fellowship took place online and during his time with us he worked on his translation project ‘Versifying Cosmopolitan Hope Amidst the Wounds of Time: Translation of the Kallol Era Poets.’
Translation Fellowship 2020
Due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 global crisis, the 2020 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship at BCLT did not take place.
Translation Fellowship 2019
The 2019 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship was awarded to Dr Shampa Roy. Dr Roy was resident at BCLT from 29 September - 7 December 2019.
Dr Shampa Roy is an Associate Professor at the Dept. of English, Miranda House, Delhi University, Delhi. In a career of close to thirty years, she has taught diverse undergraduate courses ranging from Nineteenth Century British Fiction to Indian Writings in Translation. She has co-edited, along with Saswati Sengupta and Sharmila Purkayastha, a collection of essays on Rabindranath Tagore's Ghare Baire/Home and the World titled Towards Freedom (Orient Longman, 2007) and is particularly excited about working with the same editorial team on the book, The 'Bad' Women of Bombay Films: Studies in Desire and Anxiety (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan, US, 2020).
Translation Fellowship 2018
Dr Urvashi Sabu was our 2018 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow (30 September - 8 December 2018).
Dr Urvashi Sabu is Associate Professor, Dept of English, PGDAV College, Delhi University, Delhi. For her tenure at BCLT, she undertook a translation of renowned Pakistani poet and activist Kishwar Naheed’s non-fiction prose work, Buri Aurat Ke Khutoot: Naazaida Beti Ke Naam (Letters of a Bad Woman: To Her Unborn Daughter)
Translation Fellowship 2016-2017
The 2016-2017 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship was awarded to Sreedevi K Nair. Sreedevi is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English at NSS College for Women, Neeramankara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
During her 11 weeks in Norwich, Sreedevi undertook independent research entitled ‘Sita’s Sorrow: When Malayali Women Retell The Ramayana.’
Translation Fellowship 2015-2016
Sanjukta Dasgupta of Calcutta University took up the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship at BCLT in 2016.
Professor Dasgupta is Former Head of the Department of English and Former Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Calcutta University.
During her Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship at BCLT she worked on a project entitled 'Rabindranath Tagore and Madhurilata Tagore: Gender Discourse and Representation of Women in the Texts of Father and Daughter. A Translated Miscellany'.
The gender-specific translation project in four parts comprised translations of selected essays, poems and letters of Rabindranath Tagore as well as translations of the short stories of Madhurilata Tagore.
Translation Fellowship 2014-15
Mamta Sagar was awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship 20 April - 5 July 2015.
Dr Sagar is a poet, playwright and translator. She is Assistant Professor, Centre for Kannada Studies, Bangalore University. During her residency she worked towards compiling Translating Voices of Resistance, a collection of 100 poems by 50 contemporary poets for an international anthology voicing resistance.
BCLT runs a series of online research seminars each term. Details of upcoming research seminars can be found on our homepage in the event listings.
You can view recent online research seminars on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Eco-Translation: Responding to the Work of Michael Cronin
Friday 14-Saturday 15 May 2021 (online)
This two-day online conference focused on the work of the influential Irish translation theorist Michael Cronin. Leading UK and international scholars of translation, eco-criticism and environmental studies addressed issues highlighted in Cronin’s recent work, in particular Eco-Translation: Translation and Ecology in the Age of the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2017). Cronin’s book explores the challenges to translation posed by human-induced environmental change, with topics ranging from the translation of travel literature to endangered languages and inter-species communication.
The conference was co-organised by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies at UEA. You can watch sessions from the conference on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Publishing in Translation
A day-conference at BCLT with panel events, workshops and networking bringing together publishers, literary translators and researchers
Saturday 30 November 2019, 10.30am-4.30pm, Thomas Paine Study Centre, UEA
Literary Translation Workshops: Bridging Communities Affected by Past Conflicts
Friday 23 November 2018, National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, Norwich
Venuti and After: A day-conference at BCLT on the work of Lawrence Venuti and its impact on Translation Studies
Friday 11 May 2018, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Innovation & Experimentalism in Translation and Translation Theory
18 - 19 November 2017, University of East Anglia, Norwich
The 7th Biennial Postgraduate Translation Symposium focused on innovative or experimental developments in literary translation practices, in translation theory, across the history of translation and in the practical applications of translation. We pondered both new critical developments, and new creative opportunities. It considered the challenges, and explored whether innovation has its limits. It also considered where innovation and experimentalism may lead the future of Translation Studies.
Keynote speakers: Dr Rocío Baños Piñero, UCL; Professor Catherine Boyle, KCL; Professor Tom Cheesman, Swansea; Clive Scott, Emeritus Professor, UEA.
The symposium was generously supported by: The Faculty of Arts and Humanities, UEA; the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership; the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT).
Shakespeare in Translation
10 - 11 December 2016, University of East Anglia, Norwich
In collaboration with the British Council, Globe Education and Writers' Centre Norwich.
A conference that brought together translators, academics and theatre practitioners from the UK and overseas to discuss Shakespeare in translation and his international reception. This was the final event in the British Council’s 2016 programme “A Great Feast of Languages”, which marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. It featured three translation workshop sessions, six short presentations on aspects of Shakespeare in translation, and recorded perfomances of new translations produced by participants in international translation workshops held in Cologne, Mexico City and Singapore.
Dalit Literature And/In Translation
29 - 30 June 2015 at the University of East Anglia
The Centre for Postcolonial Studies at Nottingham Trent University, UK, in collaboration with the research centre EMMA at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France, created an international academic network to enable a multi-disciplinary dialogue on Indian literature produced by Dalits (formerly known as Untouchables) by hosting a series of workshops and conferences on the production, translation, dissemination and analysis of Dalit literature.
As part of this network, BCLT hosted a conference at the University of East Anglia in June 2015.
Watch part one
Literary Translation: Redrawing the Boundaries
Thursday 4 December 2014, University of East Anglia
A round table to celebrate the publication of Literary Translation: Redrawing the Boundaries (Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Jean Boase-Beier, Antoinette Fawcett and Philip Wilson.
Literary Translation: Redrawing the Boundaries is a collection of articles that gathers together current work in literary translation to show how research in the field can speak to other disciplines whilst simultaneously learning from them.
Contributors included BJ Epstein, Duncan Large, Clive Scott and George Szirtes.
The BCLT Research Group originally came together in 1993, when Jean Boase-Beier established UEA’s MA in Literary Translation with Professors W.G. Sebald, Clive Scott and Janet Garton.
Its ethos was to combine research with the writing of translations. Current members are Duncan Large, Cecilia Rossi, Thomas Boll, Jo Catling, Philip WIlson, Veronika Bowker, Eugenia Loffredo, Eugenia Kelbert Rudan, Hannah Osborne, Kotryna Garanasvili, Alana Stone, Marian Arribas-Tome and Sophie Stevens.
BCLT Research Group members lecture, write and offer workshops on a range of literary translation topics. They also run a PhD programme, from which around 70 students have graduated. Members have received grants and awards for their translations and research. Read more about BCLT Research Group member publications.
The BCLT Translation Studies Reading Group was established in 2020 by Philip Wilson and Jen Calleja.
The group meets a few times per term to discuss a scholarly article that has been announced in advance. Each article is given a very brief introduction of no more than 5 minutes by the person who has chosen it, but the point is to share thoughts. The group meets virtually via Microsoft Teams. The group is open to UEA staff and students and the public. If you would like to join the group please email Jon Herring.
As an academic research centre with a mission to support the literary translation profession, BCLT is in a unique position.
Working in close partnership with the National Centre for Writing and other key impact partners, we take pride in capitalising on our academic research to benefit the wider community.
In particular, we draw on the insights from our research in designing our programme of activities that contribute to the continuing professional development of translators. Read more about BCLT impact and the Translator as Creative Writer.
Translation Studies explores promising lines of work within the discipline of Translation Studies, placing a special emphasis on existing connections with neighbouring disciplines and the creation of new links.
Translation Studies aims to extend the methodologies, areas of interest and conceptual frameworks inside the discipline, while testing the traditional boundaries of the notion of “translation” and offering a forum for debate focusing on historical, social, institutional and cultural facets of translation.
The Iowa Review: Forum on Literature and Translation