Former students publish a collection of essays by late Professor Barbara Godard 

Book opened on white surface

Former students of the late Professor Barbara Godard have published a collection of her essays in the Routledge Key Thinkers on Translation Series, which presents the essential selected works – journal articles and book extracts of leading figures in the field of translation studies – in a single volume.  

Book cover

A virtual book launch for Translation, Semiotics, and Feminism: Selected Writings of Barbara Godard will take place virtually on April 8 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. It is organized by the Glendon Centre for Research on Language and Cross-Cultural Contact (CRLCC) as part of Glendon’s annual Research Festival.

Professor Barbara Godard is remembered for bringing her encyclopedic knowledge, infectious energy, and enthusiasm for social justice to York classrooms and various public events. Before her death in 2010, Godard was the Avie Bennett Historica Chair of Canadian Literature and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the Departments of English, French, Social and Political Thought, and Women’s Studies. She is remembered for raising a generation of academics, many of them are university professors across Canada and beyond, and whose thinking has been influenced by her work. 

Godard introduced new ideas about gender in translation, semiotic analysis of translation, the intersections between Deleuzian philosophy and translation studies, and translation in the context of settler colonialism in the Americas. 

Despite her prolific output, Godard had never published a major monograph in the field that she pioneered and helped develop, namely feminist translation studies. Two of her former doctoral students, Eva Karpinski and Elena Basile, have recently remedied this omission by bringing to publication an edited collection of Godard’s essays on translation.  

The book includes selected writings of Godard and brings together 16 of the most important essays by the influential Canadian scholar, situating her thinking in relation to feminism and translation studies from the 1980s through the 2000s.  

Barbara Godard

Godard’s lasting contributions helped to advance several areas in translation studies such as feminist theories and semiotics. The collection includes two previously unpublished essays and two essays that have so far only appeared in French. 

The book is organized into four thematic parts covering feminist theories, comparative cultural studies, semiotics and ethics, and embodied praxis of translation. Each part is accompanied by specifically focused introductory essays, written by the editors, elucidating the material presented in each section. Topics range from translating and sexual difference and feminist discourse to translation and theatre and the ethics of translating. 

Karpinski is an associate professor at the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies while Basile is a contract faculty in English, Communication, Translation Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies at both Keele and Glendon campuses. 

Book editors Eva Karpinski and Elena Basile

As editors, Karpinski and Basile had retrieved Godard’s texts from several minor and independent publications, and also found some of her unpublished work in York’s Clara Thomas Archives. In addition to honouring their late mentor, their goal was to ensure Godard’s influence and her theoretically and methodologically innovative contributions will be fully appreciated by current theorists, students and practitioners of translation. 

The anthology edited by Karpinski and Basile introduces Godard to international academic audiences and showcases her lasting impact on feminist translation studies. The editor’s note it is timely to assemble an archive of Godard’s writings and repair the broken temporalities of feminist translation studies, restoring her to a rightful place in the genealogies of experimental theorizing in this field. 

Learn more about Translation, Semiotics, and Feminism: Selected Writings of Barbara Godard on the Routledge website.

The Research Office at Glendon Campus is hosting the festival on April 7, 8 and 11 to celebrate the achievements of Glendon researchers. This virtual book launch is part of the three-day event which will include two roundtable discussions, a virtual book launch for Negotiating Linguistic Plurality: Translation and Multilingualism in Canada and Beyond edited by Associate Professor María Constanza Guzmán and Adjunct Professor Sehnaz Tahir Gürçaglar, an event to recognize new faculty members, a celebration of the Principal’s Research Excellence Awards, and a student research showcase.

For event details, visit the Glendon Campus website.