Funded PhD Opportunity Twentieth-century bilingual writing and translation in Ireland

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Modern Languages and Linguistics


PhD applications are welcome from students wishing to study diverse topics within the subject area, including literary studies of the work of bilingual authors, and also studies of translation (into Irish or English) by twentieth-century Irish authors.          One of the fields of study for which we offer supervision is bilingual writing in twentieth-century Ireland. This includes the bilingual work of writers such as Pádraig Mac Piarais, Brendan Behan, Liam Ó Flaithearta, Eoghan Ó Tuairisc, Michael Hartnett, Celia de Fréine, Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, and other, sometimes neglected, writers. Ó Tuairisc once complained that the bilingual writer tends to be distrusted and/or ignored by both linguistic groups. But has that always been the case? We encourage fresh analysis of the work of bilingual writers and of its reception over time.

Another research area for which we welcome applications is translation studies, in particular the study of translations into Irish or English by twentieth-century Irish authors. Many Irish writers have engaged with translation as a significant part of their oeuvre, which leading commentator Michael Cronin has noted, identifying three levels at which northern Irish poets, for example, have engaged with translation: firstly, as a continuing ‘dialogue with the other language on the island, Irish’; secondly, ‘as liberation, escaping from the pressures of Irish politics and history into the playful exuberance of foreign literatures’; and thirdly, ‘as a way of addressing the conflict but indirectly’.

There are other motivations for translation, as suggested by the work of Gearoid Mac Lochlainn and others. Also, when one considers the relatively under-researched translation work of leading poets such as Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, Gabriel Rosenstock, etc., there is rich territory for exploring translation choices, methods, difficulties, and even disputes. For example, translation and reception of the work of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and/or Biddy Jenkinson’s caution regarding translation into English (in Ireland) could form points of focus and debate.

Should any applicant wish to include translation practice (into Irish or English), together with a commentary, as part of their PhD study, that could perhaps be arranged, dependent upon the source language. Currently, we have staff with expertise in Irish, Scots Gaelic, Breton, French, Russian, and several other languages.

Applicants should enquire in advance of submitting an application if their chosen source language is not listed in the previous sentence.          In conclusion, we welcome PhD applications for studies of twentieth-century bilingual writing (between Irish and English); and in translation studies, we welcome applications regarding the translation practice of twentieth-century Irish authors whose target language is Irish and/or English. Such a translation study may, if the applicant wishes, and depending upon the proposed source language, contain a practical element together with a commentary. .

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 65%
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement



    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

AHRC CDT Programme

Other information

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
19 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Frank Sewell

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #239657 when applying for this PhD opportunity