Mary Bryden

Mary Bryden
Résidents Labex RFIEA+
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

01/02/2015 - 30/06/2015



Fonction d’origine


Institution d’origine

Université de Reading (Royaume-Uni)

pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Translating the First World War

As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, analyses of the conjunction of war and literature continue to enhance what has now become an important and expanding strand of scholarship. So far, however, studies have tended to concentrate mainly on literature from a single linguistic group These language- or nation-specific studies have undoubtedly yielded important insights  into the faces of war within particular cultures or discourses. Yet the Great War is distinctive as the first major war in modern times to be proceeding alongside a chorus of European literary responses to it. The precondition of this transnational dialogue was the existence of a vibrant culture of translation.

‘Translation’, in its most common usage, refers simply to the transferral of a message between different languages. Yet there is a far more ambitious and innovative way of putting the concept to work, and one which will yield a richer series of findings in the specific context of the Great War.  To do this, I propose to investigate ‘translation’ along three main axes:

a)  internal translation;

b)  external translation;

c)  experiential translation.

The project will not restrict itself to a single theoretical frame, but will adopt insights from a range of practices and disciplines, including literary criticism, cultural theory, and translation studies. 


Mary Bryden (1953-2015) was Professor of French Studies at the University of Reading. Through the years she also held the positions of Head of the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies, and School Director of Research, as well as President of the Association of University Professors and Heads of French. She held visiting appointments at Newnham College, Cambridge, and Magdalen College, Oxford.


Her research interests lay in the field of modern French literature and culture, including the writing of Samuel Beckett; twentieth-century French drama; the works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari; French feminism. She was particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches which bring texts into dialogue with other fields of enquiry. Her published work considers Beckett in relation to music, religion, and the visual arts. Similarly, Her work on the philosopher Gilles Deleuze considers his work in relation to religion and to chosen literary texts. Her most recent research focused on T. E. Lawrence as a transnational figure, a study which took in postcolonial readings, filmography, and translation.