I am a text-maker, translator and curator. My research focuses on an expanded notion of translation, communication and meaning-making across cultures and languages. Together with Madeleine Campbell (University of Edinburgh) I lead the international AHRC-funded Experiential Translation Network. Via public workshops and collaborative projects with practising artists I investigate the multimodal aspects of communication across perceived cultural and/or linguistic divides. Further, I explore how language is used in the cultural and creative industries.
I'm also interested in practice-based and -led research, which informs my two most recent publications, Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys across Media (Palgrave 2019), a collection of essays, poetry and art texts, and Home on the Move: Two Poems go on a Journey (Parthian, 2019), a collection of poems, intersemiotic and multilingual translations.
I am currently working on an edited volume on Experiential Translation.
Previously I have published on utopian macro-engineering, urban space, cinematic architecture, the legacy of Modernism and Romanticism, speed, the car and driving as cultural phenomena as well as society’s fascination with violent death.
Research Interests and PhD Supervision
- Translation as creative practice
- Language use and multimodality online
- Art writing
My research focuses on translation as creative practice and as research tool. As the PI of the AHRC-funded Experiential Translation Network, I work with international colleagues exploring intersemiotic translation (i.e. translation between media) as a method of creation and communication, as a method for learning and teaching, collaboration and participation within multilingual, multicultural and multimodal settings. This includes understanding the many modes and modalities that contribute to meaning-making in cross-cultural communication (online & offline), language learning and translation, and embracing the role of individual imagination and artistic creation in education and arts institutions (e.g. libraries, galleries, museums).
My teaching is based on my research into cross-cultural communication and language use online and in the CCIs more generally. I also teach on cultural memory and art writing. I contribute to BA and MA core and optional modules and have written optional modules for Levels 4, 6 and 7. I supervise BA and MA dissertations across a range of subjects, including creative dissertations.
The Translator’s Gaze: Intersemiotic Translation as Transactional ProcessVidal, R. & Campbell, M., 2019, Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between Media. Palgrave Macmillan, p. 1-36 36 p. Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97244-2_1
Translating across Sensory and Linguistic Borders: Intersemiotic Journeys between MediaVidal, R. & Campbell, M., 2019, Palgrave Macmillan. 480 p. Research output: Book/Report › Book › peer-review. DOIs: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-97244-2
The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society. Vidal, R. & Blanco, M-J., 2015 (paperback 2017) Oxford, New York: Berghahn Press.
Alternative Worlds: Blue-Sky Thinking since 1900. Vidal, R, & Cornils, I. , Series: Cultural History and Literary Imagination. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2015.
Death and Desire in Car Crash Culture: A Century of Romantic Futurisms. Vidal, R. 2013, Oxford: Peter Lang.
Expertise and public engagement
I have organised public events (inc. talks and workshops), commissioned artworks and curated a number of exhibitions in the course of my practice-based research projects “Translation Games” (2013-2019) and “Talking Transformations” (2017-2019) as well as within the framework of the Experiential Translation Network (since 2020). I am regularly collaborating with poets, artists, textile designers, translators, writers and members of the public with an interest in the creative use of language and an expanded notion of what translation can mean. Recent venues for public events have included the Inigo Rooms (Somerset House), National Poetry Library (Southbank Centre), Tate Exchange, the British Library, Whitstable Biennale, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Guildhall.
Further, I have presented my research at public events at Tate, the ICA and artist-run galleries and spaces in the UK and abroad.
My research into the macro-engineering utopian project Atlantropa was featured in the Independent, on Australian public radio and on several online magazines and websites. With over 700.000 readers to date, my article about Atlantropa for The Conversation continues to rank amongst the most widely read research pieces on that platform.
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