I have written many articles and book chapters on translation, theatre and comparative literature.
My first book, Jouer la traduction. Théâtre et hétérolinguisme au Canada francophone (2015) explores the bilingual (English-French) language and performance games of professional francophone theatre artists in Acadie, Ontario and Western Canada before following these games on the road as they are translated for mostly monolingual anglophone or francophone audiences elsewhere. Using what I call ‘playful translation,’ authors, translators, directors and actors collaborate to stage intricate games of inclusion and exclusion of audience members along linguistic lines. Spectators without access to both languages are made aware that they don’t understand parts of the performance because they aren’t supposed to; in many cases, they are the target of the jokes and games played by bilingual theatre artists. My book exposes many of these jokes at the expense of spectators who understand less as bilingual theatre moves, in partial translation, towards Canada’s major theatre centres in English (in Toronto) and in French (in Montréal).
Another research project, Becoming Hopeful (and Bilingual) Together: Hope’s Affect in Bilingual Theatre in Canada, starts from the idea that if a partly denunciatory playfulness is one response to the high stakes involved in delving in language dynamics, then another response is to offer hopeful visions of better worlds. Namely, many instances of bilingual (French-English) theatre from anglophone artists in Canada establish alternate models for living, working and playing together – as theatre artists, as people at the theatre and as citizens. These instances of bilingual theatre rely on affect rather than on guaranteed effects: they are not representative of worlds to be prescribed (as in the official policies of bilingualism), but palpable, affective alternatives shared by temporary communities of people in a theatre space.
My current research project takes the city of Toronto not only as a site for the reception of translation, but also as a site for the production of translations. Funded by an Insight Development Grant (SSHRC 2016-2018), this project considers the history of the practice of translation for the theatre from French to English and vice-versa.