Publishing Translations from Russian Today

This case study, overseen by both Dr Muireann Maguire and Dr Cathy McAteer, explores the ethical, economic, and practical challenges currently faced by contemporary Russian-to-English translators. The project will create an independent translation network by inviting up to five translators to render these contemporary Russian literary prose texts into English. The translators will then be tasked with finding commercial publishing outlets for their translations; the researchers’ aim is to interview translators, publishers, and potentially readers about their reasons for choosing one text over another.  Questions addressed by this study include: Which Russian authors, classified in terms of their political views and potential for literary or popular appeal, are currently being translated for the UK market? What kind of writers have been supported by Russian-state-funded organizations, since the 2000’s? How many translators independently undertake to find publishing contracts for Russian-language authors (as opposed to the alternative system, whereby publishers commission translations), and what networks of contacts, grant agencies, etc. do they employ to this end? Is literary translation (in the Russian-English context) still viable as a career for graduates of university translation programmes?

More details about this case study, and the criteria for translators wishing to take part, will be released in 2020.