PhD Abstract Dr Chris Milson

Abstract PhD Thesis Dr Chris Milson

Congratulations to CIRCL PhD student Chris Milson for completing his PhD and viva on 11-03-2016 with his thesis ‘On Translation: Reading, Representation, and the Desire to Know’ (supervisor: Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein. Viva external examiner: Dr Hannah Anglin-Jaffe, University of Exeter, internal examiner: Dr Neil Cocks)!

(Abstract of thesis)

This thesis was inspired by conversations with my students, but is the culmination of interests and investments I have had for many years in ideas of representation and the real, knowledge and translation. It considers multiple texts from a myriad of disciplines that make claims as to the untranslatability of certain concepts deemed too real, or too unable to be represented, to be translatable. I offer close readings of these texts, and of texts that make the opposite claim – that such concepts can indeed be translated fully and can therefore be accessible by anyone – to look what is at stake in such assertions.

My chapters are organised around a selection of the concepts claimed by the texts I offer readings of as being outside of discourse, by dint of their claimed translatability or untranslatability: identity, experience, perception, and the unconscious. In each case the texts I read are from across multiple disciplines, including psychoanalysis, children’s literature, disability theory, and others.

Ultimately, I look at how most of the current debates in academia revolve around an appeal to empathy as a way of avoiding reading. Empathy, as with the conception of translation that many of the texts I read create and operate with, is about a kind of direct access that bypasses the need for reading and interpretation. The desire for knowledge and mastery is therefore enabled in a way that reading disallows, it being based on interpretation and not a so-called direct access to that which is desired to be known.

Students' Views

M(Res) in Children’s Literature student 2017-18 wins prize!

CIRCL are delighted to announce that our current M(Res) in Children’s Literature student Kristy Keller has won second prize in the ‘First Pages’ category at the Swedish ‘Stockholm Writer’s Festival’ with her children’s detective novel Harper Holloway and the Disappearance of Arabella Sent  Many congratulations, Kristy!