Elena Goodwin

Department: Russian
Discipline: Modern Languages

Project Summary

Research Title: “Dobraia staraia Angliia” in Russian perception: literary representations of Englishness in translated children's literature in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia

My thesis explores Englishness and its representation in translated children’s literature in Russia during the Soviet period (from 1917 until 1991) and the post-Soviet period (from 1992 until 2015). It focuses on Russian translations of English children’s classics published between the late-Victorian period and the Second World War. It studies how Russian translations of English children’s literature construct literary portrayals of Englishness in varied socio-cultural and historical contexts. It investigates the complex processes involved in re-creating national specificities of English literary texts in Russian culture.

The Anglo-centric essence of Englishness – or ‘dobraia staraia Angliia’ [good old England] – is expressed to a greater degree in the classics of English children’s literature. It is this particular idealised Englishness that is represented in the Russian translations. My thesis demonstrates that various manifestations of Englishness are modified in Russian translations and that the degree of modification varies according to changes in the political climate in Russia.

A significant role is played by ideology – of a prevailing political nature during in the Soviet Union and a commercial ideology in post-Soviet Russia. My thesis aims to make a contribution to the study of Englishness in children’s literature in the way of understanding how Englishness is represented in other cultures.

My thesis offers suggestions of how translated literature can contribute to the study of national identity; how translators from different traditions of literary translation deal with conveying cultural specificity and how ideology and censorship affect translators' decisions.






Supervisory Team

Professor Katharine Hodgson

Dr Emily Lygo

Wider Research Interests

History of Russian-English translation, children's literature in translation, English/Russian children's literature, Russian literature, English/Russian national identity, Russian-English cultural relations, censorship and ideology in translation