Professor
Modern Languages
Telephone: (01792) 604030
Room: Academic Office - 433
Fourth Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

Hello! I teach and supervise research students in the areas of German language, translation and transediting, literature, song cultures, and film studies; also literary translation and retranslation, history of translation, and translation ethics. My PhD students’ projects involve(d) Turkish, Italian, Polish and Belarusian, Chinese, and Arabic, as well as German-language sources.

In 2017 I co-founded the Swansea Translation and Interpreting Group (STING). It’s a forum for researchers, students and practitioners. We also have a series of public workshops and an international conference in 2020 on Computer-Assisted Literary Translation.

I co-founded Swansea University’s Centre on Digital Arts and Humanities (CODAH) and was its co-director (2014-2018).

Version Variation Visualisation is a collaborative project I lead, funded by the AHRC (2012) and the British Academy (2017). We apply Digital Humanities methods to the problems of navigating and understanding multiple comparable translations of a work. We have published several articles, most featuring a corpus of c.40 German translations of Shakespeare’s “Othello”. See outputs here. 

Publications include 1) books on German street ballads (1994), the German-Turkish novel (2007), the writers Zafer Senocak (2003) and Feridun Zaimoglu (2012) (both co-edited with Karin Yesilada), and “German Text Crimes” (2013); 2) articles on topics such as German hip hop, late Goethe, Werner Herzog, the trans-editing of international broadcasters’ news texts (with Arnd Nohl), and community interpreting by/with refugees in Swansea (with Feliz Celik); 3) translated poetry, fiction and essays by writers including Volker Braun, Esther Dischereit, Ulrike Draesner, Jörg Bernig, Herbert Grönemeyer, Soleïman Adel Guémar, Till Lindemann, Albert Ostermaier, Zafer Şenocak, and Feridun Zaimoglu.

I organise cultural events around multilingual poetry, and am a founder member of Wales PEN Cymru. With Eric Ngalle Charles and Sylvie Hoffmann, I set up non-profit publisher Hafan Books in 2003. We have published over 30 books: writing by refugees in Wales, alongside work by other writers of Wales. Money raised goes the charity Swansea Asylum Seekers Support.

 

Publications

  1. Celik, F., Cheesman, T. Non-professional Interpreters in Counselling for Asylum Seeking and Refugee Women Torture Journal 28 2 85 98
  2. Cheesman, T., Flanagan, K., Thiel, S., Rybicki, J., Laramee, R., Hope, J., Roos, A. Multi-Retranslation Corpora: Visibility, Variation, Value, and Virtue Literary and Linguistic Computing
  3. Cheesman, T., Flanagan, K., Thiel, S., Rybicki, J. Five Maps of Translations of Shakespeare (Ed.), Un/Translatables: New Maps for Germanic Literatures 253 278 Evanston, IL Northwestern University Press
  4. Cheesman, T. Reading Originals by the Light of Translations (Ed.), Shakespeare Survey 68 87 98
  5. Cheesman, T. 'Die Zerreißprobe des Fremden': Zafer Şenocaks Köşk - Der Pavillon - The Residence und Antoine Bermans Übersetzungskritik (Ed.), Wortbrüche. Fragmente einer Sprache des Vertrauens: Zafer Senocak: Hamburger Gastprofessur für Interkulturelle Poetik. Bielefeld transcript

See more...

Teaching

  • ML-227 War and Conflict in European Film (Modern Languages route)

    War and Conflict in European Film provides a detailed overview of the history of war and conflict in Europe from the early twentieth century to the present day as it is represented and expressed on film. Beginning with the origins of film-art fused with political expression, the module proceeds through the analysis of film movements and representative films to engage with and analyse the development of war and conflict in Europe as it is represented and expressed in relation to film narrative, aesthetics and genre. Encompassing both World Wars, the rise and fall of Communism, the often violent end of European colonialism, and the `oil wars¿ of recent decades, this module is of vital interest to all those with an interest in the history of Europe, the nature of war and conflict, and the response of film, the art form of the twentieth century, to these events and themes.

  • ML-320 Modern Languages Dissertation Preparation

    This module introduces you to the practice of research and dissertation writing in the field of Modern Languages and will guide you in the first part of your dissertation preparation. Areas covered include: selecting a relevant topic, asking relevant research questions, preparing and writing up a literature review, preparing and writing up a research proposal, research methods and library research tools, making use of foreign-language sources, structuring your dissertation, analysis and argumentation, compiling a bibliography. In addition to lectures and seminars, you will have three meetings with your supervisor. By the end of the module you will have developed your dissertation topic, know what methodology you will use and have acquired knowledge of how to organise and lay out your dissertation. Assessment for the module consists of a literature review, a research proposal and a presentation.

  • ML-321 Modern Languages Dissertation

    This module provides students with the opportunity to research one aspect of French, German, Italian or Hispanic culture in detail, and to present the findings of their research in a dissertation of 8000 words. The module will be taught by means of four practical seminars on research and writing skills, and through three formal supervision sessions with a dissertation supervisor. Your supervisor will help you to find a topic, suggest research strategies, agree a suitable title, discuss the structure of your dissertation, and will read closely and comment on one draft chapter. The topic may relate to a module you are doing at Level 3, provided that this does not involve a duplication of material and is agreed with the module coordinator in advance. The dissertations may be written in English, in your target language, or in Welsh (where Welsh-medium provision is available).

  • MLG100A Introduction to German Culture (A) - 1871 to 1945

    This module provides all students of German with an insight into the main historical and cultural developments in Germany from national unification in 1871 to the end of the Second World War. It also examines examples of short texts in German and German film against the historical background in which they were produced. The module provides students with the skills and foundation knowledge which they need to pursue other academic modules in German in more detail.

  • MLG160B German Language 1B

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of German which will equip students with the skills needed to use German in day-to-day life and professional environments. The module aims to consolidate and extend the language skills developed by students at A level (or equivalent) and to facilitate their progress in linguistic competence. It concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken German, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary German society and culture appropriate to levels B1/B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The module also aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of German in contexts relating to the world of work. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLG160A. Classes will be conducted mainly in German. This module is also available through the medium of Welsh.

  • MLG210 German Translation Workshop 2

    The aim of this module is to develop your practical skills in translating from German into English. Seminars will discuss a series of four simulated translation projects dealing with different types of text, from the point of view of the participants (e.g. commissioning agency, client), and comparative analysis of relevant areas of German and English language and culture. You will write up for assessment the second project (after discussion in class) and the fourth project (independently, after receiving feedback on the second).

  • MLG244 German Cinema of the New Millennium

    Since the turn of the millenium, German film has been enjoying a renaissance. Films such as Goodbye, Lenin (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003), Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004), and The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck , 2006) have attracted worldwide audiences. Viewers have been drawn to the sometimes sensitive, sometimes sensationalist depictions of Germans attempting to come to terms with the double calamities of fascism and communism. The new movement in German film production is explored in this module through other key films by both young and established filmmakers. The chosen films examine the lasting effects of traumatic moments in twentieth-century German history: pre-First World War, the Third Reich, 1968 protest, the GDR and its disappearance. But they also contribute to debates in the twenty-first century, post-unification Berlin Republic on transnationalism, city life versus 'Heimat', the 'normalisation' of Germany as a nation, and the troubling persistence of neo-Nazism; furthermore, they offer new perspectives on universal themes such as conflict, violence and friendship, youth, age and gender. You will examine the cultural, political and economic contexts of contemporary German film production and analyse in detail the aesthetic strategies employed in the selected films.

  • MLG270B Intermediate German Language 2B

    This module is the foundation of advanced level study of German which will equip students who have previously taken MLG108 and MLG109 Beginner German with the skills needed to use German in general and professional environments. The module concentrates on further developing fluency and accuracy in written and spoken German, establishing a firm grammatical understanding of the language, and extending students¿ vocabulary to read, write, interpret and speak about issues related to contemporary German society and culture. The module also aims to enhance students¿ employability by providing a grounding in the vocabulary and use of German in contexts relating to the world of work. It is typically taken in conjunction with MLG270A. Classes will be conducted mainly in German.

  • MLG301B German General Language 3B

    This module offers practice and development of skills in translation from English into German at an advanced level, as well as German oral and communication skills. Writing and oral classes will give you practice in the exercises covered by the module. Following an integrated teaching approach you will also be able to reinforce and expand your existing grammatical knowledge in a series of grammar workshops. One hour per week is dedicated to oral practice, further increasing your speaking and listening skills. You are expected to take part in class discussions with a native speaker of German based on written texts, audio and video materials. All classes are conducted mainly through the medium of the target language. In addition to class work, students are expected to undertake extensive private study.

  • MLG310C Translation Workshop (German/English)

    The aim of this module is to develop your practical skills in translating from German into English to a high level. The module is based on a dossier of textual materials illustrating distinct text types, and distinct aspects of German and British cultures and societies. Each text will be introduced by a brief, which will direct students towards different types of translation (documentary, instrumental and various degrees of abbreviation). As well as the translation of the text, classes and assessments will also deal with the analysis of genre-specific linguistic usage and of translation strategies, decisions and shifts; notes will also be made on specific difficulties encountered during translation. In assessed pieces this ASN (analysis, strategy, notes) will be worth 50% of the overall mark.

  • MLG344 German Cinema in the New Millennium

    Since the turn of the millenium, German film has been enjoying a renaissance. Films such as Goodbye, Lenin (dir. Wolfgang Becker, 2003), Downfall (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004), and The Lives of Others (dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck , 2006) have attracted worldwide audiences. Viewers have been drawn to the sometimes sensitive, sometimes sensationalist depictions of Germans attempting to come to terms with the double calamities of fascism and communism. The new movement in German film production is explored in this module through other key films by both young and established filmmakers. The chosen films examine the lasting effects of traumatic moments in twentieth-century German history: pre-First World War, the Third Reich, 1968 protest, the GDR and its disappearance. But they also contribute to debates in the twenty-first century, post-unification Berlin Republic on transnationalism, city life versus 'Heimat', the 'normalisation' of Germany as a nation, and the troubling persistence of neo-Nazism; furthermore, they offer new perspectives on universal themes such as conflict, violence and friendship, youth, age and gender. You will examine the cultural, political and economic contexts of contemporary German film production and analyse in detail the aesthetic strategies employed in the selected films.

  • MLGM01 Advanced Translation (German - English)

    In 17 weekly two hour small-group seminars running through Semester 1 and into Semester 2, students will translate, discuss and annotate both non-technical and technical texts. Practice assignments will grow progressively longer to reflect real-world conditions and students will on occasion be expected to work together, critiquing and editing each other's work to produce a collaborative finished version. Techniques for discovering domain-specific knowledge and translating technical terminology will be explored and developed. Assessment will be by three test translations in different domains done through the year under exam conditions (2 hours with dictionaries and/or electronic resources), each counting for 25% of the marks of the module, plus one Terminology Project or Wikipedia Project counting for the final 25%.

  • MLGM60 Advanced English-German Translation for MA Exchange Students

    This module is only available to students coming to Swansea on an approved, single-semester M-level exchange from a translation and/or interpreting school in Europe (e.g. from the METS consortium). Teaching and assessment are identical to either the first or the second semester of the existing 20 credit, 2-semester Advanced Translation modules MLgM01 (Germanto English) OR MLGM30 (English to German), OR an approved mixture between them. Students taking MLGM60 will attend the same classes and submit the same two written assessments as those taking the corresponding semester of the longer module(s).

  • MLT301B Translation Project (Sem 2)

    Professional translation involves much more than replacing expressions in one language by expression in another one. In this module, you will put into practice everything you have learned about the translation process in the course of your studies. Together with your supervisor you will agree on a text to be translated and you will be given a translation brief specifying the practical context of the translation. Depending on the subject, you might want to use computer tools and/or do some terminological research as part of your translation work. The assessment does not only consist of the translation you produce, but also takes into account your commentary. The commentary will describe the problems you encountered in the translation and your approach to these problems.

  • MLT328 Translation Theory and Ethics Through the Ages

    Throughout history and all over the world, translation has played a vital role in mediating between languages and cultures. The translator's role has often been a delicate one, at the point of intersection between conflicting religious, political, cultural and social value-systems, and translators up to the present day have always had to negotiate, more or less successfully, the resultant ethical dilemmas. This module combines historical and theoretical perspectives on Translation Studies, focusing them on the ethical issues raised, in many different contexts, by the practice of translation. Such issues include the mediation of religiously-sensitive content, the strengthening of vernacular cultures, and the transmission of scientific and cultural knowledge, as well as the translator's position in relation to gender bias, post-colonial values, or the claimed 'dehumanizing' effects of contemporary computerized translation tools. The module aims to explore the continuing relevance of such historical and theoretical issues to translators working today.

  • MLTM28 Translation Theory and Ethics Through the Ages

    Throughout history and all over the world, translation has played a vital role in mediating between languages and cultures. The translator's role has often been a delicate one, at the point of intersection between conflicting religious, political, cultural and social value-systems, and translators up to the present day have always had to negotiate, more or less successfully, the resultant ethical dilemmas. This module combines historical and theoretical perspectives on Translation Studies, focusing them on the ethical issues raised, in many different contexts, by the practice of translation. Such issues include the mediation of religiously-sensitive content, the strengthening of vernacular cultures, and the transmission of scientific and cultural knowledge, as well as the translator's position in relation to gender bias, post-colonial values, or the claimed 'dehumanizing' effects of contemporary computerized translation tools. The module aims to explore the continuing relevance of such historical and theoretical issues to translators working today.

Supervision

  • A Study of Xiao Qian as a Translation Theorist and Translator (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Sabrina Wang
  • Psychological Projection in Guenter Grass' Autobiographically-informed Fiction of the 1970s and 80s: A Study of Aus dem Tagebuch einer Schnecke (1972), Der Butt (1977) and Die Raettin (1986). (current)

    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • A study of the principal translations into English of Cervantes's Don Quijote, up to the end of the eighteenth century. (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Lloyd Davies
  • Design, compilation and applications of an English-Polish-Belarusian Parallel Literary Corpus (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Andrew Rothwell
  • This thesis on the five Merchant Ivory films with India in the backdrop is focused on the common thematic element of hybridity and the resulting cultural conflict between the East and the West depicted in these films. The films are The Householder (1963), Shakespeare Wallah (1965), The Guru (1969), Bombay Talkie (1970) and Heat and Dust (1983). All these films have James Ivory as director, Ruth PrawerJhabwala as screen writer and Ismail Merchant as producer.Apart from sharing the creative personnel, these films also have some themes in common, such as intercultural misunderstanding, making it justifiable to regard them as a quintet. The films were produced during a period in which conflicts caused by cultural hybridity were most apparent in Indian society. As cultural hybridity was predominantly a postcolonial phenomenon, it is examined with reference to other postcolonial phenomena like mimicry and ambivalence which also were strongly manifested in post-Independent Indian society. Each film depicts a distinct aspect of the clash between the cultures of the East and the West. While The Householder focuses specifically on the element of postcolonial mimicry and its effects on the struggling economy of the nation, Shakespeare Wallah manifests the impact of Indian cultural assertiveness on the lives of westerners residing in post-Independence India. The Guru depicts the severity of cultural discord between the East and the West with reference to their differing notions on spirituality. The focus of Bombay Talkie is on the collapse of individual relationships between those from the East and the West as the incompatibility between their respective cultures asserts itself strongly through their lives. Heat and Dust analyses how the East-West conflict in colonial India is carried over to postcolonial times without much abatement in its severity. The recurring motives of music and a guru like figure in these five films are also examined with due emphasis (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • Ideological Manipulations and Gender in Translation: George Orwell’s Animal Farm in Arabic (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Salwa El-Awa
  • THE LAKE AND THE SHED: «br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /»«br /» A FORMALIST AND COLERIDGEAN READING OF J. K. ROWLING (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Julian Preece
  • 'Italian Translations of the Works of P.G. Wodehouse: an Epistemic Approach' (awarded 2018)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Roberta Magnani

Key Grants and Projects

Research Groups