Dr Laëtitia Saint-Loubert's outreach activities in Trinidad supported by Earth Institute funding
In 2022, Dr Laëtitia Saint-Loubert received funding from the our Small Responsive Scheme while working as an IRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics on a project entitled “Rethinking Translation Studies from Caribbean Meridians: Towards an Ecosystemic Approach”. The funding enabled Dr Saint-Loubert to travel to Trinidad to pursue a side project and launch her French translation of Trinidadian author Elizabeth Nunez’s memoir, Not For Everyday Use.
Dr Saint-Loubert took part in two public engagement events that were organised and generously hosted by the Alliance Française Trinidad & Tobago (AFTT) on 11 and 12 January 2023 to promote literary circulation and linguistic diversity in the Caribbean. She gave a workshop entitled “Traduction et mobilité littéraire dans la Caraïbe” to students learning French from Holy Name Convent Secondary School and Bishop Anstey High School, Port of Spain. The students had the opportunity to learn about issues pertaining to translation and linguistic variation in the Caribbean and engage in translation activities.
Dr Saint-Loubert was also invited to do a bilingual reading with author Elizabeth Nunez as part of the AFTT “Discutons littérature” monthly event. Together with the audience, author and translator engaged in a vibrant discussion about Trinidadian society, enduring taboos around issues of race, class and gender. They also spoke about their collaboration during the translation process and how important it was for them to engage in creative practices that promote diversity and caring in the book industry.
These activities resulted in the planning of further public engagement events to be held in Guadeloupe in October 2023 as part of the annual “Lire au Grand Large” literary festival, as well as in an online conversation between author and translator at UCD as part of the SLCL Research Seminar Series (April 2023). Students from Holy Name Convent Secondary School and Bishop Anstey High School have also contacted Dr Saint-Loubert following her workshop to ask her further questions about her work as a literary translator. This indicates that impact has been generated beyond the classroom walls.
In turn, Dr Saint-Loubert feels these public engagement activities have invaluably enriched her career development, both as a scholar and as a literary translator. With this in mind, she is planning to give additional online and in-person translation workshops at various secondary and tertiary-level institutions, including in Ireland and La Réunion, in the months to come. The aim of these public engagement activities will be to promote greater diversity in literary ecosystems and better access to marginalised voices.