Laura Vilardell, Ph.D.
I am currently (2018-) a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University, where I teach Translation Studies and Spanish language and culture. In 2013 I completed my Ph.D. in translation and literary reception and I moved to Georgetown University to teach Language and Culture, as well as Translation (2015-2018). My main research area is the reception of translations, field for which I published a dozen articles so far. Nowadays, I focus my interests on the Spanish censorship over the translations into Catalan in the 1960s and more recently, I also study reception in social media of audiovisual content.
My primary areas of study are translation and the history of publishing. More specifically, I specialize in literary reception, cross-border cultures and minority languages, with a focus on cultural studies and translation history. I make use of archives and field methods (e.g., interviews) in my research, and bring these methods and practices to the classroom when teaching Spanish culture and conversation courses as well as translation courses.
My current work focuses on the censorship of translations into Catalan enforced by Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco during the 1960s. The goals are this project is twofold: first, to gain a better understanding of the means by which censorship prevented publications during this period. Second, to increase awareness of the forgotten publishers who suffered the pressure of the dictatorship and better understand how they continued to increase publications in banned fields. In this sense, I investigate how Catalan, that was prohibited in some of the public events and also at school, was kept alive thanks to translations into this language.
I have been part of four research and development projects; two from the Catalan Government, (2009-2012 and 2014-2017) and two from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (2008-2011 and 2011-2014). I recently earned a grant (Institució de les Lletres Catalanes, Generalitat de Catalunya) to write a book about Josep M. Boix i Selva, director of Vergara Publishing House, focusing on the publishing house’s series of translations into Catalan (“Isard”) and its troubles with censorship.