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Francesca Leveridge

Languages and Literature, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

The ‘Third Space’ of Film Translation: (Re)constructing and Representing Linguistic and Cultural Hybridityin Subtitled Film

My thesis examines the (re)construction and representation of linguistic and cultural hybridity in subtitled film. Specifically, it investigates the ways in which subtitles draw on aural and visual signs within the filmic text to produce systems of representation through which linguistic and cultural hybridity may be (re)constructed. In approaching my topic, I employ Homi Bhabha’s (1994) postcolonial translation theory framework and its conceptual vocabulary of the “third space”, the “inbetween”, and “hybridity” and explore how these concepts work in the context of subtitled film. I propose a reconceptualization of subtitling as an act of “translation and negotiation” that takes place in the “third space”, or the space “in-between” the audio and visual codes of the filmic text, and argue that the “productive capacities” of this “third space” engender multiple possibilities for the (re)construction and representation of linguistic and cultural hybridity in subtitled film.

My project analyses the subtitling into English of a corpus of contemporary multilingual Francophone films through the critical lens of Bhabha’s translation theory, and draws on perspectives from audio-visual translation theory and film semiotics. The analysis will examine the extent to which, and how, the hybridization of languages and cultures in the source texts is (re)constructed in the English subtitles, in the context of the other semiotic channels of the films, and discuss the impact of translation strategies identified on the re-presentation of hybridity. The analysis considers the practical, technical and linguistic specificities of producing subtitles for a monolingual audience, but argues that, far from being a “constrained” form of translation that produces a homogenizing effect on linguistic and cultural difference, the “hybrid” nature of subtitling has significant potential to give increased visibility to linguistic and cultural heterogeneity.

Research Area

  • Languages and Literature

Other Research Interests

Audiovisual translation, postcolonial translation theory, hybridity, literary translation, cultural translation, adaptation.


  • Society for French Studies
  • Institute for Translation and Interpreting East Midlands Regional Group


BA (Hons) Two Languages with Translation Studies - The University of Hull

MA Applied Translation Studies - The University of East Anglia