Translating Cultures

  • Soyinka, Bambo Luci (PI)
  • Howitt-Dring, Holly (CoI)
  • Williams, Matthew Leighton (CoI)
  • Fyfe, Hamish (CoI)

Project Details


The research will create an open space for creative and critical discussion of the ways in which trickster folklores are being translated, written, performed and lived within contemporary cultures. We will consider how trickster folklore is being translated into new forms of fiction and will explore how trickster narratives are lived and performed in everyday life

The main vehicle for research will be a network of academic, creative and public partnerships that will respond to the theme "Translating Tales of the Trickster" through a series of micro fictions, performances and papers that are intended to stimulate debate across disciplines and contexts. The network will explore the feasibility of creating a digital archive of established and emerging trickster tales.

The mythical trickster character often possesses magical abilities and may transform his/her/its own identity and that of any surrounding people or environment. A core characteristic is that she/he/it is never as first appears. S/he is the friend who turns out to be an opponent, the witch who helps the hero return home or the lover disguised as a monster. In folklore, the trickster appears in the guise of a fool, a hag, a fox, a hare and a coyote. In modern fiction, the trickster is the false-love in romance stories or the criminal in detective stories. Finally, in contemporary contexts of new writing and performance, the trickster steps out of a magical circle of fiction to perform actions that have consequences in the physical world.

The rational for the proposed network is to engage with the, as yet, unexplored opportunities to develop a new body of research into the continuing translations of trickster mythology across new cultures of writing, performance and lived experience.

In order to stimulate ideas, we will be holding two workshops: the first will focus on traditional folklore and the second will introduce new examples of trickster narratives. In the latter workshop, we will explore the use of performance and creative writing as means with which to feedback research findings to relevant stakeholders groups.
Effective start/end date14/02/1213/08/12


  • Arts & Humanities Research Council: £3,661.00


  • Cultural & museum studies
  • Languages & Literature
  • Law & legal studies
  • Media
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Law & Criminology
  • Cultural Studies & Pop Culture
  • Ethnography & Anthropology
  • New Media/Web-Based Studies


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