Bringing us in to the festive season this month is Dr Olga Castro, Lecturer in Translation Studies and Spanish. Here’s what Olga has to say about her love of research, sport and Galicia.
After gaining my first degree in Journalism at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, I moved to Vigo and completed my degree in Translation and Interpreting. I gained my Ph.D. in Translation Studies also at the University of Vigo in 2010. I worked at the University of Exeter for a year, before taking up my current post as Lecturer in Translation Studies and Spanish at Aston in 2011. The principal direction of my research concerns the political role of translation in the construction of gender and cultural/national identities in the field of Hispanic Studies, with a focus on the Galician context. Other areas of research are Feminist Translation Studies, Translation and Minority/Minorized Cultures, Self-translation in the Iberian Peninsula, Gender and Media Studies in Spain, Feminist Linguistics and Galician Studies. I am Vice-president of the International Association for Galician Studies.
- What is the best thing about your job?
The fact that it brings me the possibility to communicate at different levels: with my students through my teaching, with my colleagues through my daily activities, and with the wider academic context through my research. I suppose my training as a journalist plays a key role in this!
- Why did you decide to join Interland?
The study of language and diversity has always interested me, even when I worked as a journalist and as a freelance translator. Now that I am a full time academic doing research in Translation Studies and Gender Studies, for me it was quite obvious that my research interests fit very well within Interland. On top of this, Interland also brings me into contact with other people working on similar issues from different perspectives – creating paths of communication with these colleagues is very enriching.
- What are you working on at the moment?
I am co-editing two collections (one on Feminist Translation Studies for Routledge, and the other one on Self-Translation and Power in Multilingual Europe for Palgrave) and will soon start working on two journal articles. I am also working on two papers which I will be presenting in Santa Barbara in January 2015, and in Chicago in April 2015. As vice-president of the International Association for Galician Studies, I am also part of the organizing committee of the 11th Triannual Conference of the Association, which will be taking place in April 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Finally, I have also started drafting a small research grant I would like to apply for in the next few months. Well, I suppose I am really looking forward to starting my sabbatical in February to be able to focus on all this!
- What achievements are you most proud of?
All achievements are the result of a process, and therefore there are good and not so good aspects associated with them. For many years my dream has been working at University, so I suppose I am proud of having completed my PhD in Spain in July 2010 and having got my first academic job in the UK just one month later. So I am proud of having followed my dream, even though it meant moving abroad as this inevitably had some important costs in my personal life.
- How do you like to spend your leisure time?
I love playing sports. I used to play basketball in an amateur team, and I continue to shoot some hoops occasionally. I also love running, and l was very happy with my 1h59’ in my first half-marathon in Birmingham last October! Coming from a seaside village in northern Galicia, I also love swimming, and Aston’s Victorian pool is a delight! When not doing sports, I am busy watching documentaries, painting watercolours on canvas or shooting for pleasure with my new DSLR camera.
- If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you most like to have with you and why?
First, an iPad/smartphone/laptop with internet connection to be able to follow Twitter and make politics there. Second, a pair of sport shoes to be able to do exercise regularly without getting blisters. And third, a year’s supply of Galician white wine (Albariño, ideally) and Real Ale (preferably from small breweries) to be able to survive… with no food 🙂
- What would you like to achieve in the next year?
Efficiency in managing my time to have a productive sabbatical. This would make me gain confidence to start working on my monograph proposal in 2016.