Pierre-Alexis Mével is an Assistant Professor in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham and he is head of the Translation Section, in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, as well as course director of the MA in Translation Studies.
He's worked on a group of articles on the translation of French banlieue literature and banlieue cinema, particularly in the representation of orality in writing or on the screen, and in the ideological ramifications of translating non-standard discourse into another language.
At the intersection of Translation Studies, Sociolinguistics and Film Studies, his Ph.D. thesis analysed how textual and audiovisual objects move across borders, and the nature of the shift characters' identity undergoes in the process of translation. He examined the translation into French, in the form of subtitles, of a corpus of American films portraying speakers of marked use of language that informs character development, and conveys powerful social and political traits that are particularly meaningful in the source culture. This raises particular issues relating to the formation of identities, their cultural porosity, and the transferability of culturally bound features and the nature of their adaptation in another culture. In the process, he is redefining the figure of the translator, who is constantly negotiating with cultures, for instance by associating features of banlieue French in their subtitles with images of Black America. Although sociolinguistic studies have shown how black youths use specific linguistic characteristics to construct their social identity, the audiovisual translation of vernacular language and the possibilities for language to convey otherness remain under-studied. In this thesis, I show the ways in which these traits are altered in the process of translation.