Member Profile: Rosemarie Fournier-Guillemette

Rosemarie Fournier-Guillemette, lecturer at UQAM

Why did you choose Translation Studies?

I took an undergraduate course taught by Lori Saint-Martin called “Questions on literary translation,” and that’s when I discovered translation studies. All of a sudden, my research interests, which until then I could not bring together, converged: literature, philosophy, languages, contact with the Other and the foreign, feminism, postcolonialism, sociocriticism, etc. Even though I had not intended to pursue a graduate degree, I found myself on the path to becoming a researcher, with first an M.A. then a Ph.D.

What are your areas of research?

Although my Ph.D. thesis focused on the French translations of Jane Austen novels, I am now interested in their transmedial adaptations and various rewritings. I am also working on an essay on the explosive topic of cultural appropriation—I believe translation studies has the tools to enlighten us on the subject.

What book/film/band has made the biggest impression on you recently?

I love watching TV shows and I’m fascinated by the adaptations and rewritings of major novels, like the women’s literary classics that I plan to study for my postdoctoral research. But music is my favourite way to escape the stress of academic life, and, whenever I need a break, I like to sing and strum a guitar.

If you had one piece of advice to give new Translation Studies students, what would it be?

Pick a director who will not only help you in your research, but also mentor and support you. Don’t hesitate to invest in the human side of that relationship, as it will keep you afloat when you’re feeling overwhelmed. And—this is aimed at women—I’d like to point out that ambition can be a feminine quality: it’s up to us to prove it and aim for the stars.