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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: French Studies

Staff in the Department of French

Go to the MLAC staff pages.

Dr Laura Chuhan Campbell

Assistant Professor (Teaching) in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43425
Room number: ER234, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Laura Chuhan Campbell (email at


My research interests cover medieval French and Italian literature, particularly the area of cultural adaptations of literary texts.

My first book examines vernacular translations of the story of Merlin in French and Italian medieval literature, following the transmission of Merlin texts from Britain, to France, to Italy over a period of 300 years. Incorporating perspectives from modern semiotic theory and language philosophy, this study seeks to understand medieval ideas about translation through the figure of Merlin, an omniscient prophet who consistently "translates" his vision of the narrative into obscure prophecies.

Most recently, I have started work on a new project that focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural environment in medieval vernacular adaptations of Genesis. Adopting an ecocritical perspective, which intersects particularly with philosophies of ecofeminism and ecomaterialism, this project analyses stories of ecological creation and destruction that manifest medieval perceptions of the interface between the human, the natural, the technological, and the divine.

Research Groups

  • Translation/Linguistics/Pedagogy

Selected Publications

Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

  • Forthcoming (co-authored with Campbell, Laura Chuhan) 'French Literary Identity in Translation: The Roman de la Rose and its Tuscan Adaptations', in Morato, N. & Schoenaers, D. (eds.), Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France: Studies in the Moving Word, Brepols.
  • 2017 ''Chretien de Troyes' Erec et Enide: Women in Arthurian Romance'', in (ed.), Handbook of Arthurian Romance: King Arthur's Court in Medieval European Literature, DeGrutyer, pp. 451-466

Conference Paper

  • 2016 ''Traslatare a parte a parte: Questioning the Politics of Translatio in the Italian Vernacular Translations of the Story of Merlin''.
  • 2016 'Masculine Motherhood: The Lady of the Lake's Rejection of Passive Femininity in the Old French Merlin Romances'.
  • 2015 'Prophetic Discourse and the Boundaries of the Text: Translating the Medieval Merlin Romances in Old French and Franco-Italian'.
  • 2014 '‘Evil in Medieval French Arthurian Literature: a Preliminary Typology’'.
  • 2013 '‘Francophone Culture in Medieval Italy and its Influence upon Italian Vernacular Translation’'.
  • 2012 '‘Paulino Pieri: a Medieval Tuscan Mediator of French Literary Culture’, III International Conference Translating Voices, Translating Regions, Durham University'.
  • 2010 ''The Translatio of Transvestism: Translating Problems of Signification Miniatures Depicting the Story of Gristandole'; paper given at the Symposium on Translatio, International Medieval Society, Paris [June, 2010]'.

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Translated Chapter in Book

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