Mrs Noha Alharbi


After completing my undergraduate studies in English/Arabic translation at King Saud University in 2011, I started teaching English and Translation at Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I taught there for three years then moved to the UK to get an MA degree in Translation Studies from the University of Birmingham (2015). After obtaining my MA, I was assigned as a lecturer at the English department in Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University. In July 2018, I started studying at the University of Leeds under a joint supervision program to obtain a Ph.D. in Translation.

Research interests

My thesis aims to conduct a comprehensive in-depth investigation of the translation of Arabic feminist novels into English using a larger socio-cultural paradigm from within which translators’ choices and manipulation can be explained. The overarching objectives are 1) to examine to what extent the orientalist discourse still influences the translation process from Arabic into English, and 2) to ascertain the factors controlling the translation of feminist literature from a non-dominant culture, such as Arabic, into the dominant and hegemonic Anglophone culture. To this end, I will follow Pierre Bourdieu’s sociological model (1977, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1996) which takes into consideration the effects of a larger socio-cultural context on the production and consumption of both the source text (ST) and the target text (TT), as well as, the role played by social agents such as authors, translators and publishers. I will conduct a qualitative analysis of textual and paratextual elements (such as titles, prefaces, epilogues, dedications, illustrations, etc.) found in the selected case studies, as well as interviews with the author, translators and publisher of the novels. Moreover, I argue that utilising theories and approaches of postcolonial and feminist translation studies will give more insights into the motives for some translation choices and for the publisher’s decisions. The chosen case studies in this thesis are the translations of two Arabic novels written by the prominent contemporary Egyptian feminist author Miral al-Tahawy, whose award-winning work has been translated into many languages. The chosen novels are The Tent (Arabic title: alkhibā’, 1996), published in 2006, and Brooklyn Heights (2010, trans. 2011). The former was translated by Anthony Calderbank, a male British translator, and the latter by Samah Selim, a female Egyptian translator; both are professional and experienced translators of Arabic literature.