Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Luciana Cordo Russo: ‘The Matter of France in Medieval Wales: A Study of Otuel’

Luciana Cordo Russo

Dr Luciana Cordo Russo holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Buenos Aires and is a former Postdoctoral Fellow from the Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina. She will join Celtic Studies in July as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow for the period of two years. Her research project entitled ‘The Matter of France in Medieval Wales: A Study of Otuel’ proposes a philological, linguistic, literary and socio-historical study of the Middle Welsh translation of the Old French epic poem Otinel, known as Rhamant Otuel or ‘Tale of Otuel’. Otuel is part of the ‘Charlemagne compilation’, a group of four translations into Middle Welsh of texts pertaining to the matter of France, which has been dated to c.1275. Otuel, however, seems to be a later addition of sometime before 1336, when the earliest surviving copy of the text was produced. The tales have received little scholarly attention, most of them still lacking a critical edition, and Otuel is the most understudied of the intervernacular translations.

The textual analysis is grounded in philological and material criticism and takes a historical-linguistic-pragmatic approach, within a larger conceptual framework that draws extensively on methods and findings from medieval translation theory and its intersection with Translation Studies and Cultural Transfer Studies. The project will thus create a new understanding of the wider cultural transmission of Carolingian epics throughout Western Europe and will lead to the first edition of Otuel based on more than one manuscript.