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1983 …2022

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Personal profile


Dirk Delabastita is full professor of English literature and literary theory at the University of Namur. He is a member of the Namur Institute of Language, Text and Transmediality (NALTT). Having been a member of the CETRA staff since its inception, he is also a research fellow at KU Leuven.

Dirk wrote his PhD on Shakespeare’s wordplay in Hamlet and the problems of translating it (There’s a Double Tongue, defended at KU Leuven in 1990, published in 1993). He edited two further volumes on the translation of wordplay: Wordplay and Translation (special issue of The Translator, 1996) and Traductio. Essays on Punning and Translation (1997). Dirk has co-authored three dictionaries of literary terms: Lexicon van Literaire Termen (seventh edition, 2007), Dictionnaire des termes littéraires (2001, paperback 2005) and Algemeen Letterkundig Lexicon (open access at Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren (DBNL): His other book-length publications include European Shakespeares (co-edited with Lieven D’hulst, 1993), Vertalen Historisch bezien. Tekst, metatekst, theorie (co-edited with Theo Hermans, 1995), Fictionalizing Translation and Multilingualism (special issue of Linguistica Antverpiensia NS, co-edited with Rainier Grutman, 2005), Shakespeare and European Politics (co-edited with Jozef de Vos and Paul Franssen, 2008), Multilingualism in the Drama of Shakespeare and His Contemporaries (special issue of English Text Construction, co-edited with Ton Hoenselaars, 2013, republished as a book in 2015), and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in European Culture (co-edited with Juan F. Cerdá and Keith Gregor, 2017).

Dirk was one of the founding members of ESRA (European Shakespeare Research Association). From 2013 to 2019 he edited the Translation Studies journal Target (first with Sandra Halverson, then with Haidee Kotze). In 2017 he created the book series Shakespeare in European Culture (with Keith Gregor). Dirk was a guest professor in English literature at the Université catholique de Louvain from 2010 to 2013. In 2013-2014 he was awarded the Francqui Chair at the Université de Liège.

Areas of expertise

English literature; literary studies and its interface with linguistics and translation studies; literary terminology; wordplay, ambiguity and other forms of rhetoric; the international reception of Shakespeare; literary multilingualism.


Admin activities at UNamur include the following

Member of various ad hoc committees and working groups

2020-present: member of Conseil scientifique Philo-lettres auprès de la BUMP (Central University Library)

2016-present: faculty representative CEDRES (Cellule de Développement des Relations avec l’Enseignement Secondaire)

2013-2022: elected member of Faculty steering group (bureau)

2008-2014: elected member of Commission de recours du personnel académique (board of appeal)

2005-2009 and 2011-2012: head of Department of Germanic languages and literatures

2003-2018: head of the English Department (as of 1 January 2005: English Unit)

2003-2008: member of FUNDP’s Research Council

1999-present: member of General Meeting of PUN (Namur University Press)

1997-2005: member of FUNDP’s ethical commission

1993-2003: member of editorial board of Libre Cours (FUNDP university magazine)

1991-2001: secretaire académique (vice-dean) of the Arts Faculty

External responsibilities

2018-2022: associate member of SHAKCULT2 (The Reception of Shakespeare’s Works in Spanish and European Culture II) (Universidad de Murcia)

2016-present: associate member of CIRTI (Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Traduction et Interprétation) (Université de Liège)

2015-2017: associate member of SHAKCULT (The Reception of Shakespeare’s Plays in Spanish and European Culture) (Universidad de Murcia)

2011-2014: External Advisor ‘Time’ Project Initial Training Network Marie Curie

2007-present: member steering committee Doctoral School ‘Traductologie’ (FNRS Belgium École Doctorale 3)

2004-2011: member of IATIS Publications Committee

2001-2006: external member Department Council Departement Vertalers & Tolken Hogeschool Antwerpen

1998-2004: secretary and treasurer Belgian Society for General and Comparative Literature

1995-1999: teaching staff GGS ‘Translation Studies’ (Flemish postgraduate programme)

1990-present: CETRA staff member (KU Leuven)

1986-1993: secretary NFWO contact group ‘Translation Studies’

External responsibilities

Reports as expert, consultant or referee:

submissions and publication projects assessed for journals (articles), publishers (book chapters, book proposals, journal proposals) or conference associations (papers)

Academia (Gent); Across Languages and Literatures (Budapest); Actes ILPE (Les idéologies linguistiques dans la presse écrite) 4 (Messina); Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest); ALIF. Journal of Comparative Poetics (Cairo); American Bible Society (New York); ATISA (American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association); BELL (Leuven); CETRA (Leuven); Continuum Advances in Translation (London); EST (European Society for Translation Studies); ETC (Amsterdam, Philadelphia); European Journal of Humour Research (Kraków); Filter (Nijmegen); Forum for Modern Language Studies (Oxford); Handelingen Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Taal- en Letterkunde en Geschiedenis (Gent); Humor. International Journal of Humour Research (Berlin, Hawthorne N.Y.); IATIS (International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies); Interférences littéraires (Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve); Internationale neerlandistiek (Den Haag); John Benjamins (Amsterdam, Philadelphia); Journal of Literary Multilingualism (Leiden); Linguistica Antverpiensia (Anvers); Literature Compass (Wiley Online); Logos and Language (Berlin, New York); Meta: Journal des traducteurs / Meta: Translators’ Journal (Montréal); MonTI (Monografías de Traducción e Interpretación) (Alicante, Valencia); Perspectives (Routledge); Presses Universitaires de Namur (Namur); Rodopi (Amsterdam, Atlanta); Routledge (London, New York); SEDERI Yearbook (The Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies) (Valladolid); Shakespeare Jahrbuch (Bochum); Spiegel der Letteren (Leuven); St Jerome Publishing (Manchester); Target (Amsterdam, Philadelphia); Target Multilingual Website (Amsterdam, Philadelphia); The Interpreter and Translator Trainer (Manchester); The Translator (Manchester); Translation Studies (Routledge); Truchements (Liège).

nominations, promotions, scholarships

Austrian Science Fund (FWF); CIHR – Government of Canada; Dublin City University; KU Leuven (externe doorlichting Taal- en Letterkunde 2018); National Research Foundation (Belgium: Communauté française); National Research Foundation (Belgium: Flanders); National University of Rwanda; NIAS (Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences); Research Grants Council of Hong Kong; The University of Jordan;  UCLouvain; Università degli Studi di Milano; Université de Montréal; Universiteit Antwerpen; University of Leeds; University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.


1972-1978: Sint-Pieters­college (Minderbroedersstraat 13, 3000 Leuven): secondary education (Latin/mathematics)

1978-1982: KU Leuven: candidatures, licence and teacher training qualification in Germanic Philology (English/Dutch)

1982-1983: University of Hull (UK): English literature and literary theory

1990: KU Leuven: PhD in Germanic Philology (title of thesis: There’s a Double Tongue. An Investigation into the Trans­lation of Shakespeare’s Wordplay, with Special Reference to Hamlet)

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Letters, There’s a Double Tongue. An Investigation into the Trans¬lation of Shakespeare’s Wordplay, with Special Reference to Hamlet, KULeuven

Award Date: 4 Apr 1990


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