Speaking with her School of English academic sponsor Dr Jane Suzanne Carroll, she said there was a desire to restore “normality” to academic life amid the chaos of war.

“I’m looking for something every day that gives me proof that life is really winning”, said Dr Kanchura, who is the deputy manager of the Centre for Fantasy Literature Studies at the Taras Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Yevheniia Orestivna Kanchura with Jane Suzanne Carroll

Dr Carroll asked Dr Kanchura about the world of publishing in Ukraine and the difficulties of trying to translate Maggie O'Farrell's Hamnet “while missiles are going off overhead”.

“In the year 2022, I had four books [of my translation] which were issued...during that period of great war”, said Dr Kanchura as she reflected on how, despite everything, publishing continues to produce new works and new translations.

She also spoke about how academic life is helping to restore sanity for her and her colleagues. On the question of leaving her home place, she said it’s my land and “my city, I will never move.”

Dr Kanchura, who has come to the end of her fellowship at the Trinity Long Room Hub, worked on a project entitled ‘Narrative causality and coercive narratives: What postmodern fantasy teaches us about resisting propaganda”. She discussed her work on Trinity’s Pratchett collections and how she is comparing translated works in Slavic languages. Trinity College Library holds a comprehensive collection of Pratchett’s works and their translations into forty languages. Dr Kanchura’s project focuses on the coercive narrative (spells, curses, prophecies, plot clichés, tropes etc.,) exploring, among other things, what the common patterns are in the structure of coercive narrative and if examples of resistance and immunity to coercive narratives found in postmodern fantasy fiction can be used as material for media literacy courses.

Speaking about the translations of Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters (based on Macbeth and Hamlet), Dr Kanchura expressed her “surprise” as she examined how translators had, through style and in the emotional dynamics of certain scenes, changed the meaning of the story.

Finally, the conversation turned to the topic of how to help publishers make better translations as Dr Kanchura gave some practical examples of how she has interacted with Ukranian publishers to improve texts and convey the true meanings of words in different languages, a direct result of her research in this area.

Dr Kanchura will continue to collaborate with Trinity’s Pratchett Project, a collaboration between researchers and librarians from Trinity College Dublin; Senate House Library, University of London; and Liverpool University.

Listen to the full conversation here: