Madeleine Campbell

     • Postgraduate Student (Creative Writing)


        postal address:
        c/o Creative Writing
        School of Critical Studies Office
        5 University Gardens
        University of Glasgow
        Glasgow G12 8QQ

Thesis title

Translating Mohammed Dib:  Deleuzean rhizome or Sufi errancy?

Thesis summary

Mohammed Dib (1920-2003) is widely regarded as one of the founders of francophone Algerian literature.  My project involves translating a selection of prose and poetry by Dib into English and providing a critical appraisal of his poetics, with the ultimate goal of publishing a bilingual anthology of his works.  

Dib’s perennial errancy, in which the dualism of signifier and signified, self and other, is challenged relentlessly, requires extraordinary vigilance at the level of individual words on the part of the translator.  Their shifting sense is the locus of fluidity between the reflective self (celui qui dit je: the one who says I) and the world of objects (les choses) where subject and object are often revealed to be one and the same.   Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s approach to literature licenses the reader to ‘stage, or dramatize’, rather than analyze or explicate a text. By extension, the Deleuzean perspective licenses the translator to focus more on what a text does than on what it says. This approach offers a helpful frame of reference in the course of translation, where my intent is to render the dynamic process, as opposed to a fixed interpretation, of Dib’s writing.


A Canadian bilingual who lived in France for many years, Madeleine Campbell holds an MSc (Distinction) in Developmental Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh and an MA from the University of St Andrews.  Following a career in electronic publishing and translation, she is now pursuing a PhD in poetry in the School of Critical Studies at Glasgow University. Her interests include francophone literature, surrealism, found poetry and ekphrastic poetry.  Her current project involves a critical appraisal and translation of selected prose and poetry by Algerian author Mohammed Dib.  She has also translated Ouafaa Lamrani, Nadia Guendouz, Henri Kréa, Mohamed Serghini and Mohammed Sebbagh for an anthology of North African poetry to be published autumn 2012 by California University Press (Eds Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour).

Prof Michael Schmidt and Mr Kei Miller

Conference papers

Campbell, M. (2012) Mohammed Dib’s Treatment of the Desert as a Space of (Dis)location, [Conference Paper], Spaces of (Dis)Location Conference, Glasgow 24/25 May 2012


Member of Glasgow University Translation Studies PGR Network
Member of Glasgow 2013 College of Arts PG Conference Organization Team