About The Speakers 2015

Session 1: Training on media accessibility (10:00-12:00)

Dr Pablo Romero Fresco

Dr Pablo Romero Fresco is a Reader in Translation and Filmmaking at the University of Roehampton, where he teaches Filmmaking, Dubbing, Subtitling and Respeaking. He also teaches at the MAs on Audiovisual Translation at Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Vigo (Spain). He is the author of the book Subtitling through Speech Recognition: Respeaking (St Jerome) and is Ofcom’s external reviewer to assess the quality of live subtitles in the UK. He has collaborated with Stagetext and the National Gallery in the UK to provide access to live events in museums and galleries for deaf and hard of hearing people and with North-West University, in South Africa, to use respeaking as a tool for social integration in the classroom. He is a member of the first World-wide Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility organised by the United Nation’s ITU and of the research group CAIAC/Transmedia Catalonia, for which he has coordinated the subtitling part of the EU-funded project DTV4ALL.

Pablo is also a filmmaker. His first documentary, Joining the Dots (2012), about blindness and audiodescription, was screened during the 69th Venice Film Festival and selected for the 2012 London Spanish Film Festival, the 12th International Human Rights Film Festival Watch Docs (Poland) and the 2014 Look & Roll Film Festival on Disabilities (Switzerland). His second documentary, Brothers and Sisters (2012), about education in Kibera (Kenya), was broadcast online by the Spanish newspaper El País in 2013 along with the feature article Levantarse en Kibera and the short film Joel (2012).

Dr Soledad Zarate

Dr Soledad Zarate completed a PhD on subtitling for deaf children at University College London in November 2014. She is a teaching fellow at UCL, where she teaches audiovisual translation and media accessibility. She is the convener of the module in Accessibility to the Media, taught as part of the MSc in Scientific, Technical and Medical Translation with Translation Technology and teaches the Subtitling for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing component.

Please visit her academic profile for more details on her research, teaching and publications: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=SZARA05

Charlie Swinbourne

Charlie Swinbourne is a journalist, scriptwriter and director specialising in covering Deaf culture and issues (http://charlieswinbourne.com/films/).

He is the Editor of the world’s most popular Deaf blog, The Limping Chicken (where he broke the worldwide story of the ‘fake interpreter’). He has contributed to the Guardian, the Mirror and BBC Ouch, and has appeared on BBC Breakfast News, BBC World Service, BBC Trending and on Radio 4. Since his directing debut with Four Deaf Yorkshiremen in 2007, he has written and directed a number of award-winning dramas and comedies featuring Deaf characters in sign language including My Song (2011) and Departure Lounge (2009) for the BSL Zone, and the UK Film Council funded Hands Solo (2009).

He will join us as representative of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust, who fund the programmes made and shown on the BSL Zone (http://bslzone.co.uk.)

His new documentary Found will be shown on TV and online from Thurs 18th June.

Session 2: Overcoming linguistic and cultural boundaries (13:00-15:00)

Sophie Wardell

Sophie graduated in English Literature from Exeter University and began work as box office manager of a major Edinburgh Fringe Festival theatre venue. She moved to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in Bristol in the ‘Knowledge Transfer’ team and worked on projects to take humanities research outside of University contexts into business and the creative industries. In 2010 Sophie began work in the Literature team at the British Council, and for the last two years Sophie has delivered an international programme of literature activities, author events, workshops, seminars, residencies and spoken word programmes. Sophie worked on partnerships and programmes across EU Europe, Wider Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean, and managed a number of key projects including literature activity around the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the current World War One literature centenary programme. Since April 2015 Sophie has been Programme Producer at the Free Word Centre, a literature, literacy and Free Expression organisation based in Farringdon.


Sam Holmes

Sam Holmes is a teacher and consultant in English as an additional language (EAL) and is currently completing a PhD at King’s College, London, investigating hybrid language use by London schoolchildren. Sam created the Portuguese language course for Arsenal FC’s Double Club scheme, curated the secondary school strand of Translation Nation and is involved in training and mentoring professional translators to deliver workshops to children as part of Translators in Schools. He is currently programming a series of events on Creative Multilingualism in collaboration with King’s Cultural Institute and the Free Word Centre.

Sophie Stevens

Sophie Stevens is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at King’s College London. Her research explores theatre translation as a dynamic and creative process through which we establish ‘points of contact’ with another culture. Her PhD examines a corpus of Uruguayan plays in order to explore key questions about performability, playability and how we can understand dramatic texts as mobile and able to move across cultures. The project Translation Plays: Intercultural Workshops in collaboration with the Arcola theatre forms part of her research into how we can explore these questions practically in the context of performance workshops to support the development of cultural awareness in secondary school students studying languages. The initial series of workshops was funded by the Cultural Institute at King’s and delivered as part of the Arcola Youth Theatre Programme. Further workshops will be delivered in schools linked to King’s through outreach programmes.

Session 3: Understanding intercultural dynamics (15:30-17:30)

Patricia Cumper

Patricia Cumper is a playwright, producer and director and is a former Artistic Director of the UK’s largest BAME theatre company, Talawa Theatre Company. She has more than thirty years experience writing radio drama in the Caribbean and the UK and adapted Andrea Levy’s Small Island, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Rita Dove’s Darker Face of the Earth for BBC radio drama. She won a Sony award for her adaptation of The Color Purple. Her most recently broadcast adaptation was Marie NDiaye’s Three Strong Women and she is currently commissioned to adapt Tony Morrison’s Beloved.


Dr Bradley Stephens

Bradley Stephens is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the reception and adaptation of French Romantic fiction, with a particular interest in Victor Hugo. He is the author of Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the Liability of Liberty (Legenda, 2011) and the co-editor of Transmissions: Essays in French Literature, Thought and Cinema (Peter Lang, 2007). He has also published numerous articles and book chapters in this field, including a new introduction to Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Signet Classics, 2010) and a study of animated adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers (for a 2014 special issue of Dix-Neuf which he co-edited). Forthcoming publications include the co-edited volume Les Misérables and its Afterlives: Between Page, Stage, and Screen (Ashgate, late 2015).


Professor Mark O’Thomas

Mark is Professor of International Drama at the University of Lincoln where he is also Head of the School of Fine & Performing Arts. He has worked as a playwright, translator and dramaturg for a number of theatres including Soho Theatre, The Royal Court Theatre and the Royal National Theatre, and has adapted a number of novels for the stage including Jorge Amado’s Dona Flor and her Two Husbands and Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet.

Mark is Associate Editor of Revista Brasileira de Estudos da Presença – the Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies – and his main research interest lays at the interface between translation, adaptation and dramaturgy. His work in this area has crossed many disciplines including musicology, film and literature but his main focus remains on performance writing. He has just completed, in collaboration with Professor Elaine Aston of Lancaster University, a co-authored book which sets to evaluate the impact of the international work of the Royal Court Theatre over the past 15 years.