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Katherine Griffiths

Professor Katherine Griffiths

Professor in French and Translation

School of Modern Languages

+44 29208 76927
66a Park Place, Room 2.32, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3AS
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a specialist in multimedia adaptation. My research as a whole focuses on what happens to texts as they move into different eras, media and languages.

My current research focuses specifically on world literature on BBC Television and BBC Radio/audio drama. I am currently preparing a monograph on world texts on BBC Radio and a further monograph on French literature on BBC Television.

While I am by training a nineteenth-century literary specialist, my research (and as a result my teaching) now spans eras, media (film, television, literature, painting and radio) and nations.

I was academic consultant for the BBC Radio 4 year-long adaptation of the novels of Emile Zola and co-supervised a successful AHRC collaborative doctoral award with BBC Radio Drama (2016-2020). I continue to work in an advisory capacity with the BBC.

I am currently carrying out a variety of engagement and impact work related to the BBC's centenary.














Book sections



I have held an AHRC Research Leave Award, an AHRC Fellowship and an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with BBC Radio Drama.

I am author of four monographs:

Emile Zola and the Artistry of Adaptation (Oxford: Legenda, 2009)

Adapting Nineteenth-Century France: Literature in Film, Theatre, Television, Radio and Print (co-authored with Dr Andrew Watts, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2013)

Emile Zola and the Art of Television: Adaptation, Recreation, Translation (Oxford: Legenda, 2020)

A History of French Literature on Film (co-authored with Dr Andrew Watts, New York: Bloomsbury, 2020)

I am currently working on two monograph projects:

Literature on the Airwaves: Adapting World Canons for BBC Radio.

The History of French Literature on BBC Television.

My research focuses on the translation of canonical texts across time, media and language. It explores the adaptation of works into different national contexts/forms/tongues and the reworking of other foreign sources for different cultural markets.

My research interests feed into the interdisciplinary, inter-institutional research group which I run with Dr Bradley Stephens (Bristol) and Dr Andrew Watts (Birmingham): ART (Adaptation, Recreation, Translation). Established in 2011, ART explores the field of adaptation in modern times. Its aim is to establish a theory of adaptation which develops both an academic and cultural understanding of this often maligned yet historically widespread process. Such an understanding is intended to facilitate a productive dialogue between critics, consumers, and practitioners, and in so doing will make a direct contribution to the creative economy.


I teach:

French language classes at all levels

Introduction to Translation Theory

Principles of Translation

Adaptation and Translation in the Arts

Year Abroad Projects

Final-Year Dissertations

National and Global Perspectives of France

Cultures in Context

Research Methods and Practice

Page to Screen

Multimedia Adaptation


After graduating with a BA in Modern and Medieval Languages and an MPhil in European Literature from Cambridge University, I spent a year studying at Harvard University on a scholarship programme. I subsequently returned to Cambridge to write a Ph.D on Psychoanalysis and Naturalism. In the final year of my studies, I worked as a temporary Lecturer at Warwick University before taking up posts at Bangor University (2002) and Swansea University (2007). I moved to take up post in Cardiff in September 2011

Selected Recent Papers

Plenary Papers

April 2020 'Beginnings/Endings', 18th Annual Conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviemistes, Queen's University, Belfast.

September 2012 ‘Multi-Media Zolas’, Reconfigurations: From Papyrus to Post-Structuralism, Bristol and Exeter Modern Languages Graduate Conference.

March 2012 ‘Emile Zola et l’art de l’adaptation’, RIRRA 21 Journée d’études, Montpellier III.

Conference Papers

August 2016 'Translating Zola for 21st-Century Television: Audience, Consumption, Context and The Paradise (BBC, 2012), Consuming the Victorians, British Association for Victorian Studies, Cardiff University.

July 2015, 'Radio and the Nineteenth-Century Novel', Society for French Studies, Cardiff University.

October 2014, 'Multimedia Zolas', IMLR London.

October 2014, 'Zola across media', IMLR London.

October 2014, 'Flaubert and BBC Radio', Stirling University Research Seminar.

September 2014, 'Multimedia Adaptation', Cardiff University ENCAP Research Seminar.

April 2011 ‘Translating Maupassant for Television: The Anxieties of Influence’, ‘Influence’ Conference, Reid Hall, Paris.

April 2011 ‘Zola and Radio’, Birmingham University, Annual conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes. J

July 2010 ‘Televising Thérèse Raquin’, 51st Annual conference of the Society for French Studies.

March 2009 ‘Zola and the Art of Inheritance’, The Emile Zola Society, London.

October 2008 ‘Zola and the Artistry of Adaptation’, Birmingham University French Research Seminar.

November 2008 ‘Translating the Nineteenth-Century to the Big Screen’, Swansea University Media Research Seminar.

September 2008 ‘Zola and the Art of Obfuscation’, 12th BIRTHA Conference, Centre for the Study of Visual and Literary Cultures, University of Bristol.

August 2008 ‘High/Low: Televising Zola’, University of Wales, Lampeter, Adapting the Nineteenth Century.

July 2008 ‘Remembering and Forgetting: Zola, Carné and Thérèse Raquin’, Dublin Institute of Technology, Annual European Cinema Research Forum.

March 2008 ‘Memory and Adaptation’, Manchester University, Annual conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes.

Oct. 2007 ‘Shifting Origins: Zola and the Art of Adaptation’, University of St Andrews French Research Seminar.

Oct. 2007 ‘La Terre and the Art of Inheritance’, 33rd Annual Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium, University of Alabama.

Jul. 2007 ‘Nana: Copies and Originals’, 48th Annual Conference of the Society for French Studies, Birmingham University.

School Roles

I am currently Director of Research and Director of Recruitment and Admissions, having been Head of School between 2019 and 2021.

Honours and awards

  • Jan. 2014 3 year AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award with BBC Radio Drama
  • Jan. 2012-Sep. 2012 AHRC Fellowship Grant
  • Sep. 2006-Jan. 2007 AHRC Research Leave Grant
  • May 2006 British Academy Overseas Conference Grant
  • Jan. 2006 Society for French Studies Conference Organisation Grant

Professional memberships

I was Publicity Officer for the Society for French Studies between 2008 and 2015 and served as Research and Resources Officer for the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes between 2004 and 2012.

Academic positions

2002-2007 Lecturer in Romance Studies, University of Wales Bangor

2007-2011 Lecturer in French, Swansea University

2011-2012 Lecturer in French and Translation Studies, Cardiff University

2012-2016 Senior Lecturer in French and Translation Studies, Cardiff University

2016- Reader in French and Translation Studies, Cardiff University


I have supervised a range of PhD topics including product localisation for Arabic markets, French missionary writing, the translation of humour, the history of BBC Audio Drama, subtitling Chinese films for an Anglophone audience.

I welcome applications from doctoral candidates working on:





Translation Theory