The Prismatic Jane Eyre Schools Project (2021–2022) has now come to a close. This was an AHRC-funded joint project between the University of Oxford and the Stephen Spender Trust.
On 30 September 2021 — International Translation Day — the nationwide competition was launched. Entrants were asked to compose a poem in a language other than English inspired by a selected passage from Jane Eyre. The competition accepted submissions in any language, and 136 entries were received in 26 languages — including Sindarin, a form of Elvish devised by J. R. R. Tolkien.
Up to 100 entries to the competition have been included in an anthology, which will be published online and in print in September 2022.
The Project drew on translation as an educational tool to explore how Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel has been translated since its publication in 1847 and how its plots and themes can be used as a springboard for new creative works. It comprised of three core activities: a series of translation workshops; a nation-wide translation competition (as mentioned above); and a bank of resources for teachers and pupils.
The bank of resources aims to allow more young people to enjoy creative translation activities based on Jane Eyre. Initially developed to support entries to the competition, these resources now provide a lasting legacy for the Project.
Three types of resources are available:
- A handout that outlines an approach to creating a poem from a passage of prose (all languages)
- PowerPoint workshops for teachers to deliver in school with accompanying worksheets (Arabic, French, Polish, Spanish)
- Pupil-led activity worksheets (Arabic, French, Polish, Spanish).
The Project’s resources are available here and here. To accompany these resources, we’ve created a short video explaining what creative translation is, and why it’s important. The video is available to view below.