Laura Francis is an interdisciplinary PhD candidate who researches the multilingual nature of the early modern world. In particular, her dissertation investigates the intertwined histories of translation, imperialism, and colonialism by examining overlooked linguistic exchanges. Titled “Irregular Pearls: Spanish-English Translations and the Formation of an English Baroque,” her project shows how sixteenth-century translations frequently clash with traditional theories of equivalence to reveal a more ominous side to the Renaissance — a taste for asymmetry and an extreme indulgence in the twisting, expanding, and compressing of textual material that actively implicates English readers in the violent crises of their day.

She also explores how early modern texts continue to speak to today’s world through her own translation practices and pedagogy while grounding them in inclusive methodologies. Whether working on collaborative translations with colleagues, tutoring graduate students who are learning English as an additional language, or teaching writing, literature, feminist theory, and Spanish, she strives to represent a wide range of cultures and linguistic varieties that push her communities to think beyond their current conceptions of the world.


Cornell University, PhD in Literatures in English, planning to defend May 2022

Trinity College Dublin, MPhil in Literary Translation, 2019

Cornell University, MA in Literatures in English, 2018

University of Pennsylvania, BA in English and Hispanic Studies, 2013

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

MLA 2022, “Between Acts and Canons: Translation and the Entremés as Interruption,” in collaboration with Rocío Corral García and Sara Stamatiades



Laura Francis

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