Welcome to the ‘Conversion, Translation and the Language of Autobiography’ project blog. That’s quite a mouthful, I know! As you rightly suspect, academics spend an inordinate amount of time thinking up catchy titles for their books and projects: a descriptive, stodgy title is certain death (yes, even in the academic world) but it can’t be quite so cryptic, in an effort to be cool, that potential funders are put off either. So what does one do? Play around with the order of words, use a noun as adjective to arouse interest (note ‘language of autobiography’) and perhaps leave the boring details to a subtitle, banished after the very useful colon, and if possible hide it in a corner….(I wonder if you’ve managed to spot ours in the website yet?) And what else can one do? Ah yes, create an acronym. From now we’ll use the acronym ‘CTLA’ to refer to the project.

If you’ve stayed with us until this blog, I suppose you must be interested in at least one of the words in the project title? Whatever your particular interest or combination of interests might be, we do hope that you enjoy the website and getting to know how our research progresses. We plan to lighten some of our more serious discussions with amusing anecdotes and discoveries over the life of the project.

By way of introduction to the CTLA blog, since this is a joint research project my colleagues, Matthias, Milind and I will take turns to write a blog post, approximately once a month. But if we have something particularly exciting to share we might appear more often, so watch out! If you are a regular visitor, please be prepared for different styles of writing and formats. Since we work with different languages and different aspects of the project, we would like to bring you a flavour of what each of us is doing. But while you get to see something of the workings of the project through each of our eyes, you might also stumble upon some differences of opinion and even (dare I say) disagreements. But that’s what will make for some stimulating conversations over the next twenty months or so, and I’m certainly looking forward to this.

Meanwhile, we also hope that you have something to say. Please do join our conversation either on the main ideas of our project, the contents of the website or perhaps in response to one of our blog posts. Please write to us through our ‘contact’ page, we’d love to hear from you.