Chair Professor of English

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A native of the United States, Douglas Robinson lived in Finland for a total of fourteen years, taking three university degrees there and serving as a lecturer in English at the University of Jyväskylä (1975-1981) and a professor of American language and literature (1983-1987) and of Finnish-English Translation Theory and Practice (1987-1989) at the University of Tampere. During his 21 years (1989-2010) as professor of English at the University of Mississippi, he also spent two years in Voronezh, Russia, and five months in Spain; the last three years at Ole Miss he was Director of First-Year Writing. From 2010 to 2012 he served as Tong Tin Sun Chair Professor of English and Head of the English Department at Lingnan University, and since 2012 he has been Chair Professor of English at Hong Kong Baptist University, serving 2012-2015 as Dean of ARts. His 1983 Ph.D. is from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Research Profile

Douglas Robinson is a critical theorist interested in human communication as grounded in human social interaction, and specifically as circulated pragmatically through literature, rhetoric, and translation.

His "somatic" and "performative" theories of communication have broken new ground in:

Literary and cultural studies:

American Apocalypses: The Image of the End of the World in American Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 1985)

Ring Lardner and the Other (Oxford UP, 1992)

No Less a Man: Masculist Art in a Feminist Age (Popular Press, 1994),

Estrangement and the Somatics of Literature: Tolstoy, Shklovsky, Brecht (Johns Hopkins UP, 2008)

Displacement and the Somatics of Postcolonial Culture (Ohio State UP, 2013)

Aleksis Kivi and/as World Literature (Brill, 2017)


Performative Linguistics (Routledge, 2003)

Introducing Performative Pragmatics (Routledge, 2006)

Translation studies:

The Translator's Turn (Johns Hopkins UP, 1991)

Translation and Taboo (Northern Illinois UP, 1996)

What Is Translation? (Kent State UP, 1997)

Becoming a Translator(Routledge, 1997, 2003, 2012)

Translation and Empire (St. Jerome, 1997)

Western Translation Theory from Herodotus to Nietzsche (St. Jerome, 1997)

Who Translates? (SUNY Press, 2001)

Translation and the Problem of Sway (John Benjamins, 2011)

Schleiermacher's Icoses (Zeta Books, 2013)

The Dao of Translation (Routledge, 2015)

Semiotranslating Peirce (Tartu University Press, 2016)

Exorcising Translation (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Critical Translation Studies (Routledge, 2017)

Translationality (Routledge, 2017)

Rhetoric and writing studies:

First-Year Writing and the Somatic Exchange (Hampton Press, 2012)

The Deep Ecology of Rhetoric in Mencius and Aristotle (SUNY Press, 2016)

Philosophy of mind:

Feeling Extended: Sociality as Extended Body-Becoming-Mind (MIT Press, 2013)

His most recent work is in the deep ecology of rhetoric, translation, and knowledge transfer.