Stephen’s interests span late medieval religious cultural practices, including literary, theological and philosophical writings, visual and material culture, and performance, as well as contemporary historiography, philosophical hermeneutics, translation studies and anthropological theory.
His interest in translation has its origins in doctoral research on philosophical hermeneutics, particularly the contributions of Paul Ricoeur, which sought to synthesise Continental philosophy and Anglo-American philosophical traditions. On the MA in Translation, he teaches “Theorising Cultural Encounter” which explores discourses of alterity in Western culture from the late Middle Ages, including the syncretism of Jewish, Arabic and Christian theology and science, to early modern conceptions of the Other (including Montaigne and Jean de Lery), through early colonialism and ethnographic discourse in modern anthropology. The module proposes translation, and the translator, as models for ethical reflection on cultural encounter historically, and in contemporary globalised contexts.
He is co-editor, with David Johnston, of Betwixt and Between: place and cultural translation (CSP, 2007) and is co-director of the Forum for Translation and Cultural Encounter.