Aileen R. Ruane

Assistant Professor of French
All FacultyModern Languages

Contact Information
Phone: +1724-450-1558

Aileen R. Ruane


  • Ph.D. in Études littéraires from Université Laval (Ville de Québec, Québec, Canada), 2020
  • M.A. in French Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
  • B.A. in Theatre Studies (Minor in French) from Kent State University, 2005

Areas of Research

My research focuses on French to English and English to French theatrical translations, from the lenses of performativity and alterity. I approach the study of literature and translation from a comparative perspective. My doctoral thesis focused on Québécois translations of literary revival and Celtic Tiger-era Irish plays. My postdoctoral fellowship sought to address “holes” in this research by focusing on female playwrights and translators from both communities. This in turn allowed me to develop my expertise in the politics and ethics of translation, more specifically from the lens of Feminist translation studies. The nature of my research is inherently interdisciplinary, as it exists at the intersections of Linguistics, Irish, French, Quebec, Performance, Translation, Adaptation, and Theatre Studies.


  • French 101 and 102 – Basic French
  • French 307 – Composition and Style
  • French 308 – Pronunciation
  • French 320 – Medieval and Early Modern French Literature

I cannot stress enough the importance of basic language classes as a way to open up the doors to a bigger world. It was through learning the grammar and syntax of French that I was able to gain insight into the importance of certain literary texts that I heretofore only had access in translation. As someone who started out on her language journey in just this way, I can attest to the fact that establishing a solid foundation in a language can help you to not only master it, but to adopt a posture of humility when it comes to interacting with other second language learners. One of my mentors stated that to genuinely appreciate literary culture, you had to be able to master the language utilised by its greatest artists and authors; linguistic competence and literary creativity are inseparable!

What is the most important piece of advice you give to students to help them succeed?
Pray every day for grace from the Holy Spirit, source of all Wisdom and Wisdom itself. To avoid the Tower of Babel and to instead embrace the joys of Pentecost, dedication to prayer is essential. In a smaller way, I encourage students to practice their foreign language skills by variously watching French-language movies and shows with subtitles in French (if they are at an intermediate or advanced level) or even by watching their favourite English-language movies and shows with French subtitles, which allows them to see the possibilities that translation offers.

We embrace an immersive/communicative approach to language teaching, meaning that the bulk of our language classes are offered in the target language (TL), which can be intimidating. To be successful, I advise students to focus on progress, not perfection, and so in class I allow students to speak as best they can in the TL and then address grammar and vocabulary corrections during whole-class discussions. These days, there are so many forms of media available to students from the Francophone world, so they can practice on their own with podcasts, music, streaming news services, in addition to film and television.

Selected Publications

  • “ « Nous verrions notre mort ». Écrire la mise en scène de la femme, du féminisme, et de la mort aujourd’hui : les exemples de Woman and Scarecrow et La vie utile” for Tangence nº129, “Raconter la/sa mort dans les arts narratifs contemporains” – forthcoming (forthcoming – Spring, 2023).
  • 2022 – “Un ‘Pygmalion’ québécois: une victoire.” Éloi de Grandmont’s translation of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion” – SHAW: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies, Special Issue (42.2) “Shaw and Translation”
  • 2022 – “Shaw and Spanish Music Criticism” – Shaw and the Spanish-Speaking World (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • 2021 – “Translation, Adaptation, and Feminism: Revealing ‘A Familiar Reflex of the Repressed’ in Deirdre Kinahan’s The Unmanageable Sisters” – ‘I Love Craft. I Love the Word.’ The Theatre of Deirdre Kinahan (Peter Lang)
  • 2020 – “Language, Translation, and the Irish Theatre Diaspora in Quebec” Ilha Do Desterro: A Journal of English Language, Literature in English and Cultural Studies (73.2)
  • 2020 – “‘When I Am No Longer in Control of the Performing Rights’: Staging and Reception of Saint Joan at the Abbey Theatre during the Celtic Tiger Years” SHAW: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies, Special Issue (40.2) “Shaw and Legacy”
  • 2019 – “The Economics of Identity: John Bull’s Other Island and the creation of Modern Ireland” - Bernard Shaw and the Making of Modern Ireland (Palgrave Macmillan)

Literary Translations

  • « Folly », translation of « La bêtise », animated film by Thomas Corriveau, text by François Dumont (2016).

My undergraduate training focused on performance, and I worked as a professional actor for many years before returning to higher education. Even though I no longer wish to pursue a career as an actor, the skills I learned have helped me to present my research at conferences, give invited talks, and teach.

Similarly, I was a competitive Irish dancer for 20 years and have even taught Irish step dancing in Quebec, where I lived during my doctoral and postdoctoral research.

I am a member of several academic associations, such as the International Federation for Theatre Research, the American Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Language Association, the American Council for Quebec Studies, the Association Canadienne d’études irlandaises (Secretary/Member-at-large), and the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures (North American Representative).

To relax and de-stress, I enjoy long distance running, and I have completed eight full marathons and 21 half-marathons.