I’m often contacted by people who are interested in doing a PhD in translation, but they want help coming up with ideas for topics. This is a bit odd, I suppose, because if you’re going to do research, you should have enthusiasm for your topic, which generally means there’s something that intrigues you that you want to devote three or more years of your life to.
Nonetheless, here are some general, broad suggestions for topics/approaches for a PhD dissertation:
--creative-critical (you do a translation and then write a critical commentary on it)
--philosophy/ies of translation
--the translation of a particular text/author/field
--interpretation in specific a context/field
--subtitling of a particular text/media/field
--history of translation
--translation as an art/craft
--translation and literary criticism
--translation and critical theory
--translatorial strategies for particular types of texts or specific challenges in translation
--an analysis of the translation of a text/author to one or more languages
--translation and ethics
--translation as a professional practice
I’m sure you can think of some more. Are there any additional suggestions?