Carolyn Shread’s research approaches French and Francophone language and literature primarily through the lens of translation studies. After translating Haitian Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s novel Les Rapaces into English, she published numerous articles on different aspects of translation from the perspective of this one text, which she also reads with her students of Advanced Intermediate French. Her articles have appeared in TTR; NeoHelicon; Palimpsestes; French Literature Series and The Journal of Haitian Studies. In 2012, her article "On Becoming in Translation: Articulating Feminisms in the Translation of Marie Vieux-Chauvet’s Les Rapaces" won a national research award, the Florence Howe Award for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship.
Shread has published ten books in translation, including four by contemporary French philosopher Catherine Malabou, Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction (2009) ; Changing Difference: The Feminine and the Question of Philosophy (2011); Ontology of the Accident: An Essay on Destructive Plasticity (2012) and Before Tomorrow: Rationality and Epigenesis (2016). In 2012, she published two articles on Malabou’s work: "Catherine Malabou’s Plasticity in Translation" in TTR and "The Horror of Translation" in Theory@Buffalo 16. She continues to collaborate with Malabou on new translations and critically interrogate her work as offering a new translational paradigm. Thanks to a Mellon Innovative Language Pedagogy Fellowship, she is offering a First Year Seminar on "The Work of Translation" in the Fall semester 2017-2019.
In her language teaching at the elementary and intermediate level, Shread integrates digital storytelling and encourages students to explore new technologies along with video chats with students in France, to enhance their learning. In January 2012, she and Catherine Bloom invited Charles Mayer, aka Robert, from the French in Action video used in their classrooms, to teach a workshop "Acting in French." Mayer returned to Mount Holyoke in 2014 for a second workshop.
In addition to teaching at Mount Holyoke, Shread taught for many years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since 2013 she has taught "The Art of Translation" in the Program in Comparative Literature in conjunction with "French Translation in Practice" in the Department of French Studies at Smith College. Shread is an active member of the Five Colleges; she has been co-chair of the Five College Faculty Seminar on Literary Translation since 2012 and is also co-chair for the Five College French Studies Faculty Seminar. Shread is assistant editor for the journal translation: a transdisciplinary journal and works closely with the Haitian publishing house LEGS EDITION, as managing editor for the Voix féminines series and for the journal Legs et littérature.