worked at KU Leuven as Professor in Literary Studies (Romance Philology), and gradually also in Translation Studies, from 1972 to 2006. Since his retirement, he remains active in research and teaching at CETRA, the KU Leuven Centre for Translation Studies, which he founded in 1989. Since 2011, he works as Professor in Brazil (at PGET at UFSC, Universidade Federal Santa Catarina, at Florianópolis: 2011-2015; and now at POET, UFC, Universidade Federal do Cearà: 2015).
Both in Comparative Literature and in Translation Studies, Professor Lambert played an international role while linking research and research programmes with international organization(s). In 1976, he made one of the decisive steps in the establishment of a new discipline, Translation Studies, while planning the historical conference “Literature and Translation: New Perspectives in Literary Studies,” where experienced scholars (James S Holmes, Itamar Even-Zohar) and young talents (Gideon Toury, André Lefevere, Susan Bassnett; also Theo Hermans, Lieven D’hulst) started their international and interdisciplinary networking around translation which was going to generate new journals, book series, academic curricula, etc.
Professor Lambert was the European Secretary of ICLA (1985-1991) and also of FILLM (1985-1991). His most influential initiatives, however, were the co-foundation of Target (John Benjamins) with Gideon Toury (Tel-Aviv) and the creation of CETRA, both in 1989. More than 20 years later, the impact of this networking is visible in many activities in Translation Studies in the now more and more global world. During the 1990’s, Lambert was also involved in several projects of the European Union, including multilingual eLearning sessions.
He is the author of more than 150 articles, and co-editor of Literature and Translation: New Perspectives in Literary Studies (1978), Translation in the Development of Literatures – Les Traductions dans le développement des littératures (1993), Translation and Modernization (1995), Translation Studies in Hungary (1996), Crosscultural and Linguistic Perspectives on European Open and Distance Learning (1998), Under Construction. Links for the Site of Literary Theory (2000), The Future of Cultural Studies (2000), Übersetzung – Translation – Traduction. Ein Internationales Handbuch zur Übersetzungsforschung (2004-2011).
His disciples edited two volumes with a selection of his historical articles: Delabastita, Dirk, Lieven D’hulst & Reine Meylaerts, Eds. 2006. Functional Approaches to Culture and Translation. Selected Papers by José Lambert. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins (Benjamins Translation Library 69) and Guerini, Andréia, Marie-Hélène Catherine Torres & Walter Carlos Costa, Orgs. 2011. Literatura e Traduçaão. Textos selecionados de José Lambert. Rio de Janeiro: Viveiros de Castro (Letras 7). Language International VII.5 (1995) (Geoffrey Kingscott); http://isg.urv.es/cetra/interviews.html (Anthony Pym); Scientia Traductionis, n.7, 2010 (Gustavo Althoff).