Friday, 22 April 2016

Guest lecture: Arabic Shakespeare: Three Lessons, Monday 25 April 2016

This looks like a really interesting event, and very appropriate to the year that's in it. For a taster of Professor Litvin's work on Shakespeare in the Arab world, see this interview.

                   Arabic Shakespeare: Three Lessons 

Dr Margaret Litvin (Boston University), Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor

Lecture Room 8, 21 Woodland Road, 25 April 2016, 5.00 PM - 6.30 PM

Why and how have Arab writers and theatre directors since 1900 deployed Shakespeare’s plays? Where did they get their Shakespeare to begin with? Setting aside the clichés about Shakespeare’s alleged “universality,” this talk explores several episodes from the Arab Shakespeare tradition to show how they can illuminate not only the Arab theatre world but, more broadly, the interplay between international art forms, local expressive needs, and the historically weighted ties between modern literary cultures.
Margaret Litvin is the author of Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost (Princeton, 2011) and an Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature at Boston University. 
For questions about this event or concerning Professor Litvin’s visit please write Rebecca Gould at r.gould at

Thursday, 21 April 2016

German translation event, Bristol: Night Without Mercy, Friday 6 May

This event organised by the Bristol German department looks excellent:

Bristol's department of German is pleased to invite you to a bi-lingual reading of selected works by the renowned author Matthias Politycki and his translators: our colleagues Professor Robert Vilain and Dr Christophe Fricker, and Bristol students of German. Together, they will present sonnets and other poetry in German and English. The reading will be followed by a conversation with the author and his translators, and a wine reception.

Staff, students, and members of the public from Bristol and beyond are all welcome to attend. Knowledge of German is not required.

More information on the event is available here:

Matthias’ website can be accessed here:

Please do not hesitate to get in touch, should you have any queries. We are looking forward to seeing you on Friday 6 May 2016 at 6 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, 43 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UU

Please note that this is not part of the Woodland Road Arts Complex, but is in the old Baptist College building at the top of University Road. Here's a map:


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

CFP: 'Transnational Modern Languages' conference, London, 2-3 December 2016

Interesting conference coming up:


The Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8NX
Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December 2016

Teaching and research in Modern Languages are conventionally structured in ways which appear to insist on national or linguistic specificity. Work on the transnational inevitably poses questions on the nature of the underlying framework of Modern Languages: whether the discipline should be construed and practised as the inquiry into separate national traditions or as the study of cultures and their interactions. These structures seem inadequate at a time when the study of cultures delimited by the concept of the nation/national identities is becoming more difficult to justify in a world increasingly defined by the transnational and translingual, and by the material and non-material pressures of globalization. Challenging the assumption that cultures are self-contained units that correspond to sharply defined national boundaries must become an essential part of all disciplinary fields and sub-fields that make up Modern Languages, as they seek to avoid the risk of methodological nationalism and of participating in the very structures that it is their purpose to critique. At the same time, how might the transnational acknowledge the residual pull of the nation as a potent, albeit porous, container of cultural identity, and broker of citizenship?

A great deal of research within Modern Languages is already, albeit often implicitly, concerned with the transnational dimension of culture. In so doing, it poses questions about language, translation and multi-lingualism; about the set of practices that make up a sense of location and of belonging to a geographically determined site; about the notions of temporality that obtain within cultures; about modes of understanding subjectivity and alterity. All these questions are of fundamental importance for the study not only of the contemporary world, and its likely future, but for the study of the past.

The aim of the conference is to explore how the ‘cultural’ and the ‘transcultural’ cannot be studied in isolation but rather need to be seen as part of a complex system of circulation which goes beyond national boundaries, canons or linguistic discreteness. The conference aims to bring together researchers who are working on the transnational across Modern Languages and whose work poses questions both on how we study culture and how we produce a version of Modern Languages that is fully respondent to practices of human mobility and cultural exchange.

250 word abstracts should be submitted by 30 April 2016 to Georgia Wall at: G.Wall at

Abstracts should follow this order:
author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) bibliography

Please specify in the subject of your email: 'Transnational Modern Languages’.

We will acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in two weeks, you should assume we did not receive your proposal.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Congratulations to Juliette Scott!

Warmest and heartiest congratulations to PhD student Juliette Scott, who passed her PhD viva today with flying colours.  Her thesis is entitled

Optimising the Performance of Outsourced Legal Translation

Brava !!!!

Monday, 29 February 2016

'Cinema and Media Studies in Translation' Call for Proposals **deadline extended to 3 April 2016**

Cinema and Media Studies in Translation
Call for Proposals 2016 (**DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED**)

With courses on World Cinema (generally understood as the films and film industries of non-English speaking countries) and Global Media increasingly included in the curricula of Film and Media Studies departments, there is a need for English-speaking students and scholars to recognize the vast body of critical work published on film and media productions outside the Anglophone world. Many of those texts are written by nationals working in their language, which provide a depth of cultural knowledge and insight impossible to replicate by scholars based in a different culture, and/or who do not speak the language concerned. It is also the case that some of the best theoretical work and critical analyses of film and media are written in languages other than English; it is important that they be made accessible to Anglophone readers.

With these factors in mind, the Translation/Publication Committee of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies invites proposals for the translation of outstanding scholarly texts in languages other than English, for publication in Cinema Journal. Journal articles, book chapters, or self-contained sections of a book that focus on a particular topic in a unified, coherent way can all be appropriate for this purpose.

Proposals should include:

1. The author, title, and publication details of the work being proposed (including the place, press, and date of publication).
2. A statement identifying the significance of the work, and why it might be interesting to film and media scholars and students, SCMS members in particular.
3. A clarification of the copyright status of the original source material.
4. An indication of likely word length.
5. The name and credentials of a prospective translator.

Proposals are welcome for a work published in any language other than English. One grant-in-aid of $1,000 will be paid to the translator. The scholar leading the project should provide an introduction that lays out the importance of the author and the text. The total word count of the introduction and translated text should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words in English. In some cases, shorter projects of 5,000 words (text and translation) will be considered (in which case the grant-in-aid will be adjusted accordingly). Self-nominations will not be accepted.

The due date for the proposals has been extended to April 3, 2016.

The due date for the final submission has been extended to August 14, 2016 (for a 2018 publication date). Subsequent rounds will be announced later in the year.

The proposals should be sent to Nataša Ďurovičová, natasa-durovicova [at]

Translation/Publication Committee 2015-6:

Nataša Ďurovičová (University of Iowa), Chair 2015-6
Chris Baumann (Stockholms Universitet)
Robert von Dassanowsky (University of Colorado)
Alistair Fox (University of Otago)
Mattias Frey (University of Kent)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Poems in translation 25: Alastair Reid, 'What Gets Lost/Lo Que Se Pierde'

I was recently reading Edith Grossman's book Why Translation Matters and came across this lovely candidate for our occasional series of poems about translation.

Alastair Reid, translator of Borges and Neruda, on 'what gets lost in language itself'. From his 1978 collection Weathering, presented here through the good offices of Google Books: