Sunday, 18 July 2010

Conference on music, poetry and translation

More fun stuff going on in New York:

International Conference on “Music, Poetry and Translation”
Barnard College, New York City
October 29-31, 2010

Analogies between poetry and music go back thousands of years, to the very origins of poetry itself. Poetry, we are told, is music, or at least more like music than other uses of language. Poetry translation also goes back a very long way. And so does the idea that music cannot be translated....

If poetry is music (or at least is characterized by a musical element), and music cannot be translated, how is a translator to cope with the music in poetry? That simple question has never been addressed directly and systematically, but it is one that binds together translators themselves, and two of the academic fields of inquiry that have proved most compelling over recent years: translation studies, and word and music studies. This conference will bring together people across the spectrum, from philosophers of aesthetics who have studied how words cope with the strange phenomenon we call music, to literature specialists who have dealt both in theory and in practice with how music in poetry passes from one language to another, and experts on the history of translation. The interdisciplinary nature of this conference will ensure multiple approaches to the problem, and cast new light, we hope, on one of the most challenging questions for literary translation.


Ronnie Apter (Central Michigan University), Emerita Professor of English
Scott Burnham (Princeton University), Music
Peter Connor (Barnard College), French
Peter Dayan (University of Edinburgh), Word and Music Studies
Peter France (University of Edinburgh), Emeritus Professor of French
Marc Froment-Meurice (Vanderbilt University), French
Marylin Gaddis Rose (SUNY-Binghamton), Comparative Literature
Susan Gillespie (Bard College), independent translator
Lydia Goehr (Columbia University), Music and Philosophy
John Hamilton (Harvard University), Comparative Literature and Classics
Kenneth Haynes (Brown University), Comparative Literature and Classics
Robert Hullot-Kentor (Long Island University), Philosophy
Charlotte Mandell, independent translator
Brian O’Keeffe (Barnard College), French
John Sallis (Boston College), Philosophy
Clive Scott (University of East Anglia), Emeritus Professor of European Literature

Event Oval, The Diana Center
Barnard College
New York City

For a map of the Barnard campus:

Friday, October 29, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 30, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Susan Johnson
Co-ordinator, Barnard Center for Translation Studies sjohnson at
(212) 851-5979
See the conference website for program updates.

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