Find Out What Translation Means Sept. 27

Readers of this blog know that my friend/colleague Esther Allen and I co-edited a book about translation that appeared earlier this year, In Translation: Translators on Their Work And What It Means, containing many of our very favorite essays about translation. And now we are hosting a symposium featuring several of the contributors to the anthology and one lagniappe colleague who isn’t in it, all presenting material different from the essays included in the book. So what will come out of these discussions will be as much of a surprise to us as it is to you. Please come celebrate our book with us! We’ll be putting on two panels, each of them with a stellar cast, followed by a chance to raise a glass and rub shoulders.

In case you still need convincing, just take a look at the program:

3:30 – 4:45 p.m.
Mysticism in Translation
Peter Cole, Richard Sieburth, and Rosanna Warren, moderated by Susan Bernofsky
What makes mystical texts mystical, and what happens when they are transported to a new language and context? Translators of the Kabbalah (Cole), Nostradamus (Sieburth) and Jewish Catholic mystic Max Jacob (Warren) discuss the challenges and paradoxes of translating these complex bodies of thought and the mysticism inherent in the act of translation.

5:00 – 6:15 p.m.
इंडिया (India, in other words)
With Jason Grunebaum, Christi A. Merrill, and Eliot Weinberger, moderated by Esther Allen
What forces make the contemporary Indian literature written in English so globally prominent even as the literatures of the nation’s many other languages remain, for the most part, obscure? These translators and aficionados of the literatures of India discuss the particular obstacles they face translating work from and for such a spectacularly multilingual context. 

All events (including the reception) will be held at the James Gallery at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday, Sept. 27. The symposium is being supported by a grant from Amazon and is co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center, the Walls and Bridges Festival, and the New York Institute for the Humanities. For more information, see the Center for Humanities website.

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