Guest Lecturers

2018 Translation Seminar Guest Lecturers

Lectures are held Fridays 1-3pm in STH 625, at 745 Commonwealth Avenue, and are open to the campus community and the public.

January 26, 2018: Efraín Kristal

Fictional Knights, Araucanian Heroes and Literary Translators

Efraín Kristal is professor of Spanish, French and Comparative Literature at UCLA. He is a specialist of Latin American literature in comparative contexts and in translation studies. He has published over 90 scholarly articles and several single author and edited books including Invisible Work. Borges and Translation, a book on Jorge Luis Borges’ work as a translator and the significance on translation in his creative process, and Poems of the Night, a bilingual edited volume of Borges’ poetry published by Penguin Classics. His work on translation also includes the essay on philosophical and theoretical approaches to translation for the Blackwell Companion to Translation Studies; and essays on translation and the creative process in Yves Bonnefoy, Marcel Proust and Nicanor Parra. He has also written on the role of translation in Colonial Spanish American literature. He is currently writing a book on the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, and translating a book on aesthetics from the Italian by Remo Bodei.

February 2, 2018: Caroline Alexander

On Translating Homer’s Iliad: ‘Lessons from the Master’

Caroline Alexander is the author of seven books of non-fiction including the international best-sellers The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition and The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. Her most recent book The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of the Iliad and the Trojan War, led to the commission to make a new English translation of the Iliad, which was published to acclaim in 2015, by Ecco Press/HarperCollins. Alexander has also written for The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Magazine, where she was a contributing writer for many years. Her most recent magazine publications include a National Geographic Magazine cover story on blast-induced TBI in the military. A Rhodes Scholar and Mellon Fellow in the Humanities, Alexander received her doctorate in Classics from Columbia University in 1991. Between 1982-85, Alexander established a department of Classics at the University of Malawi, in Central-East Africa.

February 9, 2018: Jahan Ramazani

The Language of Lyric: Untranslatable or World Literature?

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is writing a book on poetry in a global age. His five previous books are Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013); A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the 2011 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, awarded for the best book in comparative literary history from 2008 to 2010; The Hybrid Muse: Postcolonial Poetry in English (2001); Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Yeats and the Poetry of Death: Elegy, Self-Elegy, and the Sublime (1990). He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry (2017); a co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (2003) and The Norton Anthology of English Literature (2006, 2012, 2018); and an associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize of the MLA, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

February 23, 2018: Christopher Childers

Translating Meter, from Sappho to Horace

Christopher Childers has an MFA in Poetry from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he teaches classes in creative writing and poetry translation in the Writing Seminars. He is at work on a volume of verse translations for Penguin Classics entitled Greek and Latin Lyric Poetry from Archilochus to Martial. His original poems have appeared in The Yale Review, Smartish Pace, The Dark Horse, Barrow Street, and elsewhere; his translations in The Kenyon Review, Agni, The New Haven Review, The PN Review, Arion, and elsewhere, and his essays in Parnassus, The New Criterion, and Literary Matters, among others. He is original poetry editor for Classical Outlook, a quarterly journal of the American Classical League, and has been a finalist for the Ruth Lilly prize from Poetry Magazine. One of his poems, “Three Nails,” was a finalist in the Southwest Review‘s poetry contest and another, “Frames for my Father,” won the poetry contest at the Briar Cliff Review. He is a 2018 recipient of a literary translation fellowship from the NEA for his translations of classical lyric poetry.

March 16, 2018: Kerim Yasar

Burn While Reading: Subtitle Translation and the Poetics of the Impossible

Kerim Yasar (Ph.D., Columbia) is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California. He specializes in modern Japanese literature and cinema, media history, and translation studies. He is also active as a translator in a variety of genres and media—from contemporary novels to pre-modern poetry to the subtitles for more than a hundred feature films in the Criterion Collection/Janus Films library, including classic works by directors such as Kurosawa Akira, Ozu Yasujiro, and Oshima Nagisa—and worked as an editor of translations from the Japanese for two years at Vertical, Inc. in New York City. His first book, Electrified Voices: Auditory Technology and Culture in Japan, 1868-1945, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press later this year.


March 23, 2018: Charlie Louth

Poem upon Poem: Poets Translating Poets

Charlie Louth (Ph.D., Cambridge) is a Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford, and Associate Professor of German at the University of Oxford. His main research interests include poetry from the 18th century onwards, especially Goethe, Hölderlin, Mörike, Rilke and Celan; romanticism; translation; and comparative literature. He translated Hölderlin’s letters (Friedrich Hölderlin, Essays and Letters, tr. with Jeremy Adler (Penguin, 2009)), and made a new translation of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and Letter from a Young Worker (Penguin, 2011). He has also, with Patrick McGuinness, edited A C. H. Sisson Reader (Carcanet, 2014), and was guest editor of a special issue of Agenda on Sisson in 2011. With Florian Strob, he edited ‘Eine Schwester Kafkas?: Nelly Sachs im Kontext (Winter, 2014). His first book was Hölderlin and the Dynamics of Translation (Legenda, 1998), and he is currently completing a book on Rilke.

April 6, 2018: Michael Katz

Translation Matters:

Michael R. Katz is the C.V. Starr Professor Emeritus of Russian and East European Studies at Middlebury College. He received his B.A. from Williams College and his D. Phil. From Oxford University. He has taught at Williams College, the University of Texas at Austin, and Middlebury College. He is the author of two books, The Literary Ballad in Early Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature (Oxford University Press, 1976) and Dreams and the Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction (University Press of New England, 1984). He has translated more than fifteen Russian novels into English, including works by Herzen, Chernyshevsky, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy. His two most recent translations are The Kreutzer Sonata Variations: Lev Tolstoy’s Novella and Counterstories by Sofiya Tolstaya and Lev Lvovich (Yale University Press, 2014) and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Norton, 2017).

April 11, 2018: Luis Negrón and Suzanne Jill Levine

A Reading and Conversation with Luis Negrón and Suzanne Jill Levine

Luis Negrón was born in the city of Guayama, Puerto Rico, in 1970. He studied journalism and has written film reviews for major Puerto Rican periodicals including Claridad and El Poeta. Negrón’s work explores the complex intricacies that come with being Latino and identifying as part of the LGBT spectrum, as well as what connects them to others. He has worked extensively in the queer arts community in Puerto Rico, including a founding role in Producciones Mano Santa, which has sponsored cultural and artistic productions over the last ten years. He co-edited Los Otros Cuerpos, an anthology of queer writing from Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora. Negrón’s work won him the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction at the 26th Lambda Literary Awards in 2014, the first translated work to do so.

Distinguished Professor at the University of California and noted translator of Latin American literature by writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar and Manuel Puig, Suzanne Jill Levine is Director of Translation Studies at UCSB. A poet and also the author of numerous critical and scholarly works, her books include Untranslatability Goes Global: The Translator’s Dilemma (Routledge, 2018), The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction (Graywolf Press and Dalkey Archive) and Manuel Puig and the Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions (Farrar Straus & Giroux) Among her latest translations is Eduardo Lalo’s USELESSNESS, for the University of Chicago Press, which came out Fall 2017.

April 13, 2018: Anthony Chambers

Tanizaki’s Reader on Style: Theodore Dreiser, National Character, and Translation

Anthony Hood Chambers is a translator of Japanese literature, most notably of fiction by Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, including Naomi and Captain Shigemoto’s Mother; and Ueda Akinari’s Tales of Moonlight and Rain, for which he received the 2007 Japan-United States Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. He has also published translations of Hara Tamiki, Hirano Keiichirō, Kamo no Chōmei, Kanze Kojirō, Kineya Shōjirō, Minakami (Mizukami) Tsutomu, Mishima Yukio, Miyamoto Teru, Natsume Sōseki, Shibusawa Tatsuhiko, Tate Shirō, and Zeami. He is the author of The Secret Window: Ideal Worlds in Tanizaki’s Fiction (1995) and Remembering Tanizaki Jun’ichirō and Matsuko (2017). A Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University, he has also taught at Wesleyan University, the Associated Kyoto Program, and the Kyoto Japan Center.

April 20, 2018: Lindsey D. Snyder

Surely You Gesture: Translating Shakespeare into American Sign Language

Dr. Lindsey D. Snyder is a ASL interpreter, Shakespeare/Performance studies scholar, and theatre practitioner. She completed her PhD in theatre and performance studies at the University of Maryland, College Park with her dissertation “Sawing the Air Thus: American Sign Language Translations of Shakespeare and the Echoes of Rhetorical Gesture,” which is currently being updated for publication in 2018. This year Lindsey was awarded a short term fellowship with the Folger Shakespeare Library to continue her research on gesture and sign languages  In 2016-2017 she was awarded a Doris Duke Building Demand for the Arts grant in partnership with the American Shakespeare Center working as an Artist in Residence. Lindsey has interpreted countless performances ranging from classical texts to musicals to performance art.  She also works with interpreters as an educator and mentor. Currently, Lindsey is the Director of Education for Faction of Fools Theatre Company, a staff interpreter for the Federal government, and an Adjunct Professor for various universities in the Washington DC area.