BU faculty from WLL, Art History, English, and Romance Studies joined together on November 5th, 2016 for an interdisciplinary symposium celebrating a new translation of on the world’s first novel written by a woman: Lady Murasaki’s 11th century Tale of Genji. The day began with a keynote by the translator, Professor Dennis Washburn, and included guest talks by art historians Melissa McCormick (Harvard) and Timon Screech of (SOAS, University of London), as well as a panel of BU and Harvard students currently reading the Washburn translation.

Here is student Dylan Tam describing their experience at the event:

“I can honestly say that this was one of my most memorable experiences as a WLL student! After hearing ten professional scholars of language and literature speak on the Tale of Genji, I was a little intimidated to speak in front of them and share my analysis of the homoerotic language between two of the characters in the story, but once it was over, I felt really fantastic! Having dinner after the event with Dennis Washburn and many other professors was an incredibly validating experience for me as well. There was some fantastic conversation and ideas about the Tale of Genji passing between the academics and us students and it felt great to be able to participate in those informal conversations.”

The event was the first in a series of planned WLL symposia on great works of world literature. Next up: The Brothers Karamazov in Spring 2018.