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Translation and Criticism

Translation and Criticism are both modes of re-writing, and both involve an element of creativity which is often neglected or suppressed. This strand explores the edges and overlaps between them, taking in forms like commentary, ekphrasis and paraphrase. It aims to cast new light on the varied processes of translation, and also on the translational activity that occurs when critics brings their writing into contact with source texts, redirecting them to new purposes. Our seminars aim to open up fresh possibilities for the understanding and the practice of both criticism and translation.

In 2015, we hosted an international conference, Prismatic Translation. This helped generate a long-term research project, also called Prismatic Translation, which is now funded by the AHRC as part of the Humanities Division's Open World Research Initiative programme in Creative Multilingualism. Details are here.

Translation and Criticism developed out of work done during 2013-14 under the headings ‘Languages of Criticism’, ‘Philosophy of Criticism’ and ‘Translators and Writers’, For details, scroll further down the 'Research' page. 

Prof Matthew Reynolds (English), Dr Adriana X. Jacobs (Oriental Studies), Prof Patrick McGuinness (MML),  Dr Kasia Szymanska (MML), Prof Sowon Park (University of California Santa Barbara)

Speaker(s):
Venue:
St Anne's College

The Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship in Comparative European Literature Lecture Series - Trinity Term 2019

Lectures will be given by Durs Grunbein on Beyond Literature

Tuesday 7th May 2019: The Violet Postage Stamp (Die violette Briefmarke)
Thursday 9th May 2019: Landscape in Chains  (Landschaft in Banden)
Tuesday 21st May 2019: The Aerial Warfare of Images (Im Luftkrieg der Bilder)
Thursday 23rd May 2019: For the Dying Calves (Für die sterbenden Kälber)

These lectures have a far-reaching title. In general terms they explore the way history impinges on ordinary lives and finds its way into the literary imagination.  At least since Hegel and Marx history writ large has been one of the fetishes of modern human sci-ences and arts. It seems, pace Marx, as if our historical being does not merely deter-mine our lives as social entities, but also reaches into the most private corners of our consciousness and determines also the imaginative power and ludic drive of literature. Anyone born in the twentieth century – this century of wars and divisions – would find themselves already historicised even as a child. For the emerging writer, the poet, there will inevitably come a certain moment when he becomes conscious of his position in the overall context of the history of his nation, his family and his language community. From that moment on his writing will seem above all to obey an overarching imperative: that of bearing witness to his times. But poetry insists on going its own ways, seeing the world with its own eyes. Out of this comes a constant tension, or, one might say, irresolvable dialectic. That is the core contention of these four lectures. They are designed according to the principle of collage.

The first lecture focuses on an object that becomes the starting point for the subsequent research: a postage stamp bearing the head of Adolf Hitler.
The second lecture attempts to sketch a topography of Germany by way of its techno-logical development, in particular the so-called ‘Reichsautobahn’ - one the most comprehensive construction projects of National Socialist Germany (and one indeed that outlasted it). It will explore how this is bound up with the language of the Third Reich and its violent history.
The third lecture concerns the aerial warfare that destroyed Europe’s towns and cities, and is set in dialogue with W.G. Sebald’s reflections on the same theme in his On the Natural History of Destruction.
The fourth lecture concludes by asking what is the literary task that arises out of this history for a contemporary writer.

These lectures consciously take account of, and reflect, the breaks and discontinuities of German history. True to the modus operandi of the author’s own poems, they employ a collage technique that demands the imaginative collaboration of reader and audience alike. 

The lectures take place at 5.30pm at St Anne’s College. All welcome, no need to book.

Speaker(s):
Venue:
St Anne's College

The Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship in Comparative European Literature Lecture Series - Trinity Term 2019

Lectures will be given by Durs Grunbein on Beyond Literature

Tuesday 7th May 2019: The Violet Postage Stamp (Die violette Briefmarke)
Thursday 9th May 2019: Landscape in Chains  (Landschaft in Banden)
Tuesday 21st May 2019: The Aerial Warfare of Images (Im Luftkrieg der Bilder)
Thursday 23rd May 2019: For the Dying Calves (Für die sterbenden Kälber)

These lectures have a far-reaching title. In general terms they explore the way history impinges on ordinary lives and finds its way into the literary imagination.  At least since Hegel and Marx history writ large has been one of the fetishes of modern human sci-ences and arts. It seems, pace Marx, as if our historical being does not merely deter-mine our lives as social entities, but also reaches into the most private corners of our consciousness and determines also the imaginative power and ludic drive of literature. Anyone born in the twentieth century – this century of wars and divisions – would find themselves already historicised even as a child. For the emerging writer, the poet, there will inevitably come a certain moment when he becomes conscious of his position in the overall context of the history of his nation, his family and his language community. From that moment on his writing will seem above all to obey an overarching imperative: that of bearing witness to his times. But poetry insists on going its own ways, seeing the world with its own eyes. Out of this comes a constant tension, or, one might say, irresolvable dialectic. That is the core contention of these four lectures. They are designed according to the principle of collage.

The first lecture focuses on an object that becomes the starting point for the subsequent research: a postage stamp bearing the head of Adolf Hitler.
The second lecture attempts to sketch a topography of Germany by way of its techno-logical development, in particular the so-called ‘Reichsautobahn’ - one the most comprehensive construction projects of National Socialist Germany (and one indeed that outlasted it). It will explore how this is bound up with the language of the Third Reich and its violent history.
The third lecture concerns the aerial warfare that destroyed Europe’s towns and cities, and is set in dialogue with W.G. Sebald’s reflections on the same theme in his On the Natural History of Destruction.
The fourth lecture concludes by asking what is the literary task that arises out of this history for a contemporary writer.

These lectures consciously take account of, and reflect, the breaks and discontinuities of German history. True to the modus operandi of the author’s own poems, they employ a collage technique that demands the imaginative collaboration of reader and audience alike. 

The lectures take place at 5.30pm at St Anne’s College. All welcome, no need to book.

Speaker(s):
Venue:
St Anne's College

The Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship in Comparative European Literature Lecture Series - Trinity Term 2019

Lectures will be given by Durs Grunbein on Beyond Literature

Tuesday 7th May 2019: The Violet Postage Stamp (Die violette Briefmarke)
Thursday 9th May 2019: Landscape in Chains  (Landschaft in Banden)
Tuesday 21st May 2019: The Aerial Warfare of Images (Im Luftkrieg der Bilder)
Thursday 23rd May 2019: For the Dying Calves (Für die sterbenden Kälber)

These lectures have a far-reaching title. In general terms they explore the way history impinges on ordinary lives and finds its way into the literary imagination.  At least since Hegel and Marx history writ large has been one of the fetishes of modern human sci-ences and arts. It seems, pace Marx, as if our historical being does not merely deter-mine our lives as social entities, but also reaches into the most private corners of our consciousness and determines also the imaginative power and ludic drive of literature. Anyone born in the twentieth century – this century of wars and divisions – would find themselves already historicised even as a child. For the emerging writer, the poet, there will inevitably come a certain moment when he becomes conscious of his position in the overall context of the history of his nation, his family and his language community. From that moment on his writing will seem above all to obey an overarching imperative: that of bearing witness to his times. But poetry insists on going its own ways, seeing the world with its own eyes. Out of this comes a constant tension, or, one might say, irresolvable dialectic. That is the core contention of these four lectures. They are designed according to the principle of collage.

The first lecture focuses on an object that becomes the starting point for the subsequent research: a postage stamp bearing the head of Adolf Hitler.
The second lecture attempts to sketch a topography of Germany by way of its techno-logical development, in particular the so-called ‘Reichsautobahn’ - one the most comprehensive construction projects of National Socialist Germany (and one indeed that outlasted it). It will explore how this is bound up with the language of the Third Reich and its violent history.
The third lecture concerns the aerial warfare that destroyed Europe’s towns and cities, and is set in dialogue with W.G. Sebald’s reflections on the same theme in his On the Natural History of Destruction.
The fourth lecture concludes by asking what is the literary task that arises out of this history for a contemporary writer.

These lectures consciously take account of, and reflect, the breaks and discontinuities of German history. True to the modus operandi of the author’s own poems, they employ a collage technique that demands the imaginative collaboration of reader and audience alike. 

The lectures take place at 5.30pm at St Anne’s College. All welcome, no need to book.

Speaker(s):
Venue:
St Anne's College

The Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship in Comparative European Literature Lecture Series - Trinity Term 2019

Lectures will be given by Durs Grunbein on Beyond Literature

Tuesday 7th May 2019: The Violet Postage Stamp (Die violette Briefmarke)
Thursday 9th May 2019: Landscape in Chains  (Landschaft in Banden)
Tuesday 21st May 2019: The Aerial Warfare of Images (Im Luftkrieg der Bilder)
Thursday 23rd May 2019: For the Dying Calves (Für die sterbenden Kälber)

These lectures have a far-reaching title. In general terms they explore the way history impinges on ordinary lives and finds its way into the literary imagination.  At least since Hegel and Marx history writ large has been one of the fetishes of modern human sci-ences and arts. It seems, pace Marx, as if our historical being does not merely deter-mine our lives as social entities, but also reaches into the most private corners of our consciousness and determines also the imaginative power and ludic drive of literature. Anyone born in the twentieth century – this century of wars and divisions – would find themselves already historicised even as a child. For the emerging writer, the poet, there will inevitably come a certain moment when he becomes conscious of his position in the overall context of the history of his nation, his family and his language community. From that moment on his writing will seem above all to obey an overarching imperative: that of bearing witness to his times. But poetry insists on going its own ways, seeing the world with its own eyes. Out of this comes a constant tension, or, one might say, irresolvable dialectic. That is the core contention of these four lectures. They are designed according to the principle of collage.

The first lecture focuses on an object that becomes the starting point for the subsequent research: a postage stamp bearing the head of Adolf Hitler.
The second lecture attempts to sketch a topography of Germany by way of its techno-logical development, in particular the so-called ‘Reichsautobahn’ - one the most comprehensive construction projects of National Socialist Germany (and one indeed that outlasted it). It will explore how this is bound up with the language of the Third Reich and its violent history.
The third lecture concerns the aerial warfare that destroyed Europe’s towns and cities, and is set in dialogue with W.G. Sebald’s reflections on the same theme in his On the Natural History of Destruction.
The fourth lecture concludes by asking what is the literary task that arises out of this history for a contemporary writer.

These lectures consciously take account of, and reflect, the breaks and discontinuities of German history. True to the modus operandi of the author’s own poems, they employ a collage technique that demands the imaginative collaboration of reader and audience alike. 

The lectures take place at 5.30pm at St Anne’s College. All welcome, no need to book.

Speaker(s):
Venue:
St Anne's and Other Venues

Every June, St Anne's runs Oxford Translation Day, a celebration of literary translation consisting of workshops and talks. The day culminates in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

Oxford Translation Day is a joint venture of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (the research centre housed in St Anne’s and the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities), in partnership with Modern Poetry in Translation and the Queen’s College Translation Exchange.

All Oxford Translation Day events are free and open to anyone, but registration will be required.

The programme for Oxford Translation Day 2019 will be available soon!

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