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Oxford Translation Day

 

Every year, St Anne’s and the OCCT host Oxford Translation Day. It celebrates literary translation with an exciting and vibrant range of workshops, readings, and talks, culminating in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

 

All events are free and open to the public.

 

Oxford Translation Day

10–11 June 2022

 

Friday 10th June

17:15–19:00

Geoffrey Brock in Conversation with Nicola Gardini

Seminar Room 11, St Anne's College

This year's Oxford Translation Day kicks off with a Friday evening event in which Geoffrey Brock discusses, together with Professor Nicola Gardini, both his recent translations (Giovanni Pascoli, Giusuppe Ungaretti) and current projects (Vivian Lamarque, Umberto Saba, Chantal Montellier). The discussion will be chaired by Marta Arnaldi.

Geoffrey Brock is the author of three books of poems, the editor of The FSG Book of 20th-Century Italian Poetry, and the translator of a dozen books of poetry, prose, and comics, mostly from Italian. He has received many translation awards in the US, most recently the 2021 National Translation Award in Poetry for Allegria, his versions of Giuseppe Ungaretti's World War I poems. A Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and Literary Translation at the University of Arkansas, he is currently a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, where he is translating collections by Vivian Lamarque and Umberto Saba.

Nicola Gardini is a prize-winning novelist, poet, essayist, and translator of poetry from English, Latin, and ancient Greek, and the author of numerous books. His Long Live Latin, an essay on the beauty and importance of Latin, became an international best-seller. His memoir Nicolas appeared just a few weeks ago: a portrait of his beloved husband, who died at the beginning of 2020. His novel Le parole perdute di Amelia Lynd appeared in English as Lost words (transl. Michael Moore). He is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Keble College.  

Marta Arnaldi studied comparative literature and medicine at Turin, Pavia, and Oxford. She is currently the Stipendiary Lecturer in Italian at St Anne’s College and an Extraordinary Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford. Arnaldi leads an international research programme called Translating Illness. She is the prize-winning author of three poetry collections (ItacaMare storto and Intraducibile), and of a forthcoming monograph: The Diasporic Canon: American Anthologies of Contemporary Italian Poetry 1945-2015. She is also a trained ballet dancer (Royal Academy of Dance). 

 

Saturday 11th June

11:30–13:00

French Translation Workshop with Jenny Higgins: Translating Atmosphere

Seminar Room 8, St Anne's College

In this workshop we’ll think about one of the most interesting challenges for literary translators: capturing a particular atmosphere or mood. We’ll translate extracts from a variety of French texts, working collaboratively and discussing different ways of bringing their various atmospheres into English. Participants will ideally need AS-level French or above.

Jenny Higgins translates from French and Italian. She has translated a range of novels, short stories and non-fiction, and recently produced the first translation of Jean Lorrain’s 1906 play, Ennoïa. She has also translated Emmanuelle Pagano, Villiers de l’Isle-Adam and Rachilde, and has forthcoming projects with Wakefield Press and Les Fugitives.

 

German Translation Workshop with Jen Calleja: 'We only translated one sentence...’

Seminar Room 10, St Anne's College

In this workshop, we will collaborate on translating the opening line from a contemporary German-language novel, exploring every angle necessary in the translation of just a single line, while navigating the concerns and approaches required to translate literature in general. We will also take a look at how famous opening lines in literature have been translated and retranslated, and have a poetic warm up exercise. You never know, maybe we’ll also get around to translating the second line of the novel... Knowledge of German is not absolutely required for this workshop.

Jen Calleja is a writer and literary translator based in Hastings. Her books include I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype, 2020) and Goblins (Rough Trade Books, 2020), and she writes a column on translation for the Brixton Review of Books. She has translated German-language authors including Wim Wenders, Kerstin Hensel, Gregor Hens, Michelle Steinbeck and Raphaela Edelbauer, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize. She is a PhD candidate at UEA working on a creative-critical project exploring literary translators’ memoirs, and runs Praspar Press with Kat Storace.

 

Hindi Translation Workshop with Mohini Gupta: Translating Images and Metaphors

Seminar Room 7, St Anne's College

In this workshop, we will collaboratively translate a Hindi poem into English, with a focus on translating images and metaphors. The poem lends itself to multiple interpretations because of its simultaneous simplicity in language and complexity in meaning. How do translators navigate difficult translation decisions in the face of such 'untranslatables'? No prior knowledge of Hindi required.

Mohini Gupta is a DPhil candidate at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. She was selected as the Charles Wallace India Trust Translator-Writer Fellow in 2017 for creative writing and translation, hosted by Literature Across Frontiers. An alumna of SOAS University of London, she has been a Research Fellow at Sarai, CSDS; and a translator-in-residence at the Sangam House international writers’ residency in Bangalore. She has written on languages, literature and translation for publications such as Huffington Post, The Caravan Magazine, TheWire.in, Scroll.in and the WorldKidLit Blog. Her English-Hindi translations have been published by Tulika Publishers.

 

LUNCH

 

14:00–15:00

Publishing Translation: A Panel Discussion

Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College

In this panel, we will hear from representatives of three innovative platforms for the independent publishing of translated fiction. Jen Calleja (Praspar Press), Emily Jones (Paper Republic), and Aina Marti (Héloïse Press) will share their stories and experiences, and discuss the current state of literary translation from multiple perspectives. This panel will be chaired by Merve Emre.

Jen Calleja is a writer and literary translator based in Hastings. Her books include I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype, 2020) and Goblins (Rough Trade Books, 2020), and she writes a column on translation for the Brixton Review of Books. She has translated German-language authors including Wim Wenders, Kerstin Hensel, Gregor Hens, Michelle Steinbeck and Raphaela Edelbauer, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize. She is a PhD candidate at UEA working on a creative-critical project exploring literary translators’ memoirs, and runs Praspar Press with Kat Storace.

Emily Jones is a Trustee of Paper Republic. She learnt Chinese at the universities of Cambridge, Ningbo, and Qingdao and was the recipient of a BCLT mentorship in translation in 2011. As a translator, she has worked on crime fiction, poetry, family sagas, and historical romps by authors from Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. Emily helped set up Paper Republic as a charity, and has been involved in education projects, the Read Paper Republic series of short stories in translation, and, most recently, the creation of the Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature.

Aina Marti completed her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent in 2018. She lectured in French and Catalan, and worked shortly in TV production. She founded Héloïse Press in 2021, a indie house specialising in contemporary women's writing, bringing together women's experiences and literary sophistication across the globe. Héloïse Press' first release Thirsty Sea by Erica Mou and translated by Clarissa Botsford was released on May 17. Aina Marti´s book Domestic Architecture, Literature and the Sexual Imaginary in Europe (1850-1930) will be out this fall with Edinburgh University Press.

Merve Emre is associate professor of English at the University of Oxford. She earned a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Yale. She is the author of Paraliterary: The Making of Bad Readers in Postwar America (2017), The Ferrante Letters (2019), and The Personality Brokers (2018), and is a contributing writer at The New Yorker. In 2022, she is serving as one of the judges of the International Booker Prize. From 2022-23, she will be a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Shapiro Center at Wesleyan University.

 

TEA & COFFEE BREAK

 

15:30–16:45

[CANCELLED] Mona Baker in Conversation with Matthew Reynolds

Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College

In this event, the eminent translation scholar and activist Mona Baker, author of Translation and Conflict and editor of the award-winning Translating Dissent, will discuss her recent and ongoing work, including 'Translating the Egyptian Revolution', with Matthew Reynolds, with a particular focus on the topic of solidarity and issues relating to prefigurative translation in the Global South as opposed to the Global North. Unfortunately this event has had to be cancelled.

Mona Baker is Affiliate Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Health Education (SHE), University of Oslo, where she is responsible for developing the Oslo Medical Corpus, and co-coordinator of the Genealogies of Knowledge Research Network. She is Director of the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, and Honorary Dean of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation at Beijing Foreign Studies University. She is author of In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation and Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account; editor of Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian Revolution (winner of the 2016 Intranews Linguist of the Year Award); and co-editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies and the Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media. Her articles have appeared in a wide range of international journals, including Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, Social Movement Studies, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Social Semiotics and The Translator. She posts on translation, citizen media and Palestine on her personal website and tweets at @MonaBaker11.

 

Translating Ice Age Signs: Jean-Luc Champerrret and The Lascaux Notebooks

Philip Terry in conversation with Adriana X. Jacobs

Seminar Room 7, St Anne's College

This presentation will introduce Jean-Luc Champerret’s experimental translation of Ice Age signs from the caves of Lascaux, where he reads the signs as proto-pictographic script, inserting them into the frequent 3 x 3 grids to be found in the Lascaux caves to recreate Ice Age poetry. The discussion will broaden to discuss this work as a form of speculative fiction.

Philip Terry was born in Belfast, and is a poet, translator, and a writer of fiction.  He has translated the work of Georges Perec, Michèle Métail and Raymond Queneau, and is the author of the novel tapestry, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize. His poetry and experimental translations include Oulipoems, Quennets, Dante’s Inferno, and Dictator, a version of the Epic of Gilgamesh in Globish. The Penguin Book of Oulipo, which he edited, was published in Penguin Modern Classics in 2020, and Carcanet published his edition of Jean-Luc Champerret’s The Lascaux Notebooks, the first ever anthology of Ice Age poetry, in April 2022.

Adriana X. Jacobs is an associate professor of modern Hebrew literature at the University of Oxford, where she specializes on contemporary Hebrew poetry and translation. Her translations of Hebrew poetry include Vaan Nguyen's The Truffle Eye, published in 2021 by Zephyr Press, and Merav Givoni Hrushovski's END--, forthcoming this year from Carrion Bloom Books.

 

17:00–18:15

“This is Why”: Translators on Translating

Seminar Room 7, St Anne's College

Join acclaimed literary translators who have featured on prestigious shortlists and longlists to hear more about their translation practices and choices. They will discuss a short poem or passage that they have recently translated, and give the audience insight into the “hows” and “whys” of their approach. This event will be chaired by Professor Karen Leeder.

Karen Leeder is a writer, translator and academic, and is Professor of Modern German Literature at New College, Oxford where she works especially on modern and contemporary German poetry and runs the project ‘Mediating Modern Poetry’. She is a prize-winning translator of a number of German-language authors: including Evelyn Schlag, Volker Braun, Michael Krüger and Raoul Schrott and has won the Stephen Spender Prize, the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize and a PEN-Heim Prize (USA) for her translations of German poetry. Her most recent translations include Ulrike Almut Sandig, I am a field full of rapeseed, give cover to deer and shine like thirteen oil-paintings laid one on top of the other (2020) longlisted for the ALTA translation prize and shortlisted for the Weidenfeld translation prize; and Durs Grünbein, Porcelain: Poem on the Downfall of my City (2020) winner of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize of the Society of Authors 2021. Her translation of Grünbein’s Oxford Weidenfeld Lectures, For the Dying Calves: Beyond Literature, appeared in 2021 and her translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s first novel, Monsters like us, is scheduled for June 2022 (both with Seagull Books).

 

18:30–20:00

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize Short List Readings and Prize-Giving 

Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College

The Oxford–Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. It was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and is supported by New College, The Queen’s College, and St Anne’s College, Oxford. This celebration of literary translation will feature readings from the work of the shortlisted translators, and the presentation of the prize.

 

DINNER (Invitation only)

 

Here are the Oxford Translation Day programmes from previous years: 2021; 2020; 2019; 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014.