Call for participants: Nida School of Translation Studies 2015

Call for participants: Nida School of Translation Studies 2015
Leading Edges in Translation –World Literature and Performativity
San Pellegrino University Foundation
Misano Adriatico (Rimini), Italy
May 18-29, 2015

This year’s session marks the Nida School’s ninth year of providing challenging, specialized training in translation studies to qualified professionals looking to expand their skills, engage with peers, and explore the interface of practice and cutting edge theory.

Nida Professors:

Susan Bassnett is Professor of Comparative Literature and Special Adviser in Translation Studies at the University of Warwick, where she previously founded the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies and twice served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor. She is the author of over twenty books, including Translation Studies, which first appeared in 1980 and has remained in print ever since. Her most recent works include Translation in Global News (2008), written with Esperança Bielsa,Reflections on Translation (2011), and Translation [The New Critical Idiom] (2014). Prof. Bassnett is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Linguists, the Royal Society of Literature and the Academia Europaea.

Sandra Bermann is Cotsen Professor of the Humanities, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Master of Whitman College at Princeton University, where she also co-founded the program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. In addition to articles and reviews in scholarly journals, she is author of The Sonnet Over Time: Studies in the Sonnets of Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Baudelaire; translator of Manzoni’s On the Historical Novel; and co-editor of Nation, Language, and the Ethics of Translation (with Michael Wood) and A Companion to Translation Studies (with Catherine Porter). Her current projects focus on lyric poetry, translation, and new directions in comparative literature.

Additional Faculty:

Edwin Gentzler (UMass Amherst)
Christo van der Merwe (Stellenbosch)
Sebnem Susam-Saraeva (Edinburgh)
Anna Strowe (Manchester)
Maria Tymoczko (UMass Amherst)
Marlon Winedt (UBS)
Lourens de Vries (VU Amsterdam)
Becka McKay (Florida Atlantic University)

Applications will be received from December 1, 2014 – January 31, 2015. A fee of €1,200 provides for tuition, housing, and meals. A limited number of partial bursaries will be available to applicants who demonstrate need and merit.

For more information or to apply, go to or contact Dr. James Maxey

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CFP: New Spaces of Translation

Callforpapers_Third International Translation 

April 10-11, 2015


Center for Translation Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Centre d’Etudes de Traduction, Université Denis Diderot Paris VII


Keynote Address by Gayatri Spivak

University Professor, Columbia University

“Lessons Learned on the Way to Translation”

The keynote will be followed by a Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory

Nicholson Distinguished Visiting Scholar Colloquium with Gayatri Spivak

Globalization and advances in technology have profoundly influenced how we think about and practice translation and interpreting. This conference will seek to reflect on the changing landscape of the field through the concept of “New Spaces.” On the one hand, globalization has allowed new areas to emerge on the map of translation practices, shifting the cultural centers away from the Western world and towards other world regions, particularly Asia and Latin America, thereby generating spatial and cultural shifts in translation flows. On the other hand, in virtual space, the future of translation and interpreting is already being shaped by the interaction of human translators and interpreters with machines. This two-day international conference will examine the interactions between the physical and virtual spaces in which translation and interpreting take place in the 21st century.

We will consider how the concept of “New Spaces” applies to the following topics:

 New voices in translation and interpreting theory and practice

 The instability of physical and virtual boundaries and the impact it may have on the concept of genre

 The emergence of inter-modal translation and adaptation

 The relevance of intra-lingual translation, particularly in the emergent spaces of the translation sphere

 The importance of re-translation for contemporary audiences

 Collaboration among translators and interpreters

 The evolving identity and function of the translator/interpreter in these new contexts

Papers and panels will be considered that address these topics and others related to the overall themes of the conference. Preference will be given to papers with an interdisciplinary focus. Graduate student papers are welcomed. The languages of the conference are English and French. Simultaneous interpreting will be available for the keynote addresses.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: December 15, 2015

Notification of acceptance of papers: January 15, 2015

Conference Chairs: Elizabeth Lowe, Professor and Director, UIUC Center for Translation Studies and Antoine Cazé, Director, Center for Translation Studies and Vice Provost for the Humanities Université Denis Diderot

Scientific Committee:

Université Denis Diderot Paris VII

Frédéric Ogée, Anglophone Studies; Vice President International Relations

Rainier Lanselle, Langues et Civilisation de l’Asie orientale

Elise Pestre, Etudes psychanalytiques

Nicolas Froeliger, Études Interculturelles de Langues Appliquées

Patricia Minacori, Études Interculturelles de Langues Appliquées

Florence Xiangyun Zhang, Langues et Civilisation de l’Asie orientale

University of Stockholm

Cecilia Wadensjö, Institute for Translation and Interpreting Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Marcus Keller, French and Italian

Karen Fresco, French and Italian

Nancy Blake, Comparative Literature

Craig Williams, Classics and German

Joyce Tolliver, Spanish and Portuguese

Patricia Phillips-Batoma, Translation Studies

Conference Co-Sponsors

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

George A. Miller Visiting Professors and Scholars Program

Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory

Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities

School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics

Center for European Union Studies

Department of Comparative and World Literature

Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Department of French and Italian

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

The conference will include a book exhibit and readings by guest authors/translators.

The University of Illinois Modern Languages and Literatures Libraries will sponsor an exhibit of translation materials.

Conference Proceedings will be published by the Dalkey Archive Press Scholarly Series.



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First-Timer Guide

by Allison M. Charette 

Never been to an ALTA conference before? Don’t be scared! This is not your typical, gigantic, stuffy conference. Literary translators are an overwhelmingly nice group of people, and the atmosphere at our annual conference reflects that. Just be yourself, be comfortable, and don’t worry.

To put you even more at ease, here are a few pointers and things to expect. (Disclaimer: This is all based on my own experiences as a 2-time conference attendee. Your mileage may vary.)


  • There’s no professional dress code for an ALTA conference, and very rarely will you see people wandering around in suits and ties. Everyone looks polished and put together, but you can leave your cufflinks and black stilettos at home. (Unless that’s what you’re comfortable in, then by all means: show off those cufflinks!)
  • Related: Comfy shoes are a must. You’ll be on your feet a lot more than you expect, and you never know how far you’ll be walking for lunch. Better safe than sorry. Plus, your shoes don’t have to impress anyone.
  • Remember to bring business cards to the conference. If you don’t already have them, you can get 50-100 printed fairly cheaply at Vistaprint or MOO. Just do it now so you don’t have to pay rush shipping! (Related: Don’t bring resumes. No one’s going to want them. If you talk to someone who’s interested in your experience, you can email them a resume later.)
  • If you have the money and/or the funding, booking a room at the conference hotel is highly recommended. It’s wonderful to have a 60-second trip to the conference activities, as well as a place to store your things and take quick naps in, if necessary. There are also usually plenty of people looking to share a room—check out the ALTA listserve and the Facebook event.
  • If you like being super-organized, you can already download the full schedule here and start plotting out your days at the conference.

At the Conference

  • It’s really important to get sleep and take breaks to rest during the day. If you feel yourself fading, take a quick nap.
  • There are many ways to learn things, and the panels are just one part of that. Try to balance the “official learning opportunities” with just talking to people over coffee or at the receptions.
  • The beverage and lunch breaks are the best ways to get to know people. Feel free to attach yourself to a random group for lunch, or go up and introduce yourself to anyone and everyone you’d like. 99.9% of people at an ALTA conference are extremely friendly, including the people who you think are “big names”.
  • That being said, be mindful and respectful of people’s time. This counts double for editors—they’re going to have a lot of people trying pitch them, so consider just introducing yourself and making friendly conversation. Asking intelligent questions about their press is always a good way to go.


  • This is not organized like a typical academic conference. Panels, roundtables, and workshops are all completely organized by the people who want to present. Individual paper submissions aren’t accepted for the ALTA conference; the organizers don’t put a bunch of strangers together based on similar topics.
  • Panelists are encouraged to give presentations and foster discussions, rather than reading a pre-determined paper. This means that all the workshops and roundtables, as well as the grand majority of panels, are designed more as a conversation between presenters and audience. Feel free to contribute and be as engaged as you’d like.
  • It’s also totally acceptable to explore a number of panels during each time slot. As long as you sit near the back and are quiet and respectful with your entrances and exits, you can sneak in and out of a few different panels each hour.
  • Three things to definitely attend: the Fellows Reading on Thursday afternoon, Declamation on Friday evening, and the keynote on Saturday morning.
  • Finally, the Bilingual Readings are highly recommended. It’s great to attend one or two (or parts of a few different ones). You can choose based on what languages you work with or someone you’ve always wanted to meet, or you can just pick at random.

And the fabled ALTA friendliness starts now! If you have more questions, or just need a little reassurance, feel free to email Allison (or, with logistical questions, email Erica Mena, ALTA Managing Director).

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ALTA NTA Shortlist Announced

Download the full ALTA NTA Shortlist 2014 Press Release.

The winner of the award will be announced at the 2014 ALTA Conference, Nov. 12-15, 2014 in Milwaukee, WI.

Here is what the three finalist judges, Barbara Epler (Publisher, New Directions), Elaine Katzenberger (Publisher, City Lights) and Jessica Cohen (renowned translator from the Hebrew), had to say about each of the five shortlist titles:

Between FriendsBetween Friends by Amos Oz, translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston. “The reader will quickly find himself or herself entranced by the personal yearnings in these characters’ small lives, which are made achingly palpable in the beautifully translated and deceptively simple prose, with the peaceful, fictional kibbutz grounds and its austere houses depicted as vividly and lovingly as the turbulent landscapes of the characters’ minds.”

An Invitation For Me To ThinkAn Invitation For Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky, translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky & Matvei Yankelevich. “Vvedensky is a marvel: a poet too little known in Russia, and not known at all in the English-speaking world, is revealed as a major 20th-century world poet—wonderful, wonderfully strange, and haunting.  The alchemical translation, with its shifty rhymes and non-rhymes, intense images and absent logic, knits and unknits reality before the reader’s eyes, walking not a line so much as a live wire.”

Life's Good BrotherLife’s Good, Brother by Nazim Hikmet, translated from the Turkish by Mutlu Konuk Blasing. “The work is daring and experimental in style—a multidimensional kaleidoscope where the lines between fiction and memoir are intentionally blurred, as are the borders between author and protagonist(s). Past, present and future curve endlessly in on themselves, weaving in and out of first- and third-person narration to tell one man’s story, and the story of a generation of Turks who lived during Hikmet’s time. This is a landmark work for Hikmet, and a hugely impressive work of translation!”

ATreatiseonShellingBeansA Treatise on Shelling Beans
by Wieslaw Mysliwski, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston. “A masterful work of storytelling, in the most expansive and exhilarating sense of the word! The translation achieves and maintains a brilliantly seamless conversational tone, engaging and full of colloquial charm as the stories emerge from our garrulous narrator, one after another, as layer upon layer of memories coalesce into a tender, homespun, epic retelling of one man’s life spanning the horrors and tragedies of World War II and its aftermath.”

Theme of FarewellTheme of Farewell and After-Poems by Milo de Angelis, translated from the Italian by Susan Stewart and Patrizio Ceccagnoli. “A startling coexistence of vitality and death, beauty and darkness, love and anger animates these elegiac poems by one of Italy’s foremost contemporary poets, appearing for the first time in a bilingual edition. The poet’s anguish and helplessness in the face of his wife’s illness and death permeate each line as he probes the capacity of language to convey such loss, and all but brings his beloved back to life through recollected snapshots of their past. Raw emotion alongside thoughtful sobriety shine through in the musical, sensual translation.”

Books eligible for the 2014 NTA include titles published anywhere in the world in the previous calendar year (2013) that were translated by an American citizen or permanent resident. Publishers or translator are invited to submit titles for consideration at the beginning of the year, and book selection is based on the quality of the finished book in English, and the quality of the translation.

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Megan Berkobien (2014 ALTA Fellow)

Megan BerkobienMegan Berkobien is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the same university, where she founded the department’s undergraduate translation journal, Canon Translation Review. Her time at Michigan was and continues to be marked by a sense of exploration into the (in)felicities of translation alongside several notable professor-translators, including Christi Merrill, Anton Shammas, and Benjamin Paloff (to all of whom she is forever grateful).

As so often happens, in the beginning was the Verbo. But high school Spanish didn’t serve Megan much; she had read too much Bulgakov and watched Woody Allen’s Love & Death far too many times not to tread her toes on rockier terrain. Her freshman year at university was spent amidst awkward half-Russian conversations until she could finally complain about the cold and the government in an adequate accent. She almost bought a long fur coat that winter.

But Megan soon felt a growing restlessness to pursue other linguistic routes. After fretting over her waning love affair with the Russian language, Megan quickly enrolled in a semi-immersive Spanish program where she began to map out her interests in women’s writing in Latin America & Spain. Her fortuitous virtual encounter with esteemed author and critic Cristina Peri Rossi brought about her first major translation project, along with the not-so-trivial fringe benefit of beginning an inspired working relationship that has now spanned five years.

Megan’s scholarly interests include minor languages in Spain, media studies, museum studies, and, of course, the poetics & pragmatics of translation theory. For her, these areas coalesce in the remediated space of digital translation publishing. She had the chance to present a paper on the magazines Words without Borders and Asymptote (both of which she has had the pleasure of working for in some editorial aspect) and their theoretical implications for the discipline at the MLA annual conference in January 2014. She is also part of the Translation Networks project at Michigan, where she is working alongside a team of designers and engineers to help dream up an interactive digital interface to house the various translation-oriented objects within the diverse museum collections around campus.

Megan has also recently started working with contemporary Catalan texts as a means to better study the translational divides in contemporary Spain. She spent this previous summer researching and translating in Barcelona, where she had the chance to feel out the Catalan literary scene and drink too much coffee with some of the city’s many characters. She is currently making her way through Galician textbooks as well.

These days she finds herself haunting libraries, suitcases, and the folds of comfy armchairs (her own, most often) for new projects to populate the various intellectual & academic constellations that compose her universe. Megan’s work has been featured in Words without Borders, Palabras Errantes, and Asymptote, to name a few. Her first book-length translation—Cristina Peri Rossi’s radiant novella Strange Flying Objects—is forthcoming
from Ox and Pigeon in 2015.

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Tenzin Dickie (2014 ALTA Fellow)

Tenzin DickieTenzin Dickie is a Tibetan-English translator living in NYC. She was born in a Tibetan refugee settlement in India, to parents who had crossed over from Tibet when they were children in the ’60s. It took her a long time to understand that she was a second generation exile, not a first generation exile and that was why many things were the way they were.

Dickie attended a Tibetan boarding school in Dharamsala where almost all the students were called Tenzin and the only non-Tibetan staff were the Hindi madam and an Australian teacher who probably really enjoyed being called Sir Murray. When her family moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, she had a thankfully ok time at high school even though it still took her a year to hear the difference between an American accent and an English accent.

She went on to study English and American literature at Harvard University where she slept more often than studied in Lamont Library and was President of the Harvard Students for a Free Tibet and features editor of the Harvard South Asian Journal. After graduation she worked for a few years as Special Assistant to the Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Americas at the Office of Tibet, NY, which always prompted people to ask, “Did His Holiness drop by the office?” No.

Then she began her MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation at Columbia University where she studied with the amazing Susan Bernofsky and started translating contemporary Tibetan poetry into English. She focuses on a group of established and emerging writers in and around Amdo—Kyabchen Dedrol, Sakyil Tseta, Palmo, Ngarma etc—and is happy to be a conduit in making their work available to the rest of the world.

Dickie is a poet and essayist who has been published in Indian Literature, Seminar magazine, the Yellow Nib, the Huffington Post and Cultural Anthropology. Her translation has been published in The Washington Post. Her current project is a memoir in essays.

She works as editor of the Treasury of Lives, an open-access biographical encyclopedia of significant figures from Tibet, Inner Asia and the Himalayan region, which is a special project of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and can be viewed at

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Sara Novic (2014 ALTA Fellow)

Sara NovicSara Nović is a fiction writer and composition professor currently stationed in Sunnyside, Queens. Her short fiction has appeared in Electric Literature, Guernica, The Massachusetts Review, and The Minnesota Review, with essays in The LA Review of Books, Ploughshares, and Apogee. She is also the founding editor of the Deaf rights blog Redeafined, and the fiction editor at Blunderbuss. Her first novel, about the Yugoslav Civil War, will be published by Random House in 2015.

Growing up an avid reader and in-secret writer, Sara had no notion that writing could be anything more than a quiet interest to be hidden beneath one’s mattress. The first of her family to attend college, she was amazed upon her arrival at Emerson in Boston to discover creative writing as an academic discipline. Thanks to a slew of supportive faculty, she pulled the notebooks from under the bed and graduated with a BFA in Writing, Literature and Publishing in 2009.

Still, Sara had always considered translation a day-to-day necessity rather than a literary pursuit. Utilizing sign language interpreters in her classes, Sara was no stranger to real-time translation between English and American Sign Language. Further, having lived with family in Croatia and experienced the subsequent mixing of Croatian and American family members, translation in its rawest form was a normal occurrence around the dinner table, but nothing more.

Sara’s second literary epiphany—this time about translation as a kind of creative writing—came when she began the MFA program at Columbia University. There she pursued dual degrees in Fiction and Translation, and had the opportunity to work with translators Susan Bernofsky, Idra Novey, and Jeffrey Yang, all of whom she thanks heaps for their expert guidance. Through workshops with her super-smart colleagues, Sara came to appreciate and practice translation as an art form in its own right.

While at Columbia, Sara also worked to spearhead a subset of Columbia’s Word for Word Translation Exchange, organizing, along with fearless leader Susan Bernofsky, Word for Word: ASL, a program in conjunction with students at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. The exchange group translated English short stories into ASL, and short fiction recorded in American Sign Language into English, collaborating to address the complexities of translating between written and visio-spacial grammar modalities.

Recently most of Sara’s translation work has been focused on the poems of Izet Sarajlić, who is perhaps Bosnia’s most celebrated writer, but is relatively unknown in the US. Some of Sara’s translations of Sarajlić’s work have been published by Circumference; she was also a winner of the 2014 Willis Barnstone Prize for her translation of the poem “After I Was Wounded” (“Nakan Ranjavanja”).

Sara is currently working on a translation of Sarajlic’s Sarajevo War Journal (Sarajevska Ratna Zbirka), a collection of poetry he wrote during the first thirty days of the siege of Sarajevo in 1992. She hopes to continue translating his many collections for an English-speaking audience.

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