Interdisciplinary Conference: “The Voice of the Translator” Call for Participants

Call for participants:  Interdisciplinary Conference: “The Voice of the Translator”
Literature and Global Culture
University of California, Santa Barbara
Jan 23-24, 2015

“The Voice of the Translator”  Keynote speakers include:

Alfred MacAdam is a Professor of Spanish at Barnard College who specializes in twentieth-century Latin-American narrative. He is also a leading translator of Latin-American fiction and has translated novels by Julio Cortázar, Reinaldo Arenas, Alejo Carpentier, José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Osvaldo Soriano. From 1984 to 2004, MacAdam was the editor of Review: Latin American Literature and Arts, a publication of the Americas Society. This biannual magazine presents work by Latin-American writers not yet known to English-speaking audiences as well as unknown texts by already established writers.

Ngugi wa Thiong’o is a writer and theorist of post-colonial literature who was born in Kenya and is currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. A many-sided intellectual, he is a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic, social activist and translator. In 2006, he published what some consider to be his crowning achievement, The Wizard of the Crow, an English translation of his Gikuyu-language novel Murogi wa Kagogo. In his own words, his main interest is “the problematic interaction between dominant languages and marginalized ones.” Ngugi has written and published prolifically, and his books have been translated into more than thirty languages.

Peter Bush is an award-winning literary translator who was born in Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK, and now lives in Barcelona. Previously he was Professor of Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, where he directed the British Centre for Literary Translation. He has been active in defense of the rights of literary translators as Vice-President of the International Translators Federation and was founding editor of the literary translators’ journal, In Other Words. He has translated over fifty novels and screenplays from Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan into English, including the work of Juan Carlos Onetti, Juan Goytisolo, and Fernando de Rojas.

Dennis Tedlock is the McNulty Professor of English and Research Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research interests center on the indigenous languages, verbal arts, writing systems, and religions of the Western Hemisphere. He has conducted fieldwork among the Koasati of Louisiana, the Zuni of New Mexico, the indigenous Hawaiians of Kaua’i, the Mopán Maya of Belize, and the K’iche’ Maya of Guatemala. His monograph Popul Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life won the PEN Translation Prize in 1986.

Peggy McCracken is the Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. As a literary scholar, she studies the intersections of medieval literature, history, and theory. Her most recent monograph, co-authored with Donald S. Lopez, is entitled In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Christian Saint, and examines the trajectory of a legend from Arabic, to Latin, to Old French, and its transmission and circulation in the medieval global world. The monograph accompanies McCracken’s 2014 translation of Gui de Cambrai’s Barlaam and Josaphat from Old French into English.

Conference Program:

Conference webiste:

For more information, please contact Suzanne Jill Levine at


About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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