An interdisciplinary conference on the poetics and pragmatics of literary translation at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, April 23-25, 2009, organized by Peter Burian (Classical Studies, Duke University), Eric Downing (English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill), Christophe Fricker (Germanic Languages and Literature, Duke University), and Erdag Göknar (Turkish Studies/Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Duke University).
This international, interdisciplinary, and transcultural conference brought together not only writers and scholars who translate literary texts, but cultural theorists, publishers and editors, and others interested in many facets of the process of translation between and among languages and media, and the politics and influence of translation in today’s increasingly globalized culture. Besides a series of scholarly papers, there was a multilingual reading by renowned author-translators, two keynote lectures, and a panel on the publishing industry. The keynote lectures were delivered by David Ricks (King’s College London) and Haun Saussy (Yale University). A valuable part of the conference was a panel discussion with two of America’s great publishers, Jonathan Galassi (President, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), and David Godine (Godine).
The conference took advantage of demonstrated interest in literary translation, both as an activity and a subject of scholarly inquiry, at the two host universities and in the wider academic community. It was prepared by a series of well-attended “Translatable” events at Duke over the previous two years, featuring prominent literary translators from a number of linguistic, literary, and cultural traditions, including Dick Davis, Jane V. Curran, Michael Hofmann, and Brett Wilson.
- Photo by Johanna Schuster-Craig.