Conversations on the Art of Literary Translation

September 28, 2018

Boston University has a long tradition of literary translation. BU’s first lecture series on translation was offered in 1978, at a time before Translation Studies was even a recognized field. Since then, invited speakers from around the world, including many of the most accomplished translators and literary figures of the last half-century, have been guests at the Boston University Literary Translation Seminar. The Seminar has in turn fostered the literary careers of generations of BU students, teaching them the art of translation and bringing them into fruitful contact with established translators, editors, publishers, and writers worldwide.

Translation Now will celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Seminar by bringing to Boston some of the most distinguished translators and scholars in the field today.  The conference will begin with a keynote address by Rosanna Warren, who gave the Seminar its current shape and taught it until 2012. Professor Warren’s keynote will be followed by a series of moderated conversations on key issues in literary translation, beginning with brief presentations by two or more of our distinguished participants, with ample time for input from the audience and other participants.

Please join us for two days of lively conversation, including a final panel of BU Translation Seminar alumni who will offer concluding thoughts on the forgoing conversations and recall their experiences in the seminar and how it helped prepare them for careers in literary translation.

Attendance is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Please register here if you plan to attend. 

Friday, Sept 28

8:30-9:00am:           Breakfast
9:00-9:15am:            Introduction
9:15-10:15am:           Keynote:  Rosanna Warren
10:30-12:00pm:       Making the Case for Translation: Why Translation Matters Now
Daniel Hahn, Esther Allen, Susan Bassnett, Moderator: Katrina Dodson
12:00-1:00pm:          Lunch
1:00-2:30pm:            Translation and the Literary
Tim Parks, Daniel Mendelsohn, Moderator: Christopher Ricks
2:45-4:15pm:             Translating Poetry: How Can it be Done?
Daniel Aguirre-Oteiza, Sawako Nakayasu, Christopher Childers,  Moderator: Karl Kirchwey
4:15-4:45pm:             Coffee Break
4:45-6:15pm:             Translation and World Literature
Tim Parks, Susan Bassnett, David Boyd, Moderator: Janet Poole
6:15-8:00pm:            Wine Reception

Saturday, Sept 29

8:30-9:00am:            Breakfast
9:00-10:30am:          The Translator’s Identity
Katrina Dodson, Ghirmai Negash, Ellen Elias-Bursać, Moderator: Esther Allen
10:45-12:15pm:          Translation as Creative Act
Sawako Nakayasu, Daniel Mendelsohn, Moderator: Daniel Hahn
12:15-1:30pm:            Lunch
1:30-3:00pm:             The Politics of Translation
Janet Poole, Ghirmai Negash, Alexander Elinson,  Moderator: Ellen Elias-Bursać
3:00-3:30pm:            Coffee
3:30-5:00pm:            Boston University Translation Seminar Alumni Panel
Meg Tyler, Victoria Livingstone, Aviya Kushner, Max Ubelaker Andrade, Aaron Kerner, Ani Gjika, Moderator: Rosanna Warren
7:00-9:00pm:           Dinner for Participants at Hotel Commonwealth