Reading and Re-Translation

March 28-30, 2019

“Reading and Re-translation" is a two-day international and interdisciplinary colloquium dedicated to the theorization and practice of reading. With funding from an International Programs Major Projects Award, organizers and speakers from around the globe will focus on the current state of research on reading and (re)translation and will generate scholarly and creative exchanges between colleagues in diverse fields in the arts, sciences, literatures, and humanities.

Is reading a quaint and antiquated technique, obsolescent in the age of Big Data? Conference participants will reenergize research in this field, asking questions such as: What is the role of reading in shaping literary, and cultural signifying processes? How can we bring reading into focus as the hidden site where social and symbolic power is enforced? How do re-translations shape transnational, literary and cultural relations? What arts and humanities perspectives need to be reasserted in a digitized world where algorithms increasingly read us? The organizers aim to foster incisive and inclusive thinking about these issues—but also demonstrate the power and indispensability of strong, imaginative, and critical reading in today’s complex world.

Building on and strengthening the University of Iowa’s position at the forefront of the fields of literary and translation studies through innovative and creative scholarship, "Reading and Re-translation" is sure to be an exciting conference that will spark spirited discussion between faculty and students from many disciplines.

Free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 28 | MERGE, 136 South Dubuque St.

WorldCanvass: What's in a Word? The Translator's Challenge

5:00 – 5:30 p.m. - Free reception, open to the public

5:30 – 7:00 p.m. - Program

Day One: Reading, Text, and Power

Friday, March 29 | 1117 University Capitol Centre

9:15 a.m. - Refreshments

9:45 a.m. - Opening Remarks - Adrienne Rose (Departments of Classics, Comparative Literature, Literary Translation, and Asian and Slavic Languages, University of Iowa)

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Session One

Moderator: Michael Swellander (Department of German, University of Iowa)

  • "Beyond Ab-Dichtung: Reading Benjamin’s 'On Some Motifs in Baudelaire'” (Sabine Gölz, German and Comparative Literature, University of Iowa)
  • “Vilém Flusser’s Practice of Multiple Self-Translation” (Rainer Guldin, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Universitá Svizzera di Lugano, Switzerland)
  • (Nils Seiler, MFA Program in Literary Translation, University of Iowa)

Respondent: Rosemarie Scullion (Departments of French and Italian, University of Iowa)

2:00-4:15 p.m. Session Two

Moderator: Elke Heckner (Department of German)

  • “The Potentiality of Resistance. Reading, Inaction, and the Body ” (Nassima Sahraoui, Philosophy, Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
  • "Erinna at the Crossroads: Genre-Crossing and Gender-Crossing in Early Hellenistic Literature" (Tyler Fyotek and Laura Moser, Department of Classics, University of Iowa)
  • “The Great Unread and the Microgram” (Martin Klebes, German, University of Oregon, Eugene)

Respondent: Chris Goetz (Cinematic Arts, University of Iowa)

6-6:45 p.m. - Lecture-Recital: “Horseshoeing a Flea” (Oleg Timofeyev, Russian Program, The University of Iowa)

DAY TWO: Re-Translation, Experimental, and Intermedia Translation

Saturday, March 30 | 1117 University Capitol Centre

9:15 a.m. - Refreshments

9:45 a.m. - Opening Remarks - Aron Aji (MFA Program in Literary Translation, University of Iowa)

10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Session Three

Moderator: Laura Moser (Department of Classics, University of Iowa)

  • “Beyond Reception: Retranslation, Classics, and the Practice of Making Sense,” Adrienne K.H. Rose (MFA Program in Literary Translation, Classics, Comparative Literature, University of Iowa)
  • “Untranslatability and the Chorus in Virginia Woolf and H.D.“ (Laura McClure, Classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • “The Translation of Glory: Roman Repurposing of Greco-Macedonian Victory Monuments” (Thomas Rose, Classics, Randolph-Macon College, VA)

Respondent: Sarah Bond (Department of Classics, University of Iowa)

2:00-4:30 p.m. Session Four

Moderator: Jan Steyn (MFA Program in Literary Translation, Department of French and Italian, University of Iowa)

  • “Re-Translating Kafka“ (Michelle Woods, English, SUNY New Paltz)
  • “Translation and Re-translation as Embodied Reading“ (Madeleine Campbell, University of Glasgow, Scotland)
  • “Newness, nostalgia and business as usual: On reading and not reading retranslations” (Kaisa Koskinen, University of Tampere, Finland)

Respondent: Derick Mattern (2018 MFA in Literary Translation, University of Iowa)

4:30-4:45 p.m. - Coffee break

5:00 p.m. - Roundtable

Funding for this Major Project was provided by the Stanley-University of Iowa Foundation Support Organization.

This event is hosted by the UI Program in Comparative Literature and the MFA Program in Literary Translation, with support from UI International Programs; the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; the Department of Classics; the Department of English; the Department of Religious Studies; the Department of German; the Department of French and Italian, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.