Thursday, May 9, 2024
student smiling

Claire Breger-Belsky, who received an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa in May 2023, is the winner of a Fulbright Study/Research Grant in translation to Argentina for 2024-25.

Hometown: West Newbury, Massachusetts 
Degree: MFA in literary translation  

Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright? 
I’ll be working with the Centro Documental y Biblioteca Pinie Katz in Buenos Aires to research and translate plays and poetry of women writing in Yiddish in Argentina. 

How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
I hope to continue researching and translating Yiddish from Argentina and across the Spanish-speaking world; this Fulbright will give me the opportunity to begin digging through some of the major archives of this literature and make connections with others working on similar topics.

What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright? 
It’s predictable advice, but start your application early enough that you have time for many rounds of edits! I had my project pretty figured out before starting my application, but I still revised or rewrote pretty much every written portion of my application at least half a dozen times. (Also, make sure to pay attention to word counts on the smaller short answers, not just the longer essays!) 

Were there experiences at Iowa that inspired you to pursue a Fulbright? 
My time at the University of Iowa, when I had the opportunity to translate and think about translation constantly in the company of other translators, coincided perfectly with the beginning of my Yiddish studies. Learning about translation in a space where I could work with both Spanish and Yiddish at once helped me realize that this intersection was a place I wanted to focus, and Iowa is where I really started to dive into the history of Yiddish in Argentina. 

Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process? 
To keep this answer reasonably brief, I’ll just say my recommenders—Aron Aji, Judy Liskin-Gasparro, and Jan Steyn—for all their support and encouragement; everyone on the Fulbright advising team who read my application or worked with me, especially Karen Wachsmuth for her invaluable application help and perspective; my Yiddish and Spanish teachers; and of course my parents who, along with everything else, had to read my application quite a few times. 




International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.