A three-week institute for twenty-five college and university faculty to examine the nature of translation and its central place in the humanities.
Elizabeth Lowe McCoy and Chris Higgins of the University of Illinois Center for Translation Studies (CTS) direct an institute designed to introduce participants to the rapidly emerging field of translation studies. After an overview of the field, four case studies allow participants to study translation as a "scholarly craft and cultural dynamic." Works from three continents and a variety of genres illustrate the complex issues that translation involves, both within and across cultures. McCoy, Gregory Rabasssa (City University of New York Graduate Center), and Suzanne Jill Levine (University of California, Santa Barbara) lead the first study on the mid-century rise of Inter-American literature. Rabassa's If This be Treason and Levine's The Subversive Scribe anchor discussion of the active collaboration between Gabriel García-Márquez, William Faulkner, Jorge Luis Borges, and others during this time. Higgins, David Rosenberg (Princeton University), and Valerie Hotchkiss (University of Illinois) lead the second study on Biblical translation. Rosenberg's Dual Biography of Moses and Jesus and Naomi Seidman's Faithful Renderings, among others, complement diverse translations of Biblical passages. Thirdly, the study of Freud in translation, led by Higgins and Adam Phillips (University of York, UK) includes readings by Bruno Bettelheim, James Strachey, Anna Freud, and Phillips, who is editing a new translation of Freud's major writings. In the final study Higgins, William Gass (Washington University), and Rainer Schulte (University of Texas, Dallas) explore the translation of Rainier Maria Rilke's poetry. They read Gass' Reading Rilke, a comparison of fifteen translations of one of Rilke's Duino Elegies, among other selections. The CTS is housed in the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, whose departments teach thirty-seven languages. In addition, participants have access to the foreign language and translation collections of Illinois' Rare Book and Manuscript Library. A day in Chicago at the Goethe Institute introduces participants to other possibilities for their work. Finally, regular working groups allow participants to discuss their own case study projects, and a blog hosted by McCoy and Higgins encourages publication and opportunities for collaboration and dissemination beyond the institute.
Faculty: Valerie Hotchkiss, Joyce Tolliver, Gregory Rabassa, Suzanne Jill Levine, David Rosenberg, Adam Phillips, William Gass, Rainer Schulte