MT 2016 Week 7 Updates

On Monday of Week 8, we have the term's final OCCT discussion group. Prof. Adriana X. Jacobs (Professor of Modern Hebrew Literature) will explore the topic "Between Languages: Working In and On Translation" with Kasia Szymanska (Junior Research Fellow in Slavonic Studies at University College). The session will be chaired by Kate Costello (DPhil candidate in Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature). Also, please come for a quick drink to celebrate the end of OCCT's term and toast the launch of Matthew Reynolds's new book Translation: A Very Short Introduction. All welcome!

For the OCCTR's latest illuminating review of Michael Allen's In the Shadow of World Literature.

In Week 7 we had a fascinating session on the The Politics of Prizing Translation, with specific reference to the Man Booker International Prize, at St Anne’s College.


Events and Job Calls

1. The Heyday of the Short Story: Realism into Modernism

Prof. Marshall Brown (Dept. of Comparative Literature, University of Washington, Seattle)

Monday, 28 November, 5 pm

History of the Book Room, English Faculty (St Cross Building, Manor Road)

Marshall Brown is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington and longtime editor of Modern Language Quarterly. Among his books are The Shape of German Romanticism, Preromanticism, The Gothic Text, and The Tooth that Nibbles at the Soul: Essays on Music and Poetry. His lecture is related to his next book, The Romance of Real Life: On the Form of Nineteenth-Century Fiction.


2. The University Council for Modern Languages (see is seeking an Administrative Assistant to support the work of the Council’s Officers, particularly the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. This role may be suitable for a postgraduate, particularly in the fields of UCML: languages, linguistics and area & cultural studies.

All details, with the application form, can be found at deadline for application is midnight on 30 November 2016.


3. Shakespeare in Translation

Workshop Conference at the University of East Anglia, Norwich

In collaboration with the British Council, Globe Education, Romanian Cultural Institute and Writers’ Centre Norwich

10-11 December 2016

A conference bringing together translators, academics and theatre practitioners from the UK and overseas to discuss Shakespeare in translation and his international reception.  This is the final event in the British Council’s 2016 programme “A Great Feast of Languages”, which marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.  It features three translation workshop sessions, six short presentations on aspects of Shakespeare in translation, and recorded perfomances of new translations produced by participants in international translation workshops held in Cologne, Mexico City and Singapore.

Participants include Tom Cheesman (Swansea), Marta Gibińska (Kraków), Dominic Glynn (IMLR), Daniel Hahn (Society of Authors), Sonia Massai (KCL), Arunava Sinha (New Delhi), Patrick Spottiswoode (Shakespeare’s Globe), George Volceanov (Bucharest) and Ema Vyroubalová (TCD).

Further information and registration (by 30 November):


4. Two forthcoming events in the “Planetary Futures” series hosted by the UCL Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street.

Admission is free and advanced booking is required.


Tuesday 22 November 2016, 7pm-9pm

Speakers: Dr Polina Levontin (Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London); Dr Florian Mussgnug (UCL); Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (UCL).

Narratives of global catastrophe have a long history in apocalyptic thinking and have become near ubiquitous in contemporary literature and film, political rhetoric and popular science. This panel brings together humanities researchers and natural scientists. We explore how knowledge about future catastrophe is made into stories and images in the present. Does exposure to dark and ominous futurist imaginaries paralyse us with fear or can it make us more prone to political action? How can narratives of global catastrophe help us understand and assess actual risk scenarios?


Tuesday 29 November 2016, 6pm-8pm.

Speakers: Professor Simona Corso (University of Rome); Professor Alessandro Grilli (University of Pisa); Dr Florian Mussgnug (UCL).

Robinson, Ripley, Revenant…. Survivor fictions enjoy great success across different media and at all levels of cultural production. This event considers narratives of “last men” or “final girls” against the grain of established cultural conventions. We consider survival narratives as pre-traumatic symptoms and wish-fulfilment fantasies and explore how they relate to ideas about gender, the nature of human compassion, our relation with non-human life. The event will be followed by a drinks reception.



Hosted by the University of Cambridge, 11-12 April 2017

***Call for Abstracts Deadline: 2 December 2016***

Applications are warmly invited for papers that relate to any aspect of Iranian studies in any discipline within the arts, humanities and social sciences. This includes but is by no means limited to: prehistory through to contemporary history and historiography; anthropology; archaeology; cultural heritage and conservation; social and political theory; Diaspora studies; ecology and the environment; economics; historical geography; history of medicine; art and architecture history; education; international relations and political science; epigraphy; languages, literature, linguistics and philology; new media and communication studies; philosophy; religions and theology; classical studies; sociology; film studies, music, and the performing arts.
Comparative themes and interdisciplinary approaches are also very welcome.

All abstracts undergo peer review.


Symposia Iranica is the biennial international graduate conference on Iranian studies. We bring together students and early career scholars to celebrate, encourage and stimulate their interest and engagement with the field, and seek to deliver a rounded, academically and professionally enriching experience that will have a real impact on the thinking, output and career progression of our participants.

For the full call for papers and abstract submission forms, see our website:
Or follow us on: | @SymposiaIranica


We gratefully acknowledge the support and sponsorship of the British Institute of Persian Studies; the Soudavar Memorial Foundation; Pembroke College, Cambridge; the Shahnama Centre for Persian Studies; the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge; the Ancient India and Iran Trust; I.B.Tauris Publishers; Brill Academic Publishers, and the Symposia Iranica Trust for Emerging Scholars.


6. The Walter Benjamin London Research Network (WBLRN) and the Warburg Institute are pleased to announce a two-part event on Gesture — A Seminar and Workshop with Werner Hamacher (WBLRN / Warburg Institute), 1-2 Dec 2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016 – A Seminar with Werner Hamacher

4-6pm, Richard Hoggart Building 256, Goldsmiths

Prof. Werner Hamacher will lead a seminar on his essay, “The Gesture in the Name: On Benjamin and Kafka” (from Premises) / “Die Geste in Namen” (from Entferntes Verstehen), in Richard Hoggart Building 256 at Goldsmiths, University of London. All welcome; seats available on a first come, first served basis.

Prof. Hamacher asks all participants to please read the text and prepare questions for him in advance of the seminar. Please visit for copies of the text in English and German.

Friday, 2 December 2016 – A Workshop

9:30am-6pm, Lecture Room, The Warburg Institute

An interdisciplinary workshop on the philosophic, literary, art historical “language of gestures,” with special attention to the work of Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben.

Participants: Andrew Benjamin (London Graduate School / Kingston University / Monash University), Philipp Ekardt (Warburg Institute / Bilderfahrzeuge Project), Christopher Johnson (Warburg Institute / Bilderfahrzeuge Project), David Freedberg (Warburg Institute), Werner Hamacher (European Graduate School), Eckart Marchand (Warburg Institute / Bilderfahrzeuge Project), Julia Ng (Goldsmiths, University of London), Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge).

The Workshop on Gesture addresses a truly interdisciplinary topic currently being explored by scholars from art history, dance studies, cinema studies, and philosophy. Drawing on research in ethnology, anthropology, psychology, and neuropsychology, art historians, like Aby Warburg, Rudolf Wittkower, Caroline van Eck, and David Freedberg, have variously redescribed and theorized gesture. Philosophers and literary theorists, like Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, Werner Hamacher, and Andrew Benjamin, have plumbed gesture for its ability to mediate meaning(s). Given this, the Workshop will variously attempt to revaluate the corporeality, contingency, and temporality that enable gesture in the first place, even as it assesses the various ways gesture has been, for better or worse, abstracted. Its working premise is that nowadays we see a gradual fading of the symbol in the face of other forms of mediation, and that this lends urgency to the study of gesture. More particularly still, the Workshop will attempt to trace the lines that join gesture in life, on stage, and in the visual arts and the conceptions of gesture promoted by Walter Benjamin and Giorgio Agamben.

This Workshop, then, affords an opportunity, then, to address questions such as: How might a history of gesture be written? What kinds of aesthetic, rhetorical, and/or truth claims does gesture make? In what sense is gesture an event, a sign, or a form of expression? What are the qualitative and conceptual differences between gestures that occur in the laboratory, a play, a painting, or on a page of philosophy? To address such questions, the Workshop will consider the dynamics of producing and receiving gesture as a historical, empirical, and philosophic problem.

If you wish to attend, please register at


Dr Eleni Philippou

Comparative Criticism and Translation

short introduction book image