Week 8 Updates
Our last week of term was stellar. Oxford Translation Day was a great success, and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize was exhilarating. The winner of the 2019 prize is Celia Hawkesworth for her translation of Ivo Andrić, Omer Pasha Latas (New York Review Books). We also celebrated each other's company and the beginning of summer over Pimm's and strawberries at the final Discussion Group session for the year!
EVENTS, JOB OPPORTUNITIES, and CFPs
1. MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation – University of Oxford
GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS
We are seeking to appoint two Graduate Teaching Assistants for the MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation, one for Michaelmas Term 2019 and one for Hilary Term 2020. The GTAs will support the work of the Programme Convenors by helping to lead discussion in the seminars which form part of the Core Course in MT and HT. The GTAs will gain experience of shared teaching in a seminar format, and of helping to provide formative assessment.
Each Graduate Teaching Assistant would be expected to work 4 hours per week during term time (Weeks 1-8), either in Michaelmas Term or in Hilary Term. The will start on 7 October, 2019 for the MT position, and 20 January, 2020, for the TT position. The remuneration offered is £13.43 per hour (current rate).
The MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation is a nine-month, interdisciplinary course designed to provide students with critical, theoretical and research expertise in the intersecting fields of comparative literature and translation studies. The course is attached to the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT), and administered by the Humanities Division. Students may take options from the Faculties of Oriental Studies, English, and Medieval and Modern Languages; and they write a dissertation on a comparative or translational topic of their choosing. In Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, lectures and seminars for the Core Course in weeks 1-6 bring them together as a cohort; and in Trinity Term there is a Seminar Day at which they will present their work on their dissertations.
The role of the Graduate Teaching Assistants is:
- to attend both lectures and seminars in the core course;
- to assist the Convenors in leading discussion in the seminars, drawing on their own expertise as appropriate;
- to assist the Convenors in providing formative assessment to the students.
The Graduate Teaching Assistants will gain experience in:
- shared teaching in a seminar format;
- the provision of formative assessment.
Please note that in MT formative assessment consists of feedback on seminar presentations; and in HT it consists of that and, in addition, feedback on a piece of written work.
How to Apply
Please write a letter of application outlining your suitability for the role, and send it, together with a CV, to email@example.com by Friday 5 July 2019. Please ask your DPhil supervisor to send a note of support to the same address by the same date.
2. MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation – University of Oxford
ACADEMIC MENTOR ROLE
We are seeking to appoint an Academic Mentor for MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation. The main purpose of the role is to support the work of the programme convenors by fostering a group identity for our incoming cohort of around 12 students. The Academic Mentor will therefore make an important contribution to the experience of students on the MSt CLCT.
The role will be offered for one year in the first instance, with the possibility of renewing for a second year. The Academic Mentor would be expected to work 7 hours per week during term time (Weeks 1-8) and for all three academic terms. The role will start on 7 October, 2019. The remuneration offered is £17.53 per hour (current rate).
The MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation is a nine-month, interdisciplinary course designed to provide students with critical, theoretical and research expertise in the intersecting fields of comparative literature and translation studies. The course is attached to the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT), and administered by the Humanities Division. Students may take options from the Faculties of Oriental Studies, English, and Medieval and Modern Languages, and they write a dissertation on a comparative or translational topic of their choosing. In Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, lectures and seminars for the Core Course in weeks 1-6 bring them together as a cohort; and in Trinity Term there is a Seminar Day at which they will present their work on their dissertations.
The role of the academic mentor is:
- to help foster a sense of group identity and cohesion;
- to organize the Seminar Day in Trinity Term;
- to facilitate the students participation in OCCT’s postgraduate-led discussion group, research seminars, and events such as Oxford Translation Day (7th week, TT), as well as other relevant parts of the research culture of the University;
- to contribute to the research mentoring and professional development of the students during the course.
The role will support the more formal work of the programme convenors to whom the Academic Mentor should report regularly and consult for guidance on offering advice to students (e.g. on university procedures).
The Academic Mentor should make themselves available for up to 90 minutes each week for discussion with students, either as a group or one-to-one as seems appropriate. They should expect to attend the OCCT Discussion Group and related events fairly regularly so as to ensure that MSt students feel supported in their participation in research culture. The organisation of the Seminar Day in TT is likely to require a sustained commitment of time. The mentor will also be expected to attend the termly meeting of the MSt CLCT Steering Committee.
How to apply
Please write a letter of application outlining your suitability for the role, and send it, together with a CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 5 July 2019. Please ask one referee to send a reference to the same address by the same date.
3. The deadline for 'Beckett and Italy' has been extended to 7 July!
BECKETT & ITALY
University of Reading (7-8 November 2019)
"Can’t conceive by what stretch of ingenuity my work could be placed under the sign of italianità… There are a number of Italian elements [in my work]…" (SB to AJ Leventhal, 21 April 1958)
Beckett and Italy. As a student at Trinity College Dublin, Beckett studied Italian language and literature, and cultivated them privately with Bianca Esposito, the signorina Adriana Ottolenghi of ‘Dante and the Lobster’. They discussed the writers on his syllabus: Machiavelli, Petrarca, Manzoni, Boccaccio and Tasso, to name a few. His most striking encounter was with Dante – he read the Commedia many times throughout his life – and he also discovered a particular affinity with Leopardi. As a student, he wrote essays on Carducci and D’Annunzio. He attempted translations of Dante into English in letters and notebooks, and wrote a curious dialogue in German based on Ariosto’s Orlando furioso. In 1930, he published translations into English of Montale’s poem ‘Delta’ and texts by Franchi and Comisso. For a good part of his formative years, Beckett really was, as Walter Draffin in Dream of Fair to Middling Women, an “Italianate Irishman”. His interest extended well beyond literature. For example, he read the philosophical investigations of Bruno, Campanella, Thomas Aquinas and Vico. Moreover, he was interested in Italian music, was fascinated by Italian art, and followed with curiosity the experiments of Neorealist cinema. Yet Beckett’s relation to Italian culture is far from unambiguous. For example, despite his knowledge of the language, Beckett’s involvement with the Italian translation of his work was negligible. Comments like the one quoted above, where, while denying the “italianità” of his work, he draws attention to “a number of Italian elements” in it, are a testament to both the ambiguity and the vitality of this relationship. These two conferences aim to re-assess the influence that Italian culture, literature, poetry, theatre, arts and cinema had on Beckett’s works, even beyond what he was willing to recognise.
Italy and Beckett. When Godot was first performed in Italy in 1953, the first Italian-language production coming a year later, Beckett was greeted as a playwright who belonged to the Theatre of the Absurd. Meanwhile his prose was mostly ignored or disregarded as minor. Eventually, Beckett found his place in literature, art, and popular culture; it is significant, in this light, that Calvino turned to him, in the last years of his life, and looked positively at his minimalism in Six Memos for the Next Millennium. Writers and artists felt – as they do today – the need to respond to the Beckett phenomenon, even if only to condemn his ‘literature without style’. Theatre directors welcomed his experiments and continue to propose innovative productions of his work. Critics have analysed him comparatively with writers like Pirandello, Levi and Gadda. More recently, much attention has been paid to the ties between Beckett’s writing and the philosophy of Agamben. In more general terms, there is room to investigate the way Beckett can help the exploration of the new avenues opened by the so-called ‘Italian Theory’, and, conversely, how the conceptual tools offered by this trend of thought can shed a different light on Beckett’s work. The recent publication of the Italian translation of Beckett’s letters seems to align with this continued Italian interest in Beckett. On the other hand, the fact that it is still difficult to find his work in bookshops, confirms the ambiguity of Beckett’s position in Italian culture. Each of these conferences aims to reconsider the impact of Beckett’s work on Italian culture.
We encourage submissions focused on, but not limited to, the followings areas:
· Beckett and Italian culture (literature, philosophy, poetry, art, cinema, music, science, theatre, radio);
· Beckett, Italian Philosophy, and ‘Italian Theory’;
· Beckett, Italian Language, and Translation;
· Beckett, Italian Publishing Houses and Market;
· Beckett and Italian Criticism;
· Beckett and Italian Popular Culture;
· Beckett and Italian Theatre;
· Beckett, Italy and Poetry;
· Beckett and Italian Arts;
· Beckett and Italian Politics, and Bio-politics.
Prof. David Houston Jones (University of Exeter)
Dr. Rossana Sebellin (University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’)
Prof. Mariacristina Cavecchi (University of Milan)
Dr Pim Verhulst (University of Antwerp)
Submission of proposal:
Please send anonymised abstracts, in English, of 300–500 words to email@example.com with a separate short bio of no more than 150 words by 7 July 2019.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit barpgroup.wordpress.com.
Dr Michela Bariselli (University of Reading)
Antonio Gambacorta (University of Reading)
Dr Davide Crosara (University of Rome, Sapienza)
Prof. Mario Martino (University of Rome, Sapienza)
4. REGISTRATION OPEN (FREE TO ALL)
The Pathological Body From the Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present: European Literary and Cultural Perspectives
A one-day symposium at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK
Friday 20 September 2019
Keynote Speaker: Dr Steven Wilson (Queen’s University Belfast)
* With support from the Cassal Endowment Fund and the Society for French Studies *
What is sickness, and how is it represented in literature? In his twenty-volume Rougon-Macquart novel cycle (1871–93), Émile Zola creates pathological bodies living within Napoleon III’s Second Empire (1852–70), a period which is represented as being engulfed by political and social sickness. It is in the last volume, Le Docteur Pascal, that there is hope embodied within Pascal’s newborn son, the potential ‘messiah’ of the French nation. In the aftermath of the disastrous Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), Zola’s cycle may be a literary reaction to the state of a weakened France in exalting the mythicised image of the mother and child, at once a symbol of purity and new beginnings. Reflecting on the multi-dimensional aspect of Zola’s Naturalism, Henri Mitterand writes that these novels are not merely a form of social and historical documentation, but, instead, offer a knowledge that is more intuitive, modern and poetic, and which might be termed an ‘anthropomythic naturalism’ (preface, Émile Zola, Le Docteur Pascal, p. 48). This symposium aims to explore the nexus of fears, anxieties and desires that society projects onto the body within European literature and culture, from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, tracing the birth and development of modern medicine. It will examine the widest meaning of sickness and the power dynamic between the body and society. Is sickness ever ‘just’ sickness, or is there often a covert ideological agenda that drives and constructs it? How can literature help us understand the relationship between the body and society? The symposium will take a transhistorical and transnational approach in order to see whether, and how, cultural anxieties which appropriate the body change and differ across European national boundaries during a time when medicine is establishing and asserting its increasing authority. The symposium will be an opportunity for colleagues to forge connections and to compare different approaches within the growing field of Medical Humanities within the Modern Languages.
More information on the speakers and their papers may be found on the symposium website:
Registration is free, but booking is essential for catering purposes:
Dr Kit Yee Wong
Associate Research Fellow
Dept. of Cultures and Languages
Birkbeck, University of London
43 Gordon Square
Twitter hashtag: #pathbodylit
5. INGEBORG BACHMANN CENTRE FOR AUSTRIAN LITERATURE & CULTURE
at the INSTITUTE OF MODERN LANGUAGES RESEARCH
CALL FOR PAPERS
Marlen Haushofer in Context. A Conference to Mark the Centenary of her Birth
London, Thursday, 14 and Friday, 15 May 2020
Marlen Haushofer’s dystopian novel Die Wand has reached a wide and varied audience since its publication in 1963: far from being restricted to an academic readership, it has become both a cult book and a modern classic. Despite having written an international bestseller, Marlen Haushofer remains a relatively undiscovered figure and presence within her generation of Austrian writers. In this she is comparable to Ilse Aichinger and Gerhard Fritsch, and in marked contrast to Ingeborg Bachmann and Thomas Bernhard.
This conference, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Haushofer’s birth and the 50th of her death, is broadly conceived. It will seek to situate her work within the historical contexts of the post-war period and the Cold War, as well as within the cultural contexts of Austrian literature in particular and dystopian fiction in general.
Contributions that will be considered include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
· Intersections, parallels, contrasts, cross-influences, legacy: Haushofer’s work in context
· The post-war period and the Cold War in and as literature
· Ecocritical and interspecies perspectives, posthumanism
· Guilt, complicity and resistance
· Loneliness and seclusion
· Marlen Haushofer in translation (not restricted to English)
· Marlen Haushofer’s reception
· Marlen Haushofer on stage and screen
Confirmed speakers: Emily Jeremiah, Margaret Littler, Ursula Schneider, Annette Steinsiek
Papers may be given in English or in German
Please send your proposals (approximately 200 words) to Andrea Capovilla (email@example.com)
Closing date: 31 July 2019
6. Friends of Italian at the IMLR
INSTITUTE OF MODERN LANGUAGES RESEARCH
School of Advanced Study • University of London
Friday 5 July 2019, 17:00-19:00
Dante in English Translation
Room 246, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Dante Alighieri in English translation from Chaucer to the present-day
Speaker: Ian Thomson (East Anglia)
Chair: Katia Pizzi (IMLR/London)
A lecture on the history of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy in its many English-language versions, from Chaucer to the English Romantics to the present day.
Dante’s Divine Comedy is a work of such magnitude that, down the centuries, English-language translations have been attempted many times. Only a handful have approached the drum-beat rhythm and lyric beauty of the original. The skill required to reproduce the sounds and spirit - the respire, breath – of Dante’s Tuscan vernacular is considerable. This talk looks at a selection of translations good and bad and indifferent, and, along the way, asks why Dante still speaks to us today.
This event is free for all to attend. Places are limited so please register in advance: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17342