TT 2017 Week 3 Updates

The OCCT Discussion Group and the East Asian Working Group both meet on Monday of Week 4. The Discussion Group session is structured as an experiment in reading out of context, examining how we read literature as scholars and laying bare the underlying assumptions and implicit comparisons that inform our approach to literary texts. The East Asian Working Group is dedicated to the examination of the untranslated, underexplored theories of East Asian criticism. Please note the change of venue for both events! They will be taking place in Seminar Room 3 of St Anne’s, NOT Seminar Room 10 of the New Building.

OCCT’s Poetic Currency Symposium (in collaboration with Stanford University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) takes place on the 18th and 19th of May. The Symposium begins with a keynote address and a public poetry reading with Claire Trévien (UK); Tahel Frosh (Israel); Roy ‘Chicky’ Arad (Israel) on the evening of the 18th of May. On the 19th of May a series of talks will take place. Speakers include Eleni Philippou (Oxford); Kasia Szymanska (Oxford), Idan Gillo (Stanford); Anat Weisman (BGU); Shira Stav (BGU); Roy Greenwald (BGU). 

Read this great interview with the judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize here.

Don’t forget to register for Oxford Translation Day’s events! Tickets are selling out fast! Details on the programme and how to register here.


1. World Literatures and the New Totalitarianism conference, 15-16 May, 2017, IMLR/Senate House, London.

Attendance is free, but you must register. Click here to register.

The full program and paper abstracts can be seen here

Monday 15 May, 2017: the Torrington Room, Senate House

13.00-13.30 Registration, coffee/tea, welcome

13.30-15.00 Panel 1: Resistance and Solidarity

Arthur Rose (Durham University), “South African Breathturns: Respiratory Aesthetics in Early Post-Apartheid Literature”

Anna Bernard (King’s College London), “‘That is: imperialismo’: International Solidarity and Literary Resistance”

15.00-15.30 Coffee/tea

15.30-17.00 Panel 2: Jews and Modernity

Lisa Silverman (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), “New Totalitarianism and Age-Old Antisemitism: Lessons from Vienna”

Jonathan Freedman (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), “The End of the End of Jewish Modernity: Trump and the Revitalization of the Public Sphere”

17.00-18.00 Wine reception

Tuesday 16 May, 2017: the Torrington Room, Senate House

9.00-9.30 Coffee/tea

9.30-11.00 Panel 1: Genealogies of Racial Violence

Denise Grollmus (University of Washington, Seattle), “Illiberal Readers and the Crisis of Free Speech: Blood Libel, Pizzagate, and the Rise of Ethnonationalism”

Nasia Anam (Williams College), “The Migrant as a Colonist: the Logic of Inversion in the Contemporary Dystopian Novel”

11.00-11.30 Coffee/tea

11.30-13.00 Panel 2: Aesthetics and Totalitarianism

Max Silverman (University of Leeds), “Concentrationary art and the reading of everyday life: (in)human spaces in Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)”

Zoë Roth (Durham University), “Forms of Totalitarianism and the Totality of Form: Arendt, Aesthetics, and the State of Emergency”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.30 Panel 3: Theorizing Totalitarianism

Neil Levi (Drew University), “Narrating the Present: Fascism, Post-fascism, and the Contemporary Political Imaginary”

Benjamin Schreier (Penn State), “Thinking About Identity in the Age of Trump”

15.30-16.00 Coffee/tea

16.00-17.30 Panel 4: Alternative Pasts and Possible Futures

Sasha Senderovich (University of Washington, Seattle), “From Stagnation to Trump and Back: Soviet Imagination and American Dystopia”

Bryan Cheyette (University of Reading), “The Plot Against Fiction: Philip Roth or Donald Trump”


2. We are glad to announce that registrations are open for the conference "Family Sagas in World Literatures and Audio-Visual Cultures: Reimagining Nations Across the Globe”.

For the full programme and more information, and to register, please, visit the conference website:



School of Advanced Study • University of London Organised in conjunction with the German Academic Exchange Service Metropolis 2017 Postgraduate Summer School London, 26-29 June 2017

Keynote speakers: Erica Carter (King’s College London); Ruth Dawson (Hawaii/IMLR); Matthew Gandy (Cambridge); Esther Leslie (Birkbeck College, London); Martin Swales (University College London). In addition to the conference panels, the summer school includes a number of other stimulating events, such as a screening of Fritz Lang's 1927 expressionist epic Metropolis, walking tours exploring the ‘hidden’ sides of London's history and infrastructure, and an opportunity to respond creatively to the ‘metropolis’ theme.

Click here for more information.

Registration open!


4. The 2017 UCL Rabindranath Tagore Lecture in Comparative Literature

Novel Analytics from James Joyce to the Bestseller Code

Matthew L. Jockers (University of Nebraska)

Wednesday, 10th May 2017 at 6:00pm

Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
South Junction, Wilkins Building
UCL, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT

Abstract: To better understand bestselling fiction, Matthew Jockers and research partner Jodie Archer took the advice of researchers who argue that we should "embrace complexity and make use of the best ally we have: the unreasonable effectiveness of data.” Instead of seeking a formula or telling authors how to write a successful novel, Jockers and Archer went to the books, thousands of them, and leveraged computation to ask a simple question: "what are these texts made of?" The claim of their research, documented in The Bestseller Code, is that novels that hit the New York Times bestseller list are not random lottery winners but books that share an uncanny number of textual features. In this lecture, Jockers will describe how he went from being a close reader of language in Joyce's Ulysses to mining thousands of novels in search of the linguistic patterns most typical to books that best sell.

Speaker: Matthew L. Jockers is the Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean for Research and Partnerships in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska. He is a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and Director of the Nebraska Literary Lab. Jockers’s research is focused on computational approaches to the study of literature, especially large collections of literature. His books include Macroanalysis: Digital Methods and Literary History (UIUC Press 2013), Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature (Springer 2014) and, with Jodie Archer, The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel (St. Martins 2016). His research has been profiled in the academic and main stream press including features inThe Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Nature, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired, New Scientist, Smithsonian, NBC News and many others.

All are welcome and the event will be followed by a drinks reception. Please note registration is required.

With thanks to funding by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership, and the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities.



Fri 26 May 2017

10:00 – 18:00 BST

This one-day event will explore how translation is used as a creative and artistic tool in order to cope with situations of crisis. The past years have witnessed extensive social and political unrest, economic turmoil and mass migration, giving rise to collective experiences of conflict and dislocation, and sometimes empowerment and emancipation, that have affected the lives of millions. These experiences are often recounted against the normative background of English as lingua franca using the dynamic of translation in various formats, such as interviews, narratives, cultural texts and visuals, video diaries and blogs. In these non-fictional texts, translation transcends its representational function, incorporating creative and politically meaningful practices of re-narration, re-enactment, self-translation, adaptation and intercultural communication, often in the form of digital and audiovisual media. Whether prompted by a need to articulate subjective experience in dominant idioms, to advocate new causes on international platforms, or to develop new media and art forms that challenge given orders of cultural transmission and exchange, translation is increasingly present in affective, pro-active and/or critical responses to situations of crisis.

This event will bring together: i) artists, filmmakers and journalists who have performed or used translation as a creative practice in their work; ii) professional and/or non-professional translators whose work relates to contexts of crisis; iii) academics who are studying creative uses of translation in socially/politically engaged contexts.

Participants from various backgrounds will be invited to show extracts of their work and to discuss ways in which translation has been instrumental to their vision. The conference will instigate new ways of thinking about the social role of translation and will also help decipher the lingua-cultural complexities involved in contemporary responses to situations of crisis.

Click here to register.


6. Call for Proposals/Articles: Routledge Handbook of Translation, Feminism and Gender

Eds. Luise von Flotow (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Hala Kamal (Cairo University, Egypt)

We are seeking proposals for articles for this first ever handbook concerned with translation, feminism and gender. Please see the chapter headings and subheadings below, and feel free to contact us with your ideas, which can, of course, reach beyond these chapter headings:

Luise von Flotow :

Hala Kamal :

Articles should be around 6000 words long, and written in English. The focus can be a local or a global overview, and should clearly address issues of translation as interlingual language transfer, and/or translation studies. The work will be peer-reviewed, and therefore a valuable contribution to any CV. Deadlines:

Send proposals: by late June 2017;

Receive feedback/contracts: by late August 2017;

Send final versions of texts: by June 2018


Dr Eleni Philippou

Comparative Criticism and Translation

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