Category Archives: Books

Minding Borders: Launch and Discussion

Monday, November 27, 2017 – 12:45 to 14:00
Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford

 

Please join us for a discussion to mark the publication of OCCT’s latest book, Minding Borders: Resilient Divisions in Literature, the Body and the Academy, edited by Nicola Gardini, Adriana Jacobs, Ben Morgan, Mohamed-Salah Omri and Matthew Reynolds. The authors will be in conversation with Matt Longo whose book The Politics of Borders: Sovereignty, Security and the Citizen after 9/11  is also out this month.  ‘Rather than celebrating the crossing of borders, or dreaming of their abolition, Minding Borders traces their troubling and yet generative resilience. It explores how borders define as well as exclude, protect as well as violate, and nurture some identities while negating others. The contributors range comparatively across geography, politics, cultural circulation, creativity, and the structuration of academic disciplines, hoping that the analysis of borders in one domain may illuminate their workings in another. Whatever other form a border takes it is always also a border in the mind.’

More information can be found here.

Tamim Al-Barghouti: Book launch, Workshop, Public Event (SOAS)

 

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The Poet of Jerusalem is coming to SOAS. Tamim Al-Barghouti, one of the most important and popular Arab poets of his generation, is launching the first English translation of his poetry on. The poemsin In Jerusalem and Other Poems, lovingly translated by his late mother, Radwa Ashour, the prominent Egyptian academic and novelist, and Ahdaf Soueif, the Booker nominated author of The Map of Love, were written in Cairo, Ramallah, Amman, Washington, DC and Berlin between 1996 and 2016. In 2007, Al-Barghouti’s long poem “In Jerusalem,” which describes an aborted journey to the city, became something of a street poem. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. It speaks to the story of millions of homeless Palestinians who have been forced to live in exile since 1948. His father, the famous writer Mourid Barghouti, was expelled from Egypt, where Tamim was born, when he was only five months old. Tamim lived with his mother in Cairo, and for 18 years only saw his father in Budapest during winter and summer vacations. But his poetry is more than the sum total of the Palestinian experience. It is also the barometer of the political fortunes in the Arab world, from the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring spreading like fire from Tunisia in 2010, and the 26 January 2011 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak and transformed an entire generation. Above all, it is testament to a resilient Arabic poetic tradition that, at the hands of a young talent, can continue to thrive, generate new energy and move hearts and souls.

Tamim returns to SOAS on Tuesday, 27 June 2017, to take part in the Chase-funded Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshop (SOAS, S118, 2:30 to 5:30PM) and public event (SOAS, KLT, 6:30-8:00 PM), convened by Marina Warner (Birckbeck) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS), as part of ‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action Programme.

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Tamim Al-Barghouti is an acclaimed Palestinian poet, columnist and political scientist. His poetry readings are attended by thousands, sometimes packing stadiums and amphitheaters. Born in Cairo in 1977, Al-Barghouti published six poetry collections in both colloquial and classical Arabic including  Meejana (Ramallah 1999), Al-Manzar “The Scene” (Cairo 2000), Maqam Iraq (Cairo: 2005) and Fil Quds “In Jersualem” (2008), and two  academic books on Arab politics and history:  Benign Nationalism (Cairo: 2007) and The Umma and The Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East  (London: 2008). He is also the author of “War, Peace, Civil War: a Pattern?” in Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st century (Bloomington: 2013) and “Cracking Cauldrons” in Shifting Sands: the Unraveling of the Old Order in the Middle East (London: 2015). He received his PhD in political science in 2004, and has since taught at Georgetown University, the Free University in Berlin, and the American University in Cairo. He was also a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced studies 2007-2008.  A columnist since 2003, writing in Egyptian and dailies, Al-Barghouti has been associated with the 2011 uprisings, where recordings of his poetry were broadcast on makeshift screens in Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 18 days of demonstrations that ousted Hosny Mubarak.

Encounter with Cristina Fernández Cubas, Nottingham

Encounter with Cristina Fernández Cubas, University of Nottingham, 2nd June 2017

Cristina Fernández Cubas is one of the most accomplished contemporary writers of the fantastic in Spain and winner of the Premio Nacional de Narrativa in 2016. Join us in this event to discuss her work and the recent English translation of La habitación de Nona.

Translation workshop with Margaret Jull Costa, 2pm-3pm, Location: Trent C40. Limited spaces. By invitation only.

Literary round table: La habitación de Nona (Nona’s Room),4pm – 5pm. Location: Hemsley B2. With Cristina Fernández Cubas (Premio Nacional de Narrativa, 2016) and translators Kathryn Phillips-Miles and Simon Deefholts. Discussion in Spanish and English followed by a wine reception. All welcome but please register on Eventbrite.

This event is part of the research project Gender and the Fantastic in Hispanic Studies supported by the British Academy. Other sponsors: Grupo de Estudios sobre lo Fantástico, Grupo de Estudios Multitextuales de lo Insólito y Perspectivas de Género, BETA: Asociación de Jóvenes Doctores en Hispanismo.

Invited translators:

Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over 30 years and has translated works by novelists such as Eça de Queiroz, José Saramago, Javier Marías and Teolinda Gersão, as well as poets such as Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Ana Luísa Amaral. She has won various prizes, most recently the 2017 Best Translation Book Award for her co-translation with Robin Patterson of Lúcio Cardoso’s novel Chronicle of the Murdered House.. In 2013 she was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2014 was awarded an OBE for services to literature. In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Leeds.She is currently Honorary Professor in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Kathryn Phillips-Miles and Simon Deefholts both studied Romance Languages and Literature at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and later at Birkbeck College, University of London. They have enjoyed varied careers including teaching, translation, lexicography and finance, and have spent several years living and working in Spain. They have jointly translated a number of plays for the Spanish Theatre Festival of London as well as the three works comprising the Spanish Season in Peter Owen Publishers’ World Series of literature in translation: Nona’s Room by Cristina Fernández Cubas, Wolf Moon by by Julio Llamazares and Inventing Love by José Ovejero.

Ghost in the Tamarind reading; Censorship and Freedom of Speech (Shankar), SOAS

​​Ghost in the Ta​marind book ​reading by S. Shankar, ​​Wednesday 24th May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​​

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large? In his forthcoming novel Ghost in the Tamarind, S. Shankar explores these and other questions against the background of anti-caste movements in India. His reading from the novel highlights the challenges of writing in English about communities that do not primarily function in English. The reading will be followed by a Q&A.

​​Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature​Wednesday 31st May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​

S. Shankar takes up the text and controversial context of Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubagan (English title One Part Woman). Late in 2014, Tamil writer Murugan was attacked for describing caste practices of ritual sex within a temple in his novel, driving him eventually to renounce writing. Shankar’s purpose is to uncover the vernacular conditions within which censorship becomes possible. Shankar sketches the challenges of contesting literary censorship using aesthetic terms fashioned within national and/or cosmopolitan contexts and considers ways in which such contestation might nevertheless be pursued within vernacular contexts. He ends by drawing conclusions relevant beyond the specific Tamil situation.

About S. Shankar

S. Shankar is a critic, novelist, and translator. His scholarly areas of interest are postcolonial literature (especially of Africa and South Asia), literature of immigration, film, and translation studies. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program. His most recent book is Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (2012; U. of California P.; Orient Blackswan India).

S. Shankar has been invited to SOAS as a Visiting Fellow for ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies‘ project. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 670876).

All events are free and open to all. No registration required.

CFP: Central Asian Literatures in Translation

Call for Proposals and New Book Series: Central Asian Literatures in Translation

Academic Studies Press (Boston, MA) is pleased to announce the launch of “Central Asian Literatures in Translation.”

This series focuses on literary texts by non-Russian peoples of the former Soviet Union, with an emphasis on Central Asia and the Caucasus, while also engaging with the literatures of cognate geographies and neighboring terrains. Rather than prioritizing regional rubrics, “Central Asian Literatures in Translation” supports the translation of underappreciated classics from across the temporal spectrum, and of new work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary literary form within a Eurasian literary context. We welcome titles that redefine what literature can be and mean in a region wherein geopolitics too frequently mutes aesthetics. Ranging across a geography known for its tendency to resist categorization, our titles make the most of the capacious relations to place, space, culture, and power that mark the literatures of Turkic and Persianate Central Asia, Georgia, and Armenia, and in other indigenous languages of the Caucasus. In conceiving of literature from the point of view of the post-Soviet postcolony, this series offers a new way of studying world literature beyond imperial paradigms.

Series Editor: Dr. Rebecca Gould (University of Bristol) specializes in the literatures of the Persian and Islamic world (especially the Caucasus). Her first monograph, Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press, 2016), examines literary memorializations of anticolonial violence in the literatures of the Caucasus. Alongside her work on classical and modern Persian, Georgian, and Arabic literatures, she maintains an active interest in the intersections of anthropology and social theory with textual methodologies. Her translations include After Tomorrow the Days Disappear: Ghazals and Other Poems of Hasan Sijzi of Delhi (Northwestern University Press, 2016, from Persian) and The Prose of the Mountains: Tales of the Caucasus by Aleksandre Qazbegi (Central European University Press, 2015, from Georgian). Future translation projects include poetry by Titsian Tabdize and prose by Idris Bazorkin and Mirza Fath-‘Ali Akhundzadeh.

The editorial board comprises the following scholars and translators:

Professor Jeanne-Marie Jackson (Johns Hopkins University) published her first book, South African Literature’s Russian Soul: Narrative Forms of Global Isolation (Bloomsbury/Continuum), in 2015. It is centrally concerned with how Russia’s nineteenth-century “Golden Age” of literature and ideas provides a model for the study of South African forms and epistemologies both during and after apartheid. It also advances a broader argument for realism’s maturation through historical upset and alienation rather than social and economic stability. Through paired readings of nineteenth-century Russian texts and their South African successors, the book ultimately asks how traditions that manifest a deep sense of isolation in the world make us ask harder questions about global methodologies. She is now at work on a second book project called The African Novel of Ideas: Intellection for the Post-Liberal Age. It charts the relationship between the novel and philosophy, both formal and institutional, at key sites of African intellectual development from the early twentieth century through the present day.

Professor Erdağ Göknar (Duke University) a poet, literary translator, and scholar whose research focuses on the intersection of politics and culture in the Middle East; specifically, the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. He is interested in exploring questions of Turkish and Muslim representation in literature, historiography, and popular culture/media. This includes examining tensions between city and nation at the nexus of representational and political power. His work has focused on the political critiques of state ideology embedded in literary and historical tropes in the work of authors like Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and on the critical role played by writers in representations of political violence, such as cultural revolution, military coups, and colonial occupation. His award-winning translations include Pamuk’s My Name Is Red (Knopf, 2001) and Atiq Rahimi’s Earth and Ashes (Harcourt, 2002); his study Orhan Pamuk, Secularism and Blasphemy: The Politics of the Turkish Novel (Routledge) was published in 2013; and his collection Nomadologies: Poems (Turtle Point Press) appeared in 2017.

Professor Roman Utkin (Davidson College) specializes in twentieth-century Russian and Soviet poetry, prose, and visual culture, with emphases on comparative modernisms, exile, urban poetics, and queer theory. His current book project, tentatively titled Russian Berlin: Culture of a Modernist Diaspora, explores the ways Russian émigré authors forged an alternative Russian tradition abroad. As a native speaker of both Tatar and Russian, Utkin is also interested in the cultures of Russia’s non-majority peoples, Turkic avant-gardes, and ethnic difference in a transnational world.

For more information, or to submit a proposal for inclusion in the series, please contact: Rebecca Gould (r.gould@bristol.ac.uk)

Visit the series page here: https://www.academicstudiespress.com/central-asian-literatures-in-translation