Tag Archives: Lecture

Lecture: ‘Blind Spots’, Anton Shammas

Blind Spots: A Millennium of Arabic in Translation – from Ibn Al-Haytham to William Faulkner via Don Quixote. Lecture by Anton Shammas at the Conference Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB. 14th October 2016, 7pm.

Tickets: £10 (£8 over 60, £7 student, registered unemployed, under 18, & other concessions)

To mark 10 years of awarding prizes for great contemporary Arabic literature in English translation, the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is establishing an Annual  Lecture. 


In his lecture, the well-known Palestinian author and Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature will reveal hitherto hidden connections between Arabic learning and western literature and art as he examines the emergence of the western novel as a literary genre, including how the foundational Optics of 11th-century mathematician Ibn Al-Haytham ignited the Renaissance when translated into Latin and Italian. He will ask why Cervantes would claim that Don Quixote, ‘the first great novel of world literature’, was a history translated from Arabic, paying tribute to the vanished Muslim population of Spain, and will consider the often unconscious transcribing of these influences into the work of later artists and writers, including Velazquez, Picasso and William Faulkner. 

Anton Shammas is a Palestinian author, essayist and translator who works in and between Arabic, Hebrew and English. He has been Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor since 1997. His novel Arabesques (1986), was one of the first by a Palestinian written in Hebrew and has been translated into eight languages including English (1988), French, German, Spanish and Italian. He has written three plays and has three poetry collections, the first written in Arabic, the second and third in Hebrew. Among the playwrights and authors he has translated are Dario Fo, Athol Fugard, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee, Emile Habiby and Taha Muhammad Ali.

To book online click here
To book a ticket by phone, call +44 (0)1937 546546
To plan your visit click here

lectures on Postcolonial Studies at SOAS

Lectures at Cultural and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS), SOAS

We’ll have two lectures on Postcolonial Studies. The first is by our new CCLPS Research Associate, Dr Rehnuma Sezzad, who will speak on her forthcoming book about The Reflections of Edward Said’s Exile in the Works of the Most Prominent Middle Eastern Intellectuals, on Wed 6 January.

On Wed 3 February, Dr Neelam Srivastava (Newcastle), will speak on her forthcoming book on Frantz Fanon and Italian postcolonialism.

Two other events will relate to eco-criticism. One is a lecture by Prof Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick) on “Famines, Governance and (Post-) colonial literatures: an eco-critical perspective on Rudyard Kipling and Mahasweta Devi”, on 2 March 2016. The other is a Critical Forum by Charis Bredin (CCLPS) and Miriam Pahl (Languages and Cultures of Africa), both PhD candidates at SOAS, on Reading the Sahara: Between Deep Past and Apocalyptic Future, Animality and Plurality, on 9 March 2015.

Meanwhile, we will also continue our exploration of multilingual literary cultures. On 17 February Prof Clarissa Vierke (Bayreuth) will speak on The Swahili coast as a literary contact zone and what we can learn from it. And on 16 March, Dr Laetitia Zecchini (Thalim, CNRS, Paris) will speak on Cosmopolitanism as aesthetic/political survival? Defamiliarizing India and tell us about the netwok on literary cosmopolitism at Thalim that she has been part of.

Our world literature reading group will resume on Wed 13 January with a session on multilingual literary culture in India, and then continue with sessions on pre-colonial genres.

We also look forward to the lecture and seminars that Prof Ronit Ricci (ANU), the author of the celebrated book Islam Translated on the translation of an Arabic Islamic text in South-East Asian languages, will give in April 2016, when she is going to be visiting SOAS for three weeks.

All our events are on Wednesdays, starting at 3.30, in Room L67. Tea & biscuits will be available before the start of each lecture. Everyone is welcome!

2016 Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture by Jacqueline Rose

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 15.29.10This year’s Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture, Proust and music, politics and flesh, will be delivered by Jacqueline Rose. The lecture will take place at 2:30 pm on 30 January 2016, at Room B04, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD London.

The lecture is open to the public; however, spaces will be limited. Book a free place on Eventbrite.

For more information, see Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture Series.

Birkbeck Public Lecture by Marina Warner

Professor Marina Warner DBE, President of the British Comparative Literature Association, will advocate translation in global fiction as a powerful way to ‘enlarge the world and stretch our knowledge’ in a free public lecture at Birkbeck, University of London on 2 June 2015, Tuesday at 6:00 pm. Writer, mythographer and professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, Professor Warner will deliver the College’s annual William Matthews Memorial Lecture at Senate House, London.
In presenting her chosen topic, ‘Translumination or Travesty? The Passage into English’, she will explore the character of global fiction and the questions raised by the domination of English as a world language. The public lecture will address the controversies surrounding cross-cultural writing – namely questions as to whether meanings and nuances successfully cross linguistic boundaries, whether something is inevitably lost in translation, or if literary translation is part a wider global trend of corporate homogenisation.
Other topics to be explored during the free public lecture include:
  • The current trend in contemporary literature for modern writers to translate the classics
  • The proliferation of digital publishing and literary platforms is opening the doors to writers from previously underrepresented nations, such as Mozambique, Guadeloupe and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. There will be a drinks reception following the lecture.

Visit the website for details and registration.

Nina Berman’s Lecture at Leeds

The Department of German at the University of Leeds and the  Leeds Humanities Research Institute will be hosting a public lecture by Professor Nina Berman from the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University. The lecture entitled ‘The Cool Empire: German Turcomania in the 17th and 18th Centuries’ will take place at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm on 18 June 2014 at Michael Sadler Building Seminar Room LG.15. By exploring the interplay between German textual discourses and social, political, and economic practices and materiality, Professor Berman’s analysis offers insights that challenge accepted approaches to the study of literature, particularly approaches that insist on the centrality of the linguistic construction of the world.

The lecture will be followed by two responses by Dr James Hodkinson, University of Warwick and Dr Frauke Matthes, University of Edinburgh. A wine reception sponsored by the British Comparative Literature Association will conclude the event.

Visit the website for details.