Tag Archives: University of Oxford

‘The Bearer-Beings’: Portable Stories in Dislocated Times

‘The Bearer-Beings’:  Portable Stories in Dislocated Times

Two Linked Translation and Creative Writing Workshops that Explore How Stories are Communicated and Transmitted in Different Cultures, Spaces, and Times.

13-14 May 2016, Oxford.

The workshop on 13 May 2016 (3–6 pm) will use Arabic texts to examine translation as a form of transmission. Seminar Room 8, St Anne’s College, Oxford.

On 14 May 2016 (10 am–6 pm), a creative writing workshop, with the writers Philip Terry, Alice Oswald, Tamim al-Barghouti, and the storyteller Ben Haggarty, will take place. The workshop engages with stories (particularly myth and folklore) and their literary, oral, visual, or musical transmission. Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Oxford.

For more detailed information on these events, please go to the website. Contact Dr Eleni Philippou by 1 May 2016 to attend either of these events.

The workshop is convened by Marina Warner, Weidenfeld Professor of Comparative European Literature, 2016 and President of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) and Prof. Matthew Reynolds, Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT). This initiative is kindly supported by the Metabolic Studio.


OCCT Event: Korean Literature and Translation

Korean Literature and Translation in Dialogue with the Circulation and Translation of Indian Language Texts in South and East-Asia in the 19th century

February 24, 2016 – 16:30 to 18:30

Radcliffe Humanities Building, Seminar Room, University of Oxford


Dr Jieun Kiaer (Oriental studies, Oxford), Dr Mishka Sinha (History Faculty, Cambridge)
Chair: Dr Sowon Park (Oxford)

For more information, please see the OCCT website.

Dr. Jieun Kiaer (Oxford) :What words say and can’t say: questions in translating the contemporary Korean novel

In this paper, Kiaer will discuss the socio-linguistic concerns found in contemporary Korean novel translation. He will explore four novels: The Hen Who dreamed she could fly by Seonmi Hwang, Please look after my mother by Kyungsook Shin, Our Happy Time by Jiyoung Kong and Princess Bari by Hwang Sok-young. He will cover issues regarding translating names, interpersonal relations and different socio-cultural values.

Dr Mishka Sinha (Cambridge): How to read the East: Publishers’ series and the making of an Oriental canon

This paper presents a preliminary analysis of the history of Western publishers’ series of Eastern texts, their role in the making of an Oriental canon and the shaping of a market for Eastern ideas and literature in Britain and Europe, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The paper will consider in particular three series which introduced Oriental literary and philosophical texts in translation to potentially new audiences: Nicholas Trübner’s Oriental Series, OUP’s Sacred Books of the East, and John Murray’s Wisdom of the East Series. The first two were published from 1878 and 1879, respectively, and the last from 1905. All three published works that had been translated into English, by publishers located in Britain. However, Trübner was a German immigrant, two of the series had German Orientalists as editors, and the third a British and an Indian editor. Their markets and audiences ranged across Europe and the United States and farther afield.  Both Trübner’s Series and the Sacred Books were subsidised by the colonial Government in India. The series represent examples of cross-cultural production and reception as well as an intersection of commercial, scholarly and imperial interests. The paper is based on my current research project on the history of the publishing of Eastern texts in Europe and the United States, and its early explorations into what is increasingly revealing itself to be a vast and complex field of research.


Registration open: Cosmopolis and Beyond

Cosmopolis and Beyond: Literary Cosmopolitanism After the Republic of Letters

International Conference, Trinity College, Oxford, 18-19 March 2016

Cosmopolitanism, derived from the ancient Greek for ‘world citizenship’, offers a radical alternative to nationalism, asking individuals to imagine themselves as part of a community that goes beyond national and linguistic boundaries. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in cosmopolitanism in the humanities and social sciences, especially within philosophy, sociology and politics. Cosmopolitanism, however, has also exercised a shaping influence on modern literary culture. It is well known that during the Enlightenment it found an embodiment in the Republic of Letters. Its evolution thereafter included uneasy alliances with the idea of Empire in the nineteenth century, and with the experiments of the international avant gardesand modernist circles, and the phenomenon of globalisation in the twentieth. Through these, and more, cultural formations cosmopolitanism has given rise to new ways of writing, reading, translating and circulating texts; these processes have, in turn, led to new understandings of individual and national identity, new forms of ethics and new configurations of aesthetic and political engagement. From Kant to Derrida, cosmopolitanism has in the course of history been seen as fostering peace and communication across borders. Far from being uncontroversial, though, it has also been attacked by those who have denounced its universalism as impossible and its social ethos as elitist.

This conference intends to explore different literary manifestations of the cosmopolitan ideal, broadly conceived, and its influence on modern literary culture. It seeks to tease out elements of continuity and rupture in a long history of literary cosmopolitanism that goes from the decline of the Republic of Letters to the era of globalisation. In order to do so, it aims to foster a dialogue between experts in different fields of literary studies (English, modern languages, comparative literature) and different historical periods.

For registration and programme, please see the conference website.

CFP: The Oak and The Acorns

The Oak and The Acorns: Recovering the Hidden Carlyle

July 6-8, 2016

The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)

Oxford University 

“It is an idle question to ask whether his books will be read a century hence: if they were all burnt as the grandest of Suttees on his funeral-pile, it would only be like cutting down an oak after its acorns have sown a forest. For there is hardly a superior or active mind of this generation that has not been modified by Carlyle’s writings; there has hardly been an English book written for the last ten or twelve years that would not have been different if Carlyle had not lived.”

– George Eliot, “Thomas Carlyle” (1855)

Several generations read the works of Thomas Carlyle with surprise, awe, inspiration, fervor, excitement, and occasionally anger—and they went on to shape the rest of the 19th century and much of the 20th century with the words and prophecies of Carlyle embedded in their politics, philosophy, art, literature, history, and ideals for a better world.

Some of these impacts would have pleased Carlyle; others would have greatly surprised him, and a few, perhaps, would have dismayed him. But for good and ill, Carlyle left an impact that in some ways is hard to see because it is so deeply pervasive.

This conference aims to retrieve that hidden Carlyle, and to recognize how he served, and continues to serve, as a bedrock of far-ranging ideals for several generations of readers and admirers.

For this conference, we invite proposals that explore the rich diversity of where Carlyle lies hidden in the vision and hopes of eminent Victorians, Edwardians, and Modernists throughout England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, and across the ocean in America and beyond. Because Jane Welsh Carlyle had a similar effect on the readers of her letters, both in her lifetime and afterwards, we also invite proposals that address her continuing influence as well.

Proposals of no more than 500 words, along with short CV, should be sent by February 15, 2016 to:

Marylu Hill (Villanova University) and Paul E. Kerry (Oxford/BYU)

Please see the conference website and the CFP for more detail.


OCCT Events

Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) is a research programme based at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and St. Anne’s College. For the new term, the OCCT is hosting a series of events. Please see the PDF for the event listing and the event description.

OCCT is a Divisional research programme supported by TORCH and St Anne’s College. Convenors Prof. Matthew Reynolds, Prof. Mohamed-Salah Omri, Prof. Ben Morgan, Dr Sowon Park, Prof. Adriana X. Jacobs, Prof. Patrick McGuinness, Prof. Jane Hiddleston, Dr Xiaofan Amy Li, Dr Valentina Gosetti. Co-ordinator: Dr Eleni Philippou.