Workshop: On Living in Translation in Community and Language Practice

The fact that I am writing to you in English already falsifies what I wanted to tell you. My subject: how to explain to you that I don’t belong to English though I belong nowhere else. — Gustavo Pérez Firmat ***** What does it mean to “live in translation”?  The concept itself seems difficult to…

A Barnard Winter, or A Review of Brian Friel’s “Translations”

The night we watched Brian Friel’s “Translations” was bitterly cold, too cold for bare skin — the kind that has everyone walking hunched over, head and hands stuffed in close to their bellies.  They say that the snow was coming the next day and I felt it, willing my fingers to face the frost and sense the sharper,…

Global Language Justice: On the Life and Death of Languages

When Drs. Isabelle Zaugg and Daniel Kaufman discussed the life and death of languages at a two-day event at Columbia University, they both teased out factors that made a language “living” as opposed to “dead.”  What gives life to language, and what takes that life away?  They spoke on the status of languages in Ethiopia (Zaugg)…

Thinking Global Language Justice: Notes from the Field

On September 22-23, 2017, over fifteen poets and translators from across the world arrived to New York for a workshop on Poetry as Pluriverse: Thinking Global Language Justice. Hosted by the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society as part of a seminar supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the workshop explored the complexities of multilingualism…