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CTS Research Exchange


We invite all doctoral candidates, postdocs and MA students engaging with translation-​oriented questions and topics to come together for an interdisciplinary research exchange. This meeting is the final meeting for the summer term (6 p.m., HHU, room

Dr. Arya Aryan gives a talk entitled "Medical Mistranslations: Coleridge and Wordsworth".

Afrikanische Literaturen in deutschsprachigen Kontexten: Erfahrungen und Perspektiven nach 15 Jahren „stimmen afrikas“


The event was conducted in German.

In diesem Vortrag berichtet Christa Morgenrath von ihrer Arbeit im Projekt „stimmen afrikas“ und von den Herausforderungen, die diese Vermittlungstätigkeit mit sich bringt. Als genaue und erfahrene Beobachterin der afrikanischen Literaturszene liefert sie Einblicke in aktuelle Tendenzen der afrikanischen Literaturen und europäischen Rezeptionsprozesse.

Christa Morgenrath ist Initiatorin und seit bald 15 Jahren Leiterin des Projektes "stimmen afrikas". Als Literaturwissenschaftlerin, Dramaturgin und Referentin des renommierten Regisseurs Dr. Roberto Ciulli hat sie bereits in den 90er Jahren am "Theater an der Ruhr" die Grundlagen des internationalen Kulturaustausches mitentwickelt. Diese konnte sie u.a. im Rahmen der EXPO 2000 und beim "internationalen literaturfestival berlin" weiter ausbauen und während ihrer mehrjährigen Tätigkeit in Westafrika um wesentliche entwicklungspolitische Aspekte ergänzen. Sie arbeitete mehrere Jahre als Lektorin für die WDR-Hörspielredaktion und gründete 2009 die Literatur- und Bildungsreihe "stimmen afrikas". Zusammen mit einem engagierten Team konnte sie damit in Köln ein ständiges Forum für Debatten über Nord-Süd-Verhältnisse und einen lebendigen Austausch über Kultur und Politik in Afrika und Europa etablieren.

Weitere Informationen zu dem Seminar, in dessen Rahmen dieser Gastvortrag stattfindet, finden Sie hier.


Narrating/Translating China and the Chinese Experience Abroad


A Conversation with Sinophone Writer Yan Geling and Translator Lawrence Walker

Heine Haus Literaturhaus, Bolkerstraße 53, 40213 Düsseldorf

On 7 June 2024, Yan Geling, one of the most acclaimed Sinophone novelists and screenwriters, along with literary translator Lawrence Walker, will discuss the aesthetics and politics of narrating and translating China and the Chinese experience abroad. Moderated by Dr. Yongli Li and Dr. Hannah Pardey, this event will feature a conversation about their creative processes, readings from a selection of Yan’s writings and Walker’s translations, and a discussion with the audience. The event will be conducted in English.

Yan Geling 嚴歌苓 is one of the most acclaimed novelists and screenwriters in the Chinese language and a well-established writer in English. Born in Shanghai, she served with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during the Cultural Revolution, starting at age twelve as a dancer in an entertainment troupe. Ms. Yan published her first novel in 1986 and has been writing constantly ever since. Many of her works have been adapted for film and television, working with famous Chinese directors Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Feng Xiaogang, Ang Lee, Li Shaohong and Joan Chen. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Ms. Yan holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College, Chicago. She has published over 40 books and has won over 30 literary and film awards. Her works have been translated into twenty-one languages. Her literary and film work after March 2020 has been unofficially banned in China after she wrote an essay criticizing the Chinese government’s initial handling of the COVID-19 crisis. She resides in Berlin and is co-owner of New Song Media GmbH, which she and her husband Lawrence Walker founded to publish her work and produce her films.

Lawrence A. (Larry) Walker, born in California, worked as a US diplomat from 1980-1991 and again from 2004-2013, serving Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa and the United States. Between 1991 to 2004 he was managing director of the German American Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco and worked in international business development for a dot-com and a venture capital company. He translated and published Yan Geling’s White Snake and Other Stories with Aunt Lute Books and her short story “The Landlady” in Granta. His translation of her novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi 陆犯焉识 is to be published by Balestier Press. He is the managing director and co-owner with Yan Geling of New Song Media GmbH, founded to publish her work and produce her film projects. He holds a B.S. in Languages and Linguistics from Georgetown University; an M.B.A. from the University of Illinois; and a Master’s in Administration and Management from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, which he attended as a Rotary Ambassador Scholar.

Sponsored by Gesellschaft von Freunden und Förderern der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf e.V. (GFFU), Transcultural Studies and Centre for Translation Studies at HHU.

Moderation: Dr. Hannah Pardey (Centre for Translation Studies, HHU), Dr. Yongli Li (Transcultural Studies, HHU)

The Polytonal Discourse of Oyzer Varshavski’s Shmuglars: The Foundational Intertextuality of Yiddish Modernism


Lecture by Apl. Prof. Dr. Marc Caplan

This lecture will discuss one of the most provocative and successful Yiddish novels published in Poland between the World Wars, Oyzer Varshavki’s Shmuglars. Literally a novel about smuggling, one of its most remarkable features is the extent to which the languages surrounding Yiddish—particularly Polish and German—are incorporated into the narrative discourse. The strategy of linguistic subversion whereby multiple languages are coded into a monolingual novel finds resonance with contemporaneous musical stragies whereby multiple tonalities are played simultaneously within a single composition. Understanding this novel and others like it as “polytonal” provides an intermedial methodology to understand the significance of translation within works of literature conceived in multilingual environments, as well as the problem of replicating these strategies when translating them from Yiddish into another language.

Marketing Literature in Translation: Exoticization as a Publishing Practice | Talk by Miaïna Razakamanantsoa


In this lecture, Miaïna Razakamanantsoa discusses the different stakes at play when exoticism is mobilized in the publishing of translated literature. Considering the different shapes exoticism may take in the packaging of literary translations, Razakamanantsoa explores the different factors, actors, and practices inherent to book publishing that are involved in this process. Particularly focusing on the legal structures of the book industry, Razakamanantsoa explores how the use of exoticism is delineated by IP laws (e.g., copyright), eventually influencing the global branding of translated literature.

To illustrate this, Razakamanantsoa considers Saygin Ersin’s novel Pir-i lezzet! (2016) and examines the different book covers created for the original and translated editions of Ersin’s work. She discusses how some editions of the work, like the US edition (2018), influenced the marketing strategy of other foreign publishers—an influence that was yet strongly regulated by copyright conventions, prompting publishers to reproduce the US design without copying it, i.e., by slightly modifying it. Particularly focusing on the tropes of exoticism created and reproduced on the different covers of the novel, this case study provides deeper insight into how visual paratexts (e.g., cover designs) circulate and evolve from one publisher to another.

At the crossroads between Book Studies, Translation Studies, and Postcolonial Studies, this lecture discusses how the legal structures and social dynamics of today’s book industries influence the way literary texts are culturally translated to local audiences. Considering concepts like indirect translation, the world system of translations, and copyright conventions, it is an invitation to further reflect on the power hierarchies in the global circulation of literature.


Miaïna Razakamanantsoa is a research associate and doctoral candidate at the University of Münster. She first received a bachelor’s degree in Multilingual Communication (French-English-Spanish) at the University of Geneva before completing a master’s degree in Advanced Anglophone Studies at the Leibniz University Hannover. She worked as a research associate at the CRC 1385 “Recht und Literatur” of the University of Münster from 2021 to 2023, before starting her current position at the Chair of Book Studies of the University of Münster in 2023. Her research interests include book publishing, paratexts, translations, and the global circulation of literature.

CTS Research Exchange


We invite all doctoral candidates, postdocs and MA students engaging with translation-oriented questions and topics to come together for an interdisciplinary research exchange. There will be two meetings in the summer term: 16 April 2024 and 12 June 2024 (6 p.m., HHU, room

In the first meeting, CTS coordinator Dr. Hannah Pardey gives a talk entitled "Distant Reading as Translational Method: Studying Online Reviews with AntConc".

Kissed by the Original? Approaches to Literary Translation


Buchübersetzungen entstehen nicht im luftleeren Raum, sie werden von Menschen gemacht. Wo können Sie dies studieren, wie gelingt Ihnen der Berufseinstieg und wie bilden Sie sich fort? Anlässlich der Mitgliederversammlung des Verbands der Literaturübersetzer:innen (VdÜ) in Düsseldorf kommen Vertreterinnen des Masterstudiengangs Literaturübersetzen und des Centre for Translation Studies mit Berufspraktikerinnen ins Gespräch.

Haus der Universität

Prof. Dr. Vera Elisabeth Gerling, Prof. Dr. Birgit Neumann (HHU)

Larissa Bender, Ricarda Essrich (professional translators)

Chair: Dr. Friederike von Criegern

Economies of Translation: Between Transaction and Resistance. Jacques Derrida’s “What is a ‘relevant’ translation?” Workshop and Lecture


In his text "What is a 'relevant' translation?”, Derrida reads Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" to analyse the premises underlying the conventional translation paradigm which privileges 'the meaning' over 'the letter'. Drawing on Shakespeare's critical representation of anti-Judaism, Derrida elaborates on the economies of convertibility and the logic of conversion that informs this paradigm, and on its inherent power hierarchies. The talk will put special emphasis on elements of resistance against these economies in Derrida's reading.
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Translating Selves, Translating Media: Experimental Black Life Writing in Yrsa Daley-Ward's Work


This lecture by Jennifer Leetsch explored the work of Black British writer and Instagram poet Yrsa Daley-Ward in order to tease out new experimental forms of black life writing in on- and offline media, and to activate critical engagement with questions of authorship and authority, identity and belonging.
Chair: Christina Slopek-Hauff
Read on

Internal Translation and Intratextual Reading: Kazuo Ishiguro as Transcultural Writer


Guest lecture by Dr. Ivan Stacy
This talk examines the process of ‘internal translation’ within Ishiguro’s oeuvre by performing an intratextual reading of his novels.
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The Case of Mary Seacole: Care-Work, Historical Culture and Attention Economy feat. BERRY BROWN FACES


Multimedia performance and interdisciplinary podium on the historical and present-day discourses surrounding care-work.
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A Diverse but Unknown Neighbour? The Reception of Belgian Literatures in the German Context (1945-today)


On this research day, scholars will discuss the functionalities of literary contact between Belgium and Germany.
Read more in German

Plastic Translation: Guest lecture by Professor Ranjan Ghosh


This talk draws on Ghosh's trans-philosophy, his investment in the philosophy and poetics of _trans_, as a way of developing fresh modes in "critical thinking" and new critical humanities. Through what he calls trans(in)fusion that involves breaking into disciplines, opening up thought-regimes, he tries to introduce a fresh concept in "plastic translation". This is not simply about understanding cross-cultural translation; it directs us to what Ghosh has argued elsewhere as "conceptual translation". This, again, leaves us to negotiate the area of plastic reading. Following on his recent work on plastic theory, as related to trans(in)fusion, this talk will spell out a fresh discourse on how translation connects with plasticity and contributes eventually to the development of plastic humanities.

Professor Ranjan Ghosh is Alexander von Humboldt Visiting Professor at the Institute of English and American Studies/Anglophone Literatures and Literary Translation. He teaches in the Department of English, University of North Bengal. His many books include Thinking Literature across Continents (Duke University Press, 2016, with J Hillis Miller), Philosophy and Poetry: Continental Perspectives ed. (Columbia University Press, 2019), Plastic Tagore (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) and the trilogy that he is completing to establish the discipline of plastic humanities: The Plastic Turn (Cornell University Press, 2022), Plastic Figures (Cornell University Press, 2024, forthcoming) and Plastic Literature (forthcoming).

For more information on Professor Ranjan Ghosh, visit his website.

Reading and Q&A with Sumana Roy


Heine Haus Literaturhaus

Sumana Roy is the author of How I Became a Tree, a work of nonfiction, Missing: A Novel, My Mother's Lover and Other Stories, and two poetry collections, Out of Syllabus and V. I. P: Very Important Plant. She is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Ashoka University. She read from How I Became a Tree and other works.

Annual Summer School of the MA Literary Translation

22. - 25.06.2023

The topic of this year's summer school organised by the MA Literary Translation was Translating Comics, Graphic Novels and Videogames. More information can be found here.

Guest talk by Caryl Phillips: A House is not a Home


Heine Haus Literaturhaus Düsseldorf

The American author, James Baldwin (1924-1987) lived in Paris between 1948 and 1957. Thereafter, he divided his time between the United States, France and Turkey, before returning to France (this time to Provence) in 1971, where he lived until he died in 1987. Caryl Phillips interviewed him for the BBC, in St Paul de Vence, in 1983. For the next four years they remained friends, frequently seeing each other in France, Britain and the United States. During that first interview, he asked Baldwin about the ‘price’ of exile. Now, nearly forty years after Baldwin’s death, he reflects on Baldwin’s answer to that question, what it means to be a man of African origin in Europe, and how artists are always in danger of losing sight of themselves and their purpose.

In the context of the series “Translating the Archive.” With generous support by Kunststiftung NRW.

Caryl Phillips is a multiple award-winning novelist, playwright and nonfiction author. Born in St. Kitts, he grew up in the north of England and now lives in the USA. He is presently Professor of English at Yale University and an Honorary Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford University. Among his numerous works are such plays as Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982) and The Shelter (1983), the radio play The Wasted Years (1984), adaptations for the large and small screen, and the novels: The Final Passage (1985), A State of Independence (1986), Higher Ground (1989), Cambridge (1991), Crossing the River (1993), The Nature of Blood (1997), A Distant Shore (2003), Dancing in the Dark (2005), Foreigners (2007), In the Falling Snow (2009), The Lost Child (2015), and A View of the Empire at Sunset (2018). His works of non-fiction include The European Tribe (1987), The Atlantic Sound (2000), A New World Order (2001), and Colour Me English (2011). He is the editor of two anthologies: Extravagant Strangers: A Literature of Belonging (1997) and The Right Set: An Anthology of Writing on Tennis (1999). He is the recipient of prestigious fellowships and the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Commonwealth Writers Prize, the PEN/Open Book Award and the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Excellence (selection). His work has been translated into over a dozen languages.

Translator Dr. Belén Santana in conversation


Dr. Belén Santana obtained her doctorate from Humboldt University, Berlin, with a dissertation on the translation of humour, and has translated numerous works of the German literary canon into Spanish. On this evening she will provide insights into her work as translator. This event in cooperation with the MA Literary Translation and Literaturbüro NRW takes place within the context of her CTS fellowship.

Find more information about Dr. Belén Santana here.

An interview about her CTS fellowship and other topics can be found here (in German).

I STEP ON AIR: Performance by Oxana Chi & Layla Zami


Experience the transformative power of words in Oxana Chi's and Dr. Layla Zami tribute to May Ayim. Through dance, poetry, theater, and live music, witness the intersection of feminist and antiracist struggles, as Chi's movements and Zami's sounds bring Ayim's words to life. Join us on a timely meditation on society's past and present transformation.
Read on

Disputes with Vehemence: Historical Transition and Violent Disagreements from the Greeks to Postcolonial Tragedy


Haus der Universität
The lecture will proffer a theory of postcolonial tragedy drawing specifically on the nature of violent disagreements in the history of tragedy and the relationship of these to different forms of historical transition.
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Flowers for Otello. On the Crimes That Came Out of Jena: Reading and Performance


Writing as intervention – For /Flowers for Otello/ Esther Dischereit took part in the debates and investigations on right wing extremist crimes in Germany.
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International Symposium: Translation and the Archive

31.05.2023 - 02.06.2023

The symposium "Translation and the Archive: Performance, Practice, Negotiation" explores the interdependency of repositories of memory (archives) and processes of translation. After a PhD workshop and the keynote lecture by Ato Quayson, a programme of readings, performances and talks by international contributors will offer a wide range of cross-disciplinary perspectives.
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From Neoliberal Crime in "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" to Transcultural Solidarity in "Queen of the Desert": Guest lecture by Guido Rings


Guest lecture by Prof. Dr. Guido Rings within the framework of Prof. Dr. Birgit Neumann's seminar "Living Between Cultures: Self-Translation, Gender and Queerness in Transcultural Life Writing".
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CTS Research Exchange


The Centre for Translation Studies invites early-stage and experienced researchers to get together, talk about their projects and activities, exchange ideas and think about possible collaborations.

Anja van de Pol-Tegge's dissertation has been published!

Anja van de Pol-Tegge's dissertation on post-war Belgian literatures in German translation has been published. Her monograph is the first to take into account both Belgian source languages - French and Dutch - and to use them in an innovative approach. In detailed analyses of translations of novels by famous writers such as Hugo Claus and Amélie Nothomb, she explores epistemic configurations emerging in the context of their German reception. You can find more information (in German) here. There is also a podcast on BelgienNet where Anja van de Pol-Tegge talks about her dissertation. Listen to the podcast (in German) here!

Translating Comics, Graphic Novels and Video Games: Summer School Literary Translation 2023

The Summer School 2023 took place from June 22 to June 24 and was all about "Translating Comics, Graphic Novels and Video Games".

Comics, graphic novels and video games are increasingly popular and often appeal to diverse audiences – it is comics and video games studies, among other popular forms, where academics and fans often meet! As transmedial forms, they not only pose their own unique challenges for translation practice, but are also of particular interest as sites of exciting formal experiments, novel narrative strategies, and a variety of social perspectives.

This year's Summer School was thus dedicated to these popular narrative forms and their intricate relationship between word and image under the motto "Translating Comics, Graphic Novels and Video Games". In addition to a reading by the German comic artist Hamed Eshrat, the program also included a keynote by Jan-Noël Thon on the topic of "Transmedial Narratology". Translators Verena Maser, Annette von der Weppen, Lea Hübner and Lilian Pithan offered workshops on translating from Japanese, English, Spanish and French. Additionally, Marcel Weyer’s workshop focused on video game translation.

International intern Veysel Yaşar is joining the CTS

Veysel Yaşar is a graduate of Amasya University’s Translation & Interpreting Department and an Erasmus+ trainee at HHU’s Centre for Translation Studies in August and September 2023.

DÜF fellow Christine Ammann to teach at HHU!

In the summer term 2023, Christine Ammann teaches in the department of literary translation at HHU.  For many years, she has been translating fictional and non-fictional texts from the Italian, French, and English languages and is now teaching a seminar titled "Natur übersetzen: Die Übersetzung von Nature Writing", dealing with the tensions between the fictional and non-fictional. You can find more information (in German) here.

Fantasy translator Andreas Heckmann in conversation


A fantastic job? Andreas Heckmann spoke about his work as translator of fantasy fiction.

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Zwischen multiplen 'Originalen' - Anne Webers /Annette: ein Heldinnenepos/ German-language lecture by CTS fellow Dr. Belén Santana


What does it mean to translate, or engage with, a text that is already in itself a translation of another text? How does such an engagement complicate our understanding of the authority of an ‘original’? In her talk about these and related questions, Dr. Belén Santana draws on Anne Webers most recent, prize-winnig novel Annette: Ein Heldinnenepos.

Read on

Translator and editor Charlotte Bomy in conversation


KAP 1 / Stadtfenster, Düsseldorf Central Library

Charlotte Bomy has been an established translator of stage plays in German-French theatre contexts for years, translating mainly from German into French. As an editor she works to make French drama known to a German audience, for instance in her recently published anthologies  Afropäerinnen. Theatertexte aus Frankreich und Belgien (2021) and Surf durch undefiniertes Gelände – Internationale queere Dramatik (2022), collaborations with Lisa Wegener respectively. Charlotte Bomy holds a PhD in theatre studies.  In her scholarly work she explores questions raised by translations in performative contexts. Charlotte Bomy will talk to CTS-member PD Dr. Vera Elisabeth Gerling (Romance Studies/Literary Translation).

Event language: German

A cooperation between the Centre for Translation Studies, Literaturbuero NRW, Institut Français Düsseldorf.

Entry free of charge. No registration required.

Literatur im globalen Lizenzraum: German-language lecture by Alexander Nebrig


How does copyright regulate the field of literary translation and ultimately impact on literary production? German language-lecture by HHU professor and CTS member Alexander Nebrig.

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Translating Heine: Interactive workshop in the context of “Campus (er)leben”


Coinciding with the poet’s 225th birthday, this interdisciplinary workshop explored Heine’s reception through the prism of translations and his presence in the web of world literature, but also considered Heine’s own role in acts of cultural transfer.

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Indigenous Oral Performance: The Aesthetics, Documentation, and Translation of Ghanaian Dirges: Online guest lecture by Dr. Confidence Sanka


Dr. Confidence Sanka held a guest lecture within the context of the seminar 'Demarginalising Orature'. Dr. Sanka is a senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he teaches among other things African oral literature, Communication Skills, and Anglophone literatures of various periods. 

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CTS Research Exchange


The Centre for Translation Studies once again invited early-stage and experienced researchers to get together, talk about their projects and activities, exchange ideas and think about possible collaborations.

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Handwerk oder Kunst? Zum literarischen Übersetzen aus dem Japanischen German-language lecture by translator and publisher Dr. Katja Cassing


HHU Düsseldorf, lecture hall, University and State Library (ULB)

Literatur aus dem Japanischen zu übersetzen sei doch viel schwieriger als Literatur aus einer anderen Sprache zu übersetzen heißt es oft. Aber stimmt das?
Verlegerin und Übersetzerin Katja Cassing geht anhand von Beispielen den Fragen nach, welchen Problemen man beim Übersetzen aus dem Japanischen begegnen und wie man sie lösen kann, warum man als Übersetzer nicht nur Mut sondern auch Demut braucht und ob literarisches Übersetzen ein Handwerk ist oder eine Kunst.

Katja Cassing, geboren 1970, studierte Japanologie und Anglistik in Trier und Tokio. Sie übersetzte u. a. Junichiro Tanizaki, Keigo Higashino, Shugoro Yamamoto, Nanae Aoyama, Ko Machida, Natsu Miyashita und Mieko Kawakami.


A cooperation between the Centre for Translation Studies, the MA programme Literary Translation, Modern Japan Studies and Literaturbuero NRW.

Funded by Bürgeruniversität HHU Düsseldorf.

Entry free of charge. Limited seats. Please register by writing to .


Download the poster and flyer.

CTS Fellow: Dr. Belén Santana

Starting in the winter term 2022/23, Dr. Belén Santana (University of Salamanca) will take up a one-year fellowship at CTS_dus.

More information

Again 2 DÜF-fellows to teach at HHU!

Deutscher Übersetzerfonds (German Translators' Foundation) is again funding two translators to teach at HHU in the context of a fellowship: Translator and editor of Drama Charlotte Bomy and fantasy translator Andreas Heckmann.

Read more in German

Out Now: Borderlands

The contributions to this volume emerged from a seminar project that explored processes of translation, adaptation and performance and investigated moments of signification emerging from cultural, linguistic and medial borderlands. The podcast scripts, interviews and introductory reflections assembled here raise such questions as: What happens in the ‘spaces between’ that open up in processes of transposition, translation or intermedial transfer? How do those spaces influence the construction and consolidation of language and forms of articulation, how do they impact conceptions of identity and alterity? And to what extent do those borderlands of linguistic, literary and medial re-creation reflect back on the ever-shifting conditions of human existence and conviviality?

Find details and downloads here.

3 Consolidator Grants awarded to CTS members

Three members of the Centre for Translation Studies Düsseldorf have been awarded Consolidator Grants by the renowned European Research Council.

CTS member Prof. Dr. Miriam Edlich-Muth was awarded a grant for her interdisciplinary project Post-REALM (“Post-National Reconceptions of European Literary History”). In her research she uses approaches from the fields of digital philology, material culture and translation theory to analyse the processes of translating and disseminating texts across dialectal, linguistic, and cultural borders in late medieval Europe.

Dr. Eva Ulrike Pirker was awarded a grant for her project “Meritocracy and Literature: Transcultural Approaches to Hegemonic Forms”. In her research she focuses on the field of Anglophone, Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures and the examination of transcultural as well as intermedial processes in literature and other art forms.

Another grant was awarded to Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Troelenberg for her project “Machinery Rooms of the Mediterranean, 1800-present: Images and Visual Archives of Movement and Acceleration”. Her research focuses on visual and material encounters in contact zones.

More information on the European Research Council grants and on the members’ projects can be found here.

More information on the CTS members and their areas of research can be found here.

CTS at "Night of Science"


German-language trailer

17:00-24:00 hrs.: Schadowplatz

Come and see CTS at the Night of Science on 9 Sept 2022 at Schadowplatz! Showing that science can be exciting is the overall aim of the Night of Science. Scholarly explorations of translation are exciting, too, as translation never occurs in a vacuum but always situates itself in a contested field of conventions, mentalities, expectations, worldviews that is often marked by opposing positions. Come and look for us in this hub of activities and enter into a conversation about possible and impossible translations!

Please look for us at stand #19 in the tent at Schadowplatz.

Booklaunch /Timescapes – aller-retour/


CTS members Vera Elisabeth Gerling, Birgit Neumann and Eva Ulrike Pirker, students of the MA programme Literary Translation and stimmen afrikas e.V. Cologne announced the publication of volume 10 in the acclaimed series "Düsseldorf übersetzt".

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/Herkunft/ von Saša Stanišić als Reise durch diskursive Weltbilder | German-language lecture: Goranka Rocco


Drawing on a case study co-authored with A. Ščukanec, Goranka Rocco presented an exploration of Stanišić’s novel /Herkunft/ which pays special attention to traces of discursive views of the world (Czachur 2013) as well as reflecting interlingual discursive transfer (Rocco 2017) and the treatment of discursive, culture-bound elements (Bilan 2017) – both in the German source text and the Croatian translation /Porijeklo/.

Read on [in German]

Translating Sex, Gender and Queerness: The MA Literary Translation’s Summer School 2022


The 2022 Summer School paid tribute to the social significance of the diversity of sexes and genders as well as to structural inequalities between sexes.

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Strategies for Feminist Translation in a Transnational World | Lecture


Dr. Olga Castro proposed a critical analysis of influential feminist approaches to translation studies, envisaging non-prescriptive and context-dependent strategies for feminist translation.

In conversation: Translator Stefanie Ochel


Literary translator Stefanie Ochel lives in Berlin. She grew up in Bonn and obtained degrees in Linguistics, German and English Studies at the University of Bonn. After her studies she spent one year in Finland and eight years in England, working as a lecturer in German Language and Culture at various universities. She has worked as a literary translator and translator of nonfiction books for children, translating from English, Dutch and occasionally French. Among the authors whose works she has translated are Joanna Glen, Lieke Marsman, Tomi Obaro, Nina Polak and Ruth Ware. During the summer term of 2022 she taught a course on word plays as part of the DÜF’s guest lecture programme.

Creolizing Europe: The Case of Transylvania | Manuela Boatcă und Anca Parvulescu


Historical Transylvania—at the intersection of the Habsburg Empire, the Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Russia—offers the platform for our multi-level reading of the main themes in Liviu Rebreanu’s 1920 novel /Ion/. We read the novel in conjunction with the first journal of Comparative Literature (ACLU), which was published in Transylvania, and which advocated for the twin comparatist principles of translation and polyglotism. We argue that engaging with areas of the world that have inherited multiple, conflicting imperial and anti-imperial histories such as Transylvania is a way to creolize the modern in both “modernity” and the “modern world-system” and develop a transregional comparative method.

Guest Lecture by Dr. Malaka Shwaikh: “Translation in the War-Zone: Stories from the Gaza Strip”


Dr. Malaka Shwaikh is an associate lecturer in peace and conflict studies at St. Andrews University. She specialises and has published widely in the fields of activism, translation, and politics of the Palestinian context. On 2 June, 2022, she offered an online-talk on the interfaces of translation and activism in the context of war.

Minority Language – World Literature: Yiddish and Translation (ONLINE-Conference)


The focus of the conference, co-organised by Prof. Dr. Efrat Gal-Ed (HHU), Prof. Dr. Sabine Koller and Daria Vakhrushova (M.A., University of Regensburg), was on the Yiddish literature of diverse historical moments in its transnational and translational character. Foci include translation theory, criticism and history; translation processes and practices from and into Yiddish; the infrastructure and interconnection of actors such as translators and publishing houses; questions of self-translation, intermedial and cultural translation and the function of translation in the context of world literature.

Henri Lefebvre about the Paris Commune: Translation-Workshop (F/G) with Laura Strack


Laura Strack spoke about her translation (work in progress) of Henri Lefebvres La proclamation de la Commune (1965).

In conversation: Writer and translator Jonis Hartmann


Jonis Hartmann (*1982 in Cologne) is a writer, translator and editor and organises literary events in Hamburg, where he initiated the series 'Hafenlesung & AHAB' as well as co-curating the literary journal 'tau' and helps run the 'writers’ room', a writing workshop. His most recent, critically acclaimed translation, a selection from Paul Bowles’ poetry collection 'Next to Nothing' (1981), has been published by 'roughbooks' in Switzerland (Fast nichts, 2020). During the summer term of 2022 he taught a seminar on the translation of contemporary English-language poetry into German, entitled: “Lyriker:in werden” (“Becoming a poet”).
A cooperation between HHU’s Centre for Translation Studies and Literaturbüro NRW.

Guest Lecture by Rebecca Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian: “Translation and Activism”


Prof. Rebecca Gould teaches literary studies and translation at the University of Birmingham. She specialised in literatures and cultures of the Caucasus and was awarded the University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies and the best book award by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies for her work Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus (Yale University Press, 2016).  

Kayvan Tahmasebian is a researcher in comparative literary theory and criticism. He is associated with the TRANSMODERN (Untranslatable Modernity: Literary Theory from Europe to Iran) project, which is funded by the European Commission within Marie Sklodowska-​Curie Actions. He also works as a translator for English, French, and Persian.

Together, Rebecca Gould and Kayvan Tahmasebian edited The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism (Routledge, 2020). On 2 May they offered an online-​talk on the interfaces between translation and activism.

Anja van de Pol-Tegge in conversation with Gregor Seferens

CTS member Anja van de Pol-Tegge in Conversation with translator Gregor Seferens about his new German translation of Louis Paul Boons Deer Kapellekensweg oder der I. illegale Roman von Boontje. German-language interview in ReLue -  Rezensionszeitschrift zur Literaturübersetzung.

Read the full interview in German

Timescapes – aller-retour

This next volume in the series Düsseldorf übersetzt includes twelve narratives written by six authors, and presents a variety of themes revolving around the passing of time: individual and collective memories of the past and visions for the future, that are both deeply personal but also political. This is the first publication of the stories in German translation. They are presented along with the English and French source texts, some of which have been specifically commissioned for this volume. This work offers a unique opportunity to encounter new literary voices.

You can find a preliminary review here.

Read on

Resisting Translation - Opacity in Zadie Smith’s 'Swing Time': Guest-​Lecture with Miriam Nandi (Leipzig), Response: Rebekah Herring (Cologne)


Zadie Smith’s novels are read and appreciated by a wide and heterogeneous readership. However, they have also received critical responses for their creation of some flat, clichéed characters and their sometimes monodimensional depiction of 'other' spaces. At times, they almost appear to resist readerly expectations of being served multidimensional, nuanced descriptions, especially when it comes to the representation of 'other(ed)' worlds and experiences. Could this be a strategy?

Miriam Nandi shed light on the moment of opacity in Smith’s novel Swing Time. In her response, Rebekah Herring drew our attention to the omnipresent expectations placed in Black individuals in Western contexts to act as translators of culture.

Translating David Diop - In the heart of violence with Andreas Jandl


Andreas Jandl, recipient of the Eugen Helmlé Prize for translators and currently guest professor at HHU's MA Literary Translation has translated Diops novel 'Frère d'âme' into German. Jandl drawed on his translation diary when discussing the challenges of a novel that is permeated by colonial violence. Aspects of the English translation by Anna Moschovakis were also discussed.

Cooperation with Institut français Düsseldorf (event series: "Übersetzen. Im Herzen der Gewalt" / "Translation: In the heart of violence").

Fragile Wandering: Writing and Translating Precarity in our Age of Migration — Reading, Conversation and Workshop with Karen Jennings


In her new story "Coverings" South African writer and scholar Karen Jennings (longlisted for the Booker Prize 2021) tackles precarious migratory experiences. "Coverings" centres on a group of persons who are forced to leave everything behind. Together with Jennings and her translator Miriam Braun we explored questions of responsibility and ethics in processes of writing and translating 'Others'. Apart from giving insights into her approach and discussing the concrete processes and challenges of writing and translating "Coverings", Jennings offered a short creative writing exercise that tied in with the questions discussed.

This was the last of a series of bilingual events organised in the context of the MA Literary Translation's collaborative project "Blick in die Zukunft - Gegen das Vergessen" with stimmen afrikas / Allerweltshaus Köln e.V.. The event was carried out via Zoom.

Translating Migration: A Conversation on Abdulrazak Gurnah


The Centre for Translation Studies hosted a conversation on Abdulrazak Gurnah, winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature. Participating scholars were Prof. Dr. Tina Steiner (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) and Prof. Dr. Maya García de Vinuesa de la Concha (University of Alcalá, Spain). Both are experts on Gurnah and the translational implications of his work. The conversation was carried out in English. It will begin immediately after the streaming of Gurnah's Nobel Prize Lecture.

Translation Workshop and Reading with Nafissatou Dia Diouf


Andreas Jandl was DÜF guest lecturer at HHU

Andreas Jandl, who was recently awarded the prestigious Eugen-Helmlé-Übersetzerpreis, had been nominated as guest lecturer in the MA programme Literary Translation during the winter term of 2021/22. This guest lectureship was funded by the the federal programme Neustart Kultur and came with an allocation of 10,000 €.

More information.


Have a coffee with... Translator Andreas Jandl, guest lecturer to the master’s programme Literary Translation

Andreas Jandl studied Theater Studies, English and Romance Languages in Berlin, London and Montréal. He earned a master's degree in Theater Studies at the Université du Québec in Montréal. He has worked as a freelance translator from English and French since 2006, and received the Christoph-Martin-Wieland-Übersetzerpreis for his translation of J.A. Baker's The Peregrine in 2017. Jandl was guest lecturer at HHU in the Master's programme  Literary Translation during the winter term of 2021/22. The guest lectureship was funded by the federal programme Neustart Kultur and came with an allocation of 10,000 €.

As we learn in the interview, Andreas Jandl likes to drink tea, green tea is his favourite.

The complete interview can be found here.

Jonis Hartmann and Stefanie Ochel to become DÜF guest lecturers

As already during the winter term of 2021/22 the DÜF is financing guest professorships for translators at a selection of German universities. Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf is proud to welcome 2 (!) of the altogether 50 stipend holders during the summer term. Apart from teaching seminars in the MA programme Literary Translation the translators will talk about their work in a public event hosted by the Centre for Translation Studies.

Read the DÜF press report (in German) here.

International HHU Summer School 2021


The interdisciplinary International Summer School “Translation, Transnation: European Cultures of Translation” focused on the complex and conflictual interfaces between translation and transnation within Europe. It centres on the critical and historical analysis of Europe as a pluralized and heterogeneous culture of translation, i.e., a culture that is constituted in and through the translation of texts, media, languages and respective knowledge. While the centrality of translation may be evident in our current, globalized and racialized age, a historical perspective that considers the multidirectional translation strategies employed in the contexts of, e.g., colonialism, voyages of exploration and intellectual networks is equally important. The Summer School was particularly interested in the transformative and innovative functions of translation, understood as a thoroughly political practice that opens up a transcultural contact zone.

Mother Tongues Becoming Bold: Reading and Interview with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi


Successful completion of the dissertation

13.09.2021: Congratulations to Anja van de Pol-Tegge on the successful defense of her dissertation on "Belgische Literaturen in deutscher Übersetzung: Mehrsprachigkeit und Kulturtransfer (1945 bis zur Gegenwart)" at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The work was supervised collaboratively by Prof. Dr. Arvi Sepp (VUB) and PD Dr. Vera Elisabeth Gerling (HHU) within the framework of a co-tutelle procedure.

Out now: Die Sichtbarkeit der Übersetzung

Die Sichtbarkeit der Übersetzung (ed. Birgit Neumann) was published on October 9, 2021, (Narr Francke Attempto Verlag) and includes contributions by researchers and translators.

In conversation: Birgit Neumann about translation as 'engine' of the book market

A public radio feature by CTS member Mareike Ilsemann

German description:
"Romane aus aller Welt machen uns mit fremden Welten und Erzählformen vertraut. Ohne Übersetzung wäre das undenkbar. Mareike Ilsemann hat zu den Aufgaben und Herausforderungen von Übersetzenden im globalen Literaturbetrieb recherchiert." (WDR 5)

Click here to listen.

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