On this research day, scholars will discuss the functionalities of literary contact between Belgium and Germany.
Read more in German
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Writing as intervention – For /Flowers for Otello/ Esther Dischereit took part in the debates and investigations on right wing extremist crimes in Germany.
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.
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".
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
Starting in the winter term 2022/23, Dr. Belén Santana (University of Salamanca) will take up a one-year fellowship at CTS_dus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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/.
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.
Dr. Olga Castro proposed a critical analysis of influential feminist approaches to translation studies, envisaging non-prescriptive and context-dependent strategies for feminist translation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Laura Strack spoke about her translation (work in progress) of Henri Lefebvres La proclamation de la Commune (1965).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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").
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.
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.
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 €.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Die Sichtbarkeit der Übersetzung (ed. Birgit Neumann) was published on October 9, 2021, (Narr Francke Attempto Verlag) and includes contributions by researchers and translators.
A public radio feature by CTS member Mareike Ilsemann
"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)