About the project
Funded by the Mellon Foundation, our two-year Sawyer Seminar series highlights the US Midwest as a multilingual region shaped by native inhabitants, the first wave of colonizers, and subsequent waves of migration. The seminars build on interdisciplinary resources at the University of Michigan as a public university, dedicated to global initiatives as well as local outreach, in order to explore various histories and cultures of translation in the multilingual Midwest.
Our goal is to collaborate on research and teaching around this topic, within our university and at other midwestern universities, colleges, and schools, and to reach out to diverse language communities around us. To provide a working model for such collaborations, we will offer seven seminars in 2021 and 2022 directed by a team of UM faculty members in collaboration with colleagues, students, and community partners. Each seminar will offer public-facing events and smaller workshops to explore current research related to specific sites of translation. Most of our events will be accessible for remote participation during COVID-19.
Maya Barzilai, Associate Professor of Modern Hebrew and Comparative Literature, is leading a seminar on Jewish Multilingualism in the Midwest: Yiddish Translations of Urban Experience (Spring 2021).
Marlon James Sales, 2019-21 Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies in the Department of Comparative Literatures, is leading a seminar on Translation and Memory: Hispanofilipino Literature and the Archive in the US Midwest (Spring 2021).
Kristin Dickinson, Assistant Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, is leading a seminar on Visualizing Translation: Homeland and Heimat in Detroit and Dortmund (Fall 2021).
Christi Merrill, Associate Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature, is leading a seminar on Building Translation Networks in the Midwest with HathiTrust (Spring/Fall 2022).
Benjamin Paloff, Professor of Slavic Languages and Comparative Literature, is leading a seminar on Building Bridges over Walls: Midwestern Translation Networks and Eastern European Literature (Spring 2022).
Barbara Alvarez, UM Library
Laura Brubacher, UM Language Resource Center
Aaron Coleman, 2021-23 Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies, Department of Comparative Literature
Julie Evershed, UM Language Resource Center
Elisabeth Fertig, Fall 2021 Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Comparative Literature
Graham Liddell, Winter 2022 Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Comparative Literature
Julia Irion Martins, Winter 2021 Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Comparative Literature
Marina Mayorski, Winter 2021 Graduate Student Research Assistant, Department of Comparative Literature
Philomena Meechan, UM Language Resource Center
William Stroebel, Assistant Professor of Modern Greek and Comparative Literature