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WATCH: Symposium on “Translation and the Making of Arab American Community”

By Graham Liddell On November 12, 2021, an all-day symposium entitled “Translation and the Making of Arab American Community” was held at the University of Michigan. The event brought together civil servants, journalists, poets, literary translators, and academics to discuss the multiple levels at which translation operates in Arab American communities in the Midwest, and …

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“Translation for the Community”: An interview with Emmanuel Orozco Castellanos

Emmanuel Orozco Castellanos is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in International Studies, with minors in Translation and Latin American Studies. He began working as a volunteer translator for Freedom House while a student at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, before eventually transferring to UM. Before moving to Michigan with his family …

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WATCH: “Translating for Freedom House Detroit,” video by Emmanuel Orozco Castellanos (2021)

There are as many ways of thinking about translation as there are ways of thinking about language. In an academic environment, we tend to focus on the theoretical or philosophical dimensions of translation, at the risk of downplaying the tangible urgency of translation and simultaneous interpretation practices in our everyday lives and the lives of …

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Translation, Multilingualism, and Writing Systems in HathiTrust

Professor Christi Merrill decided to teach Ayesha Kidwai’s English translation of In Freedom’s Shade, written in Urdu shortly after the violent Partition of India and Pakistan by her grandmother, Anis Kidwai. Learning of a Hindi translation available, Christi and Dr. Syed Ali agreed it would be interesting to teach all three versions in three different …

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What’s in a Name? Authors’ Names between Languages and Scripts

“What’s in a name?” William Shakespeare’s Juliet asks, lamenting her family’s objection to her relationship with Romeo, the son of a rival family, just because of his last name. But Juliet herself is known by many different names, depending on the place where her story is told, and the language used there. The story in …

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The Multivalence of Hebrew Alphabet Across Jewish Languages in the HathiTrust Repository

Written by Marina Mayorski (Graduate Student Research Assistant and PhD Candidate, University of Michigan) As a scholar of Judaic Studies, I study literary texts written in three different Jewish languages – Hebrew, Ladino, and Yiddish. Searching academic repositories for material written in non-Roman writing systems can be an excruciating task. Consider the following title, taken …

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The Midwest Through Jewish Eyes: A Network of Visual Culture

In the first installment of this Mellon-Sawyer seminar series, the scholars who led the conversations in Jewish Multilingualism in the Midwest: Yiddish Translations of Urban Experience went beyond textual illustrations of this theme. Interestingly, several sessions were linked by their relation to visual culture. The materials explored during the seminar converged in their incorporation of …

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“Translating the Midwest” at 2021 American Comparative Literature Association

Yopie Prins and Silke-Maria Weineck convened a two-day virtual seminar on “Translating the Midwest” at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association.  The seminar explored how different language communities in the Midwest represent themselves in various forms of literary production and translation, and considered why this “regional” perspective should change how we …

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