Author Archives: Kathryn Colman

U-M scholars to explore multilingual Midwest in Sawyer Seminar

The University Record announced a new Mellon Sawyer Seminar, “Sites of Translation in the Multilingual Midwest” organized by the Department of Comparative Literature starting in Fall 2020 for two years. U-M humanities scholars have secured a $225,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore the Midwest as a multicultural, multilingual region shaped by successive waves of international and domestic migrations. They plan a series of events under the foundation’s Sawyer Seminar program.

Canon Translation Journal Accepting Submissions

Did you hear? Canon Translation Journal has launched a new website! Canon is a student-run online journal that publishes translations by U-M undergraduate and graduate students.

Canon is now accepting submissions for the 2019-2020 academic year!  Translations are accepted on a rolling basis and details on how to submit your translation can be found on their website.

Follow them at “Canon Translation Journal” on Facebook, and at @umichcanon on Twitter and Instagram. And of course, check out the latest translations!

Center for Southeast Asian Studies lecture featuring Marlon James Sales, Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies

Marlon James Sales, Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies in the Department of Comparative Literature, presented a lecture entitled, “On Filthy Nouns and Dirty Verbs: Translating Sex in Tagalog Missionary Linguistics”, for the Friday Lecture Series in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at U-M in March 2019. A video of the lecture is available online.

Interview with Marlon James Sales on Spanish in the Philippines

Marlon James Sales, our Comp Lit Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies, was recently interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for an article about the significance of the Spanish language and Spanish heritage in the Philippines. In the article written by Alan Weedon, Marlon discusses Filipino literature in Spanish and its translations.

Read the full article, “The Philippines is fronting up to its Spanish heritage, and for some it’s paying off”, on the ABC website.

Absinthe, Volume 25 is here!

The newest issue of Absinthe: World Literature in Translation is here! Volume 25, Barings // Bearings: Contemporary Women’s Writing in Catalan, is now available for order!

Edited by Megan Berkobien and María Cristina Hall, Barings // Bearings collects sixteen pieces of contemporary women’s writing in Catalan together with the brilliantly understated illustrations of the artist Elisa Monsó.

This special issue of Absinthe witnesses a living, Catalan language through the emotional labor of translation. It is also a testament to the thriving worlds of women’s writing in Catalan, with time-travelling fiction by Bel Olid (tr. Bethan Cunningham), regrets on pregnancy sublimated into an airborne taxi ride in a story by Tina Vallès (tr. Jennifer Arnold), Mireia Vidal-Conte’s poetry reflecting on Virginia Woolf’s suicide (tr. María Cristina Hall), a story of revenge on an abusive elderly woman by Anna Maria Villalonga (tr. Natasha Tanna), as well as reflections on war, bookstores, and generational conflict in post-Franco Spain. These often surreal pieces of Catalan fiction are informed by several essays and works of literary memoir, including those by Marta Rojals (tr. Alicia Meier) on the state of the Catalan language and Najat El Hachmi (tr. Julia Sanches) on the conditions of growing up in Catalonia as the daughter of Moroccan parents. These latter pieces resist and explore the contours of multilingualism, highlighting the intra- and interlingual reality of spoken Catalan alongside Spanish and Amazigh. Barings // Bearings invokes the feeling of a people through the work of a new generation of translators.

Read the full issue online first. Copies can be purchased through our website or Amazon.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Senior Prize in Literary Translation

Two winners were selected for the 2019 Senior Prize in Literary Translation.

Nevin Mital translated an Illustrated Children’s Mahabharata by Ramanlal Soni from Hindi into English.

Collin Parks translated The History by Michael Attaleiates from Ancient Greek into English.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all of the seniors who submitted their translation to the contest this year.

Congratulations to the 2019 Classical Translations Contest winners

Thank you to all of the students who submitted a translation to the 18th annual Contexts for Classics Classical Translations Contest. Four graduate students and one undergraduate student were awarded prizes for their translations. Congratulations!

  • Shannon Burton, Classical Archaeology major
  • Anna Cornel, Classical Studies PhD student
  • Lisa Levin, Comparative Literature PhD student
  • Robert Santucci, Classical Studies PhD student
  • Megan Wilson, Classical Studies PhD student

The new Canon Undergraduate Translation Journal is live!

Canon is an online literary magazine dedicated to promoting and publishing undergraduate and graduate translation at the University of Michigan. Three undergraduate students minoring in translation undertook the task of creating a new website for Canon as well as editing the latest edition of the magazine. Congratulations to the editors, AJ Arons, Hannah Craig, and Alycia Bird, on the beautiful new site!   Read Canon Translation Journal! 


University of Michigan Professor Awarded the 2019 Martha Cheung Award

Dr. Yasmin Moll,  Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, is the winner of the 2019 Martha Cheung Award for Best English Article in Translation Studies by an Early Career Scholar for her article entitled ‘Subtitling Islam: Translation, Mediation, Critique’, published in Public Culture 29/2 (2017).

Dr. Moll’s study examines subtitling practices at Iqraa, a satellite television channel designed to promote Islamic da’wa (‘outreach’ or ‘preaching’) within both Muslim-majority and Muslim-minority societies. It argues that the subtitlers see their task as twofold: to act as ‘cultural mediators’ responsible for countering perceived Western stereotypes about Muslims on the one hand, and, on the other, to transmit as ‘preachers by proxy’ correct and relevant religious knowledge to viewers when, at times, the Arab preachers they subtitle fail to do so. These translators feel authorized to contest through subtitles both external representations of Islam and internal interpretations of divine intent. Their acts of translation, and their internal debate at Iqraa, exceed the familiar Euro-American antimony of fidelity and betrayal. The article is based on extensive fieldwork and draws on and contributes to scholarship in media studies, translation studies and cultural anthropology. It demonstrates a fine-grained attention both to the actual and contingent ways in which subtitles are created and to the different motivations behind their creation, showing how translation on Islamic television is entwined in multiple stakes at multiple scales, whether those are aspirations for professional excellence, desires for a more just geopolitical order, or longing for divine salvation.

Available open access for one year at

Contexts for Classics at the University of Michigan announces the 18th annual Classical Translations Contest

This contest is intended to highlight the work of students who are interested in the process of translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful enterprise.

Students in all departments and programs (graduate and undergraduate) across the University of Michigan are invited to submit literary translations of texts from Latin, Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek. We know that there are many people inspired by the beauty of these languages who wish to render them more freely and creatively than classwork often involves. This contest is intended to highlight the work of students who are interested in the process of translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful enterprise.

Rules and Prizes

1. Please submit your work anonymously in the following format: FOUR hard copies of your English translation (along with the original text) and ONE separate cover page (listing the title and author of the text you translated, your name and email address, and your undergraduate major or graduate program).

2. Submissions are due on Monday, April 1, 2019 by 5:00pm to the Comparative Literature Main Office, 2021 Tisch Hall (2nd floor).

3. All submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of faculty members from Classics, Comparative Literature, English, and related departments.

4. Students affiliated with any UM department are eligible.

5. All work should consist of original translations/interpretations of works from Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, or Latin.

6. Original works may be in prose or verse and translations may be in prose, verse, or other format, such as multi-media.

7. Maximum length of written submissions is five double-spaced pages.

8. In each category (undergraduate and graduate), the prizes will be $100 each.

9. Winners will be invited to read from their translation at the annual Classics Department Awards Ceremony on April 23, 2019.