The Translate-a-thon is here! October 20-22, 2017

Registration is open!

Undergraduate and graduate students, UM faculty and staff, local community members, all are welcome! Join us for our translation marathon weekend; meet other translators, enjoy good food, and serve your community through translation.

Language Resource Center 1500 North Quad
Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-3pm*

What is the Translate-a-thon?
The Translate-a-thon is a short, intense, community-driven translation marathon, where volunteers interested in translation come together to translate materials for the benefit of our local, national and international community. We accept projects from a variety of disciplines in a variety of different formats: including print, video and digital/web-based. We welcome all languages to our event.

*Although we encourage participation all three days, it is not required!

Panel: “Lost in Translation: Perception and Expression across Borders and Languages”

Thursday 5-7pm, September 14, 2017
West Conference Room, Rackham (4th floor)
Samer Ali (Near Eastern Studies)
Miranda Brown (Asian Languages & Cultures)
Ana Morcillo Pallares (Architecture)
Acrisio Pires (Linguistics)
In 1922, philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein declared that “the limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” With the globally-connected community at the University of Michigan in mind, we invite you to an exploration of the cross-cultural academic expressive production that accompanies thinking and writing from a non-English background. Taking the University of Michigan as a case study, we hope to engage questions of scholarship and public expression incubated in the globalized environment that is the contemporary American university. Rather than focusing on the mechanics of English as a Second Language or as a lingua franca, we seek a discussion around scholarly expression in a multicultural, globalized academia. How does an American academic culture of expression interact with the increasingly international body of authors on campus? And, can non-normative writing paradigms find footing in American academia? Please join us for a scholarly conversation on multilingualism and the pleasures and difficulties of translation.
The public is welcome!

U-M student translations published in TRANSIT

Throughout the Fall semester 2016, the Department of German at the University of Michigan hosted Selim Özdoğan as Max Kade Writer in Residence. During his residency, Özdoğan visited Professor Kristin Dickinson’s seminar “Un/Translatability in Theory and Practice” to workshop student translations from his most recent novel Wieso Heimat? Ich wohne zur Miete (2016) (Who Said Heimat, I’m Only Renting). Students first read the novel and then selected individual chapters to translate. Over the course of several weeks, students then read, discussed, and edited each other’s work together with the author. Overall, this project offered the exciting opportunity for students to engage in a collaborative translation practice which underscored the value of translation as an ongoing process rather than simply an end product. The selections presented here comprise several humorous, pointed, and poetic scenes from the novel.

Students Mary Boyd (left) and Susan LaMoreaux (right) with Özdoğan during his writing workshop.

Read the student translations as well as an interview with Kristin Dickinson and Selim Özdoğan on the TRANSIT website.

Our 2017 Minors in Translation Studies Graduate!

We’re so proud to highlight the fantastic work of this year’s graduating cohort of the Minor in Translation Studies:

Olivia Alge (BS, Informatics) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Software Translation from English to Spanish.” 

Jacqueline Alvarez (BA, Spanish) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Translating Her Story: A translation of And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou”

Sara Cusack (BA, Asian Studies and Cognitive Science) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, interning as law clerk at the Michigan Immigration Rights Center (MIRC).

Thomas Degroat, (BS, Neuroscience) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Translating George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, from novel into screenplay.” 

Haley Schafer (BA, French and International Studies) completed the Minor in Translation Studies with a capstone project, “Interviews In Translation: HUMAN: Le Film.”

New Faculty Translation

Congratulations to Professors Gareth Williams and Vincenzo Binetti on their recent translation of Roberto Esposito’s seminal work of political theory The Origin of the Political, out from Fordham University Press this year. Both Williams and Binetti are members of the Romance Language Department an the University.

On The Origin of the Political: In this book Roberto Esposito explores the conceptual trajectories of two of the twentieth century’s most vital thinkers of the political: Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil. Taking Homer’s Iliad–that “great prism through which every gesture has the possibility of becoming public, precisely by being observed by others”–as the common origin and point of departure for our understanding of Western philosophical and political traditions, Esposito examines the foundational relation between war and the political.

Praise for The Origin of the Political: “For Esposito, thought does not just fight–it is the fight itself. Esposito moves on the basis of a fundamental ontology of war, which marks what a previous tradition would have called ‘the unity of being.’ The Origin of the Political elaborates implications of this, not only through its masterful conceptual analysis and through its insights into the two thinkers it studies and critiques, but also because, as it makes explicit the stakes of the impolitical approach, it also ruins so many of the foundations of modern political thought and prepares the way for its fundamental renewal.”–Alberto Moreiras, Texas A&M University

Announcing the 2017 Translation Prize Winners!

We’re so excited to announce this year’s prizewinners for the Senior Prize in Literary Translation and Contexts for Classics Translation Contest.  Congratulations to all!

Winners of the 2017 Senior Prize in Literary Translation 
Olivia Alge, Desde la ventana by Diana Chapa (Spanish) 
Zahir Allarakhia, Last Night I Dreamt of You by Bahā’ Tāhir (Arabic)
Sara Cusack, A Patient by Mianmian (Chinese)
Winners of the 2017 Contexts for Classics Translation Contest
Undergraduate Prizes:
Michael Demetriou (History and International Studies; Minor in Modern Greek)
“Antigone” (translation of modern Greek poem by Tasoula Karageoriou) 
William “Billy” Fuerst (Political Science and Modern Greek)
“The Fourteen Children” (translation of modern Greek poem Tasoula Karageorgiou)
Anna Haritos (Modern Greek, BCN)
“Do not send me mother to America” (translation of modern Greek story by Anna Siganou)
Graduate Prizes:
Amy Pistone (Classical Studies)
Euripides, “Electra” (translation of lines 1011-1051)
Megan Wilson (Classical Studies)
Sophocles, “Electra” (translation of lines 472-515)

Deadline: 16th Annual Classical Translation Contest (April 4th)

There’s still time to submit your translation to the 16th Annual Classical Translation Contest!

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 Tuesday, April 4, 2017 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


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


  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 present their translations at the annual Classics Department awards ceremony on April 18, 2017.

Sponsored by CONTEXTS FOR CLASSICS at the University of Michigan

Newest Issue of Absinthe Published!

The Department of Comparative Literature is pleased to announce that the newest issue of the journal  Absinthe: World Literature in Translation is now available.

Titled “Pen and Brush,” the special issue brings together poetry, prose, and artwork that address cultural exchange between Asia and Europe.  This issue was guest-edited by Emily Goedde (UM ’16 Comparative Literature PhD) with generous support from the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan.

Authors and translators include David Jimenéz (trans. Andrea Rosenberg), Wei Yun Lin Górecka (trans. Darryl Sterk), Ryoko Sekiguchi (trans. Shannon K. Winston), and Yang Lian (Brian Holton).

The Department celebrated the release of “Pen and Brush” with a reading and reception on January 20th, 2017.