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Available now: Professor Michèle Hannoosh translates the work of French painter Eugène Delacroix

Our congratulations to Professor Michèle Hannoosh, a Comparative Literature affiliated faculty member, who has recently published a translation of Eugène Delacroix’s Journey to the Maghreb and Andalusia, 1832: The Travel Notebooks and Other Writings with Penn State University Press. 

From the publisher:

In 1832, Eugène Delacroix accompanied a French diplomatic mission to Morocco, the first leg of a journey through the Maghreb and Andalusia that left an indelible impression on the painter. This comprehensive, annotated English-language translation of his notes and essays about this formative trip makes available a classic example of travel writing about the “Orient” from the era and provides a unique picture of the region against the backdrop of the French conquest of Algeria.

Delacroix’s travels in Morocco, Algeria, and southern Spain led him to discover a culture about which he had held only imperfect and stereotypical ideas and provided a rich store of images that fed his imagination forever after. He wrote extensively about these experiences in several stunningly beautiful notebooks, noting the places he visited, routes he followed, scenes he observed, and people he encountered. Later, Delacroix wrote two articles about the trip, “A Jewish Wedding in Morocco” and the recently discovered “Memories of a Visit to Morocco,” in which he shared these extraordinary experiences, revealing how deeply influential the trip was to his art and career.

Never before translated into English, Journey to the Maghreb and Andalusia, 1832 includes Delacroix’s two articles, four previously known travel notebooks, fragments of two additional, recently discovered notebooks, and numerous notes and drafts. Michèle Hannoosh supplements these with an insightful introduction, full critical notes, appendices, and biographies, creating an essential volume for scholars and readers interested in Delacroix, French art history, Northern Africa, and nineteenth-century travel and culture.

What the critics are saying:

“Eugène Delacroix’s journey to Morocco in 1832 was one of the defining artistic moments of the nineteenth century, and it is brought to glorious life by Michèle Hannoosh’s compilation and translation. This work chronicles the artist’s journey and provides exceptional insights into his fascination with the ‘Orient’ and his motivations as a painter.”

—John Zarobell, author of Empire of Landscape: Space and Ideology in French Colonial Algeria

Senior Prize in Literary Translation — Now accepting translations!

The Department of Comparative Literature is pleased to invite graduating seniors in all departments at the University of Michigan to submit entries for our annual prize in literary translation.

Submissions are due by Tuesday, April 14, and will be judged by a team of faculty members in Comparative Literature.

A prize of $500 will be awarded at the end of winter term. The winner or the winners will be invited to read at the department’s end-of-year reception on Friday, May 1.


  1. All seniors graduating in Fall 2019 or Winter 2020, and affiliated with any department at the University of Michigan, are eligible to submit a translation.
  2. Students may choose to translate into English any literary text (or excerpt of a literary text) that was originally written in another language and in any literary genre (e.g. fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction).
  3. A submission should consist of your translation (no more than 10 pages), and a brief translator’s preface (no more than 5 pages) that introduces the text and author you have chosen and explains your method of translation.  If you have worked significantly with previously available translations, glosses, or commentaries, please note these in your translator’s preface. Make sure your submission references all texts and tools you have used to produce your translation (i.e. other translations you have consulted, translation software you may have used, etc).
  4. Please submit your translation in the following format: an email listing your name, your graduation date, your major(s) and minor(s), and the complete title, author, and language of the original text you have translated, and an email attachment without your name that includes your translator’s preface, your translation, and a copy of the text you have translated in its original language.
  5. Your submission should be emailed to no later than 11:59 PM on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

Questions?  Contact

2020 Classical Translations Contest is now accepting translations!

19th Annual Classical Translations 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, March 31, 2020 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 present their translations at the annual Classics Department awards ceremony on April 21, 2020.

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