Events 2015-2016

Translating Armenians, Armenians Translated: Rethinking Methodologies for Armenian Studies

April 22-23, 2016 |11-6 PM |International Institute

In recent years, the notion of translation has acquired a new currency while becoming invested with a new urgency, in particular for “marginal” programs within area studies, such as Armenian studies, which are often called to engage with translation in their efforts to position themselves within broader critical conversations that extend beyond their disciplinary scope.

In an effort to expand on such conversations, including those that took place during the lastArmenian Studies Graduate Student Workshop at the University of Michigan in the spring of 2015, this workshop wishes to continue the conversation on this topic with a two-day event.

The organizers are interested in hearing the different experiences related to the challenges brought forth by the necessity of translating broader theoretical and methodological conversations to tailor them to the specific needs of Armenian studies and/or translating the findings of work within the field into a critical language that can be incorporated in larger contemporary conversations.

The workshop is sponsored by the Armenian Studies Program and is organized by Ali Bolcakan and Etienne Charrière, both PhD candidates in the Department of Comparative Literature.

Books & Roses Day (St. Jordi) in the Diag

April 23, 2016 | 1:30-3:30 PM | Diag

Come celebrate world book day with the Catalan Studies group! They will be giving out prints with translations from some of Catalonia’s best authors & poets, as well as–you guessed it–roses. Long live the book! Long live translation!

Experimental Poet Anne Boyer Visits UM, Discussion & Reading

April 15, 2016 | 5:30 PM | MLB 2110

The Interdisciplinary Marxism Working Group would like to invite you to a discussion with US experimental poet and Marxist feminist, Anne Boyer. For this event, we will read Anne’s most recent book, Garments Against Women (2015).

Poet and visual artist Anne Boyer is the author of The Romance of Happy Workers (2008), The 2000s (2009), My Common Heart (2011), and Garments Against Women (2015). She was born in Topeka, Kansas and earned a BA at Kansas State University and an MFA at Wichita State University. After teaching in Missouri and Iowa for 10 years, she recently returned to Kansas

Also, Anne will read in Ypsilanti Friday night. Details for this event are here:

Boyer often blogs about translation and other poetic concerns. Check out her work here.

Rachel Galvin, “‘Citation is Exaltation’: Post-9/11 Poetry”

April 14 | 4:00 PM | 3222 Angell Hall

Join scholar, poet, and translator Rachel Gavin for a discussion of her current book project.

Amidst the deluge of news that followed September 11th, 2001, poems by W.H. Auden, Marianne Moore, and T.S. Eliot suddenly found a new life, circulating via email, community bulletin boards, and at benefit readings. In the concluding chapter of Galvin’s forthcoming book Poetry and the Press in Wartime (1936-1945), she examines how the surprising recirculation of World War II poems written by noncombatants affected United States poetry during the decade-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She investigates how 21st-century poets engage with their predecessors’ poetics of understatement and meta-rhetoric, arguing that one of the hallmarks of post-9/11 poetry is its use of radical citation. Citing and rewriting canonical poems of World War II became part of post-9/11 poetry’s critique of the socio-political conditions that lead to war.

Readings for the Thursday workshop will be made available on our CTools site. Please email Annie Bolotin ( to be added.

Silent Babel: Cinematic Multilingualism Beyond the Soundtrack

April 4, 2016 | 4 PM | NQ 2435

A discussion with Lisa Patti (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) and Tijana Mamula (John Cabot University).

This talk takes its cue from the reflection that multilingualism is one of the impellent cultural forces of the last two centuries, and that, as such, it has had an extensive and profound impact on cinema. Whether understood as an individual characteristic, such as may derive from a diasporic upbringing or from migration into a non-native linguistic environment, or as a pervasive societal condition – brought about by various mass displacements and colonization projects and recently intensified by media globalization – multilingualism encompasses both the generative experience of linguistic confrontation and exchange and the adversity of linguistic destabilization, repression or loss. It therefore bears a series of social, political, psychological and even ethical implications whose relevance to contemporary culture and society has indeed been widely examined, but whose relation to cinema has been left largely unexplored.

Interpretation and Translation: Translation in the Professions Panel

March 8, 2016| 6 PM | 1175 North Quad

Join us for a panel discussion about translation and interpretation in different professional sectors: medical, legal and literary. Our guest speakers are Dr. Fawzi El Shafei, UM Interpreter Services; Nessma Bashi, Iraqi Refugee Assistance Program; Megan Berkobien, Department of Comparative Literature

Explorations in Translation Theory and Armenian Literature

February 19 & 20, 2016 | 10 AM | International Institute

This workshop invites conversations surrounding the interdisciplinary field of Translation Studies as it pertains to the transcultural analysis and translation of Armenian Literature. Seeking to move beyond purely prescriptive applications of translation, interpretation, and the localization of national literatures—and the mere translation of a “minor” literature into a major language—this workshop asks invited participants to explore question pertaining to their translations of Armenian literature, under the umbrella of larger, non-compartmentalized cultural and theoretical frameworks and disciplines, such as comparative literature, Mediterranean studies, Post-colonial and Diaspora studies, across all periods. This workshop also considers questions pertaining to the ethics of semiotic and cultural translation, and what ways (if possible) cultural nuances transform and translate across linguistic, political, and literary mediums.

Organizer: Tamar Boyadjian, Assistant Professor of English and Medieval Literature, Michigan State

A Conversation with Matvei Yankelevich  (poet, translator, co-founder and co-executive director of Ugly Duckling Presse)

February 18, 2016 | 4 PM | 3154 Angell Hall

Matvei will speak about the  challenges arising from translating and publishing work that was not designated for publication in its original context, using his own experience translating and publishing the work of early Soviet avant-gardist Daniil Kharms as a case study. Sponsored by the Poetry & Poetics Workshop.

Translations We Love

January 28, 2016 | 7 PM | Literati Bookstore

An evening of readings with the members of the RIW in Literary Translation. Come here Peter Vorissis, Mason Jabbari, Meg Berkobien, Yael Kenan, and Grace Mahoney read their favorite translations into English. The night’s unofficial focus is Latin America.

“The Poetry of Translation: On Reading Longfellow’s The Poets and Poetry of Europe

December 5, 2015 |Comparative Literature Library

The Historical Poetics Group will meet on December 5 at the University of Michigan to discuss nineteenth-century poetry and translation, starting at 10:30 am on Saturday morning in the Comparative Literature Library (2022 Tisch).  The text we’ll focus on for our open session is Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s massive, mid-19th century anthology Poets and Poetry of Europe (Philadelphia:  Cary and Hart, 1845);  a pdf of the Google Books scan of a New York Public Library copy of the text can be found here; you can also view and download it directly via Hathi Trust.

Translate-a-thon 2015

October 23-25, 2015 | North Quad, Language Resource Center