The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society presents

A Public Lectures Series in Global Language Justice

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar

Translating migration: art, ethics and uncertainty

with Moira Inghilleri, UMass Amherst

In order to translate others, translators and interpreters must locate themselves within the translation process, doing their best to recognize the stories it is their task to represent. Professor Inghilleri’s lecture will discuss the challenges they face putting into words the structures of feeling underlying different types of migration experience. She will be proposing a commonality between translators and interpreters who struggle to represent and express human complexity in words and visual artists who strive to reflect the human condition in their art, taking as examples two mid-twentieth century New York artists, Jacob Lawrence and Willem De Kooning, who in different ways explored the experience of migration. She will also present historical and recent examples of migrant-produced art that fall under the category of citizen media by migrants held in long term detention facilities. The paper will conclude by arguing for an expansion of the horizon of translation practice to wider forms of symbolic expression, to allow language in all its forms to serve as a better tool to capture complex meanings.

Moira Inghilleri is Associate Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies and the Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies. She is the author of Translation and Migration (Routledge 2017) and Interpreting Justice: Ethics, Politics and Language (Routledge 2012). She was co-editor of The Translator from 2011-2014 and review editor from 2006-2011 and served as series co-editor for the Routledge series New Perspectives in Translation and Interpreting Studies from 2013-2018. She guest-edited and contributed articles in two special issues of The Translator: Bourdieu and the Sociology of Translating and Interpreting (2005) and Translation and Violent Conflict (2010, co-edited with Sue-Ann Harding). In 2017 she was appointed to the Fulbright Specialist Roster for 2017-2020 in the field of translation and migration studies.

Open to the public. First-come, first-seated.

To be followed by a faculty and graduate student seminar on Friday, September 21.

Image: Abel Tilahun’s The Great Hole (2014)