About the event

Join Esther Allen, writer, translator and Professor at Baruch College, for a discussion of translation and "The Perils of Polyglossia." Selecting the language in which an utterance is made is the first and most significant semantic component of that utterance, the primordial basis of its meaning. It may also seem to be the one component of a text’s meaning that a translator must betray. A translation, however, embodies a theory of the text it represents, of the scope of the translator’s work, and of the relationships between the languages the translation moves among. The translator who chooses to produce a multilingual text enacts, reinforces, and comments on those relationships. But polyglossia’s playing fields are not even: what one language means within another may not be what the other language means within the first.

The Translation Seminar Series features guest speakers who work with translation is scholarly, pedagogical, and creative contexts at CUNY and across the City. Meetings feature facilitated discussions, often springing from short shared readings, about the complexities of translating and reading works in translation.

This event is presented as part of Translation, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates how translation might be understood as a process of transformation that deepens engagement with places, people, cultures, and languages. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email[email protected].

Cosponsored by the Translation Mellon Seminar for Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.