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How do we know...

intro picwhether a work of translation accurately reflects the intended meaning of its original author? Since the original text is unavailable to us, we place great faith in the translator, though we rarely acknowledge his or her role in conveying meaning. Sometimes mistranslations lead to distorted meanings. Mistranslation also offers creative possibilities, as Anna Brickhouse, Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Virginia, will argue this coming Wednesday afternoon. She will ponder the productive possibilities of embracing "mistranslation" over other values-"mastery," for example, or the "untranslatable." Her talk is the second in CHAT's Translation Lecture Series. For time, location, and details see below.

Upcoming Deadlines:

Fall 2016

  Nov. 14   Faculty Fellowships

Upcoming Talks:

Translation Lecture Series

Speaker portraitAnna Brickhouse, University of Virginia

"Mistranslation and Catastrophe"

Wednesday, October 19
4–5:30 pm, CHAT Lounge

"Mistranslation and Catastrophe" begins by reflecting on the role of mistranslation in my own research, and the productive possibilities of embracing "mistranslation" over other values-"mastery," for example, or the "untranslatable." The second part of the paper addresses the role of translation and mistranslation in Estrella Distante (Distant Star) by the late Chilean writer Roberto Bolano, whose novella about the catastrophic aftermath of the CIA-encouraged coup in Chile begins with a mysterious, (mis)translated epigraph from Faulkner. Taking Estrella Distante as inspiration, I then move back in time to explore a much earlier catastrophe as well as a chain of translations and mistranslations surrounding it: the Lima earthquake of 1746.

Anna Brickhouse is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Virginia. Her first book, Transamerican Literary Relations and the Nineteenth-Century Public Sphere (Cambridge 2004), was awarded the Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities from the Council of Graduate Schools as well as Honorable Mention for the ASA's Laura Romero prize. Her second book, The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945 (Oxford 2014), was a co-winner of the Early American Literature prize and winner of the MLA's James Russell Lowell prize. She is currently researching a project on race, translation, and disaster.

Recorded Programs

Video CameraMany past lectures can be viewed online. These are fascinating lectures on a wide range of topics in the humanities with high-quality sound and video. See our growing collection of recorded programs.

Graduate Courses

Student with booksLooking for a unique course to round out your graduate education? Serious about interdisciplinary methods? CHAT lists Graduate courses across the humanities and social sciences that welcome qualified students from other graduate programs. Listings are updated regularly after registration begins for each semester.

Continuing Exhibitions

Spring 2016

Speaker PortraitLeah Modigliani, Tyler School of Art

How long can we tolerate this? An incomplete record from 1933-1999

M-F, 10 am-4 pm, CHAT Gallery
10th floor, Gladfelter Hall
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Center for the Humanities
10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall (025-45)
1115 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6089
Phone - 215-204-6386
Fax - 215-204-8371
Email - chat@temple.edu