Comparative Criticism: Minding Borders  *Now Open for Registration*

OCCT’s second annual conference takes place at St Anne’s, 10-11 September 2014. *All welcome*

Minding Borders

Both comparative criticism and translation cross borders. Yet borders that have been crossed still exist. Even a border that has been dismantled is likely to reappear in a different place, or as a less obvious set of limiting practices: migrant texts and migrant ideas, like migrant people, may not achieve full citizenship in their new locations. But there is a creative aspect to borders too, as postcolonial theory in particular has emphasized.  Borders are contact zones (Pratt), generators of hybridity (Bhabha), spaces of exchange, cross-fertilization, and enrichment.

Rather than celebrating the crossing of borders, or dreaming of their abolition, our conference will trace their troubling and yet generative resilience. We will think comparatively across geography, politics, literary and cultural circulation, creativity, and the structuration of academic disciplines, hoping that the analysis of borders in one domain may illuminate their workings in another (and therefore reconfigure the borders between them). Whatever other form a border takes it is always also a border in the mind.

Keynotes: the geographer Davide Papotti (Parma), the philosopher Michael Wheeler (Stirling), the freelance writer and artist Caroline Bergvall (London & Geneva). and the writer and scholar of Mediterranean literature Adrian Grima (Malta).

To see the programme, please check here.

To register for the conference and to book accommodation, please click here.

As you will discover there is a small registration fee which pays for the food and drink. We hope that OCCT participants may be able to meet this from their research allowances; but if you are unable to do so please let Céline know via comparative.criticism@st-annes.ox.ac.uk.

Some bursaries are available for graduate students. To apply, please send a brief account of your interest in the conference to comparative.criticism@st-annes.ox.ac.uk.

Organisers: Céline Sabiron, Nicola Gardini,  Mohamed-Salah Omri, Adriana Jacobs, Ben Morgan, Matthew Reynolds, X. Amy Li, Rosie Lavan.

Week 7’s OCCT events (9-15 June)

A few of our Translation Day events still have the odd space available: Sarah Maguire and Al Saddiq Al-Raddi at the Albion Beatnik, Friday 7.30 pm; the PEN creative writing workshop, Freedom to Read Freedom to Write, Saturday, 3.30pm, St Anne’s Seminar Room 7; and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize Shortlist Readings and Prizegiving, Saturday, 5.30 pm, St Anne’s, Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre. To book your (free) place, please email phoebe.nicholson@st-annes.ox.ac.uk. Details and the full programme are here. Oxford Translation Day is a joint venture of OCCT and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, in partnership with Oxford Student PEN, the Poetry Translation Centre, the Oxford German Network and East Oxford Community Classics Centre.

In other news:

The recording from last week’s seminar in our Intercultural Literary Practices strand, “Theorising Interculturality”, is available here. The last graduate discussion group meeting on the question of ekphrasis was extremely lively and inspiring: please check the Discussion Group page for a write-up on the session and some photos!

Minding Borders conference : NB the deadline to submit a 200 word proposal and a short biog to comparative.criticism@st-annes.ox.ac.uk  is Monday 15th June.

Please do check the Links page since new CFPs and events outside Oxford have been advertised. In particular there is an inaugural issue, Angles: French Perspectives on the Anglophone World, which welcomes discussions on the links between humor, irony, and short forms of expression (mots d’esprit, soundbites, slogans) in a host of contexts: literary, linguistic, social, political and artistic. There is also a call for papers for Translation Talk, a  2-day international conference to be held at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK, on Thursday 23 – Friday 24 April 2015.

 

Week 6’s OCCT events (2-8 June)

This week, the Intercultural Literary Practices strand of OCCT will welcome Dr. Birgit Kaiser (Utrecht), Prof. Peter McDonald (English), and Prof. Elleke Boehmer (English) to talk about “Theorising Interculturality”. The seminar will take place on Wednesday 4 June, 3-5pm in the Seminar Room at Radcliffe Humanities.  All welcome!

Nota bena: the seminar exceptionally starts at 3pm this week.

In other news: the recording for the Philosophy of Criticism session on 20 May is now available here, while week 5’s talk with Dr Clare Connors (UEA) and Prof Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS) for the Languages of Criticism strand can be listened to here. Don’t forget to check our Links page for news of conferences and seminars outside Oxford.  An interesting EHRC event on Romantic Poetics takes place on Wednesday, 4th June, 4 to 6pm (ie unfortunately clashing with our Wednesday seminar). Chair: Charlie Louth. Speakers: Ela Tandello (Christ Church/Italian): ‘The Volcano Lover: Leopardi and the Romantic Sublime in “La ginestra”’; Anna Camilleri (Christ Church/English): ‘Byron’s Lyric Practice’. Katherine Lunn-Rockliffe (Hertford/French): ‘Metaphor and Thought in Victor Hugo’s Visionary Poetry of Progress’. Room 2, Taylor Institution.

Oxford Translation Day, 13th-14th June, is booking up fast:  if you would like to attend any of the many events, please make sure you contact phoebe.nicholson@st-annes.ox.ac.uk to secure a place.

 

Week 5’s OCCT events (26-30 May)

Languages of Criticism: “Creatively Critical”

Wednesday 28th May, 4-6.15pm, Seminar Room 7, St Anne’s College

Dr Clare Connors (UEA) and Prof Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS) will explore the place of creativity in recent Western and classical Arabic literary criticism. Respondent: Dr Helen Slaney.

Clare Connors is the editor, with Stephen Benson, of Creative Criticism: an Anthology and Guide (2014), and the author of Force from Nietzsche to Derrida (2010) and Literary Theory: A Beginner’s Guide (2010); Wen-Chin Ouyang is the author of Politics of Nostalgia in the Arabic Novel (2013), Poetics of Love in the Arabic Novel (2012) and Literary Criticism in Medieval Arabic-Islamic Culture (1997), among many other works; Helen Slaney is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of classical reception. Do join us for what promises to be a fascinating session!

In other news: the various events in Oxford Translation Day are filling up fast: do book now for anything you wish to attend.

If you would like to catch up on our seminars from last week and the week before, click the links below:

“Poetry and the Act of Translation” (Translators and Writers) with Patrick McGuinness, Adriana Jacobs and Kasia Szymanska: click here for the podcast and a report on the session by Rosie Lavan.

“Tell Me Who I Am” (The Novel and Other Minds) with Marco Bernini and Simon Kemp: click here for the podcast.

For the Discussion Group meeting on Monday, 19th May, click here to access the preparatory reading and a report  on the session by Rosie Lavan.

Week 3’s OCCT events (12-19 May 2014)

Stand-out items this week are our Wednesday Seminar on translation, with Adriana Jacobs, Patrick McGuinness and Kasia Szymanska, and the CFP for our September conference, Minding Borders. Do read all the way down.

Translators and Writers: “Poetry and the Act of Translation”
Wednesday 14 May, 4-6.30pm, Seminar Room 7, St Anne’s College
Prof Patrick McGuinness on pseudo translations and  Dr Adriana Jacobs on rogue translations. Respondent: Kasia Szymanska. All welcome!

Patrick McGuinness will explore how invented translations, i.e. the invention of a foreign poet by an English-language poet, may be situated on the spectrum of ‘original’, ‘version’, ‘adaptation’ and ‘translation’. He’ll look at several poets – the Canadian David Solway, the English poet Christopher Reid, the Irish poet Derek Mahon and the American poet Michael Donaghy – and suggest that the heteronym/pseudonym employed by the poet may be an attempt to ensure for poetry the sort of permissions usually found in fiction. Adriana Jacobs will explore the work of young American poets and translators like David Cameron, Christian Hawkey, and Sawako Nakayasu, who engage translation playfully, critically and even politically, not only as a process synonymous with writing but also as a practice that problematizes the cultural and linguistic politics of global English through appropriation, rewriting or outright theft.

Kasia Szymanska is a DPhil student working on translation across English, Polish and German; Adriana Jacobs is the Cowley Lecturer in Modern Hebrew Literature and is writing a book on the poetics and practices of translation in modern Hebrew Poetry; Patrick McGuinness is Professor of French and Comparative Literature and is the author, most recently, of Other People’s Countries.

 

Minding Borders: Call for Papers

OCCT is pleased to announce its second annual conference taking place at St Anne’s College on 10th-11th September. To see the call for papers, please click here.

 

In other news:

The recording for the first Philosophy of Criticism’s seminar of the term is accessible here.

Some images of Ali Smith’s very inspiring talk at St Anne’s College on May 8th are here.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Links section for more news of conferences and seminars related to comparative criticism and translation in and outside Oxford/ the UK.

Week 2’s OCCT events (Trinity 2014)

OCCT returns this second week of Trinity Term with two events. Do come if you can!

 

1) Philosophy of Criticism

Tuesday 6 May, 5-6.30pm, Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities

Prof. Paul Crowther (Galway) on “Justifying Canonic Value”. Convened by Dr. Klevan and Dr. Grant.

Pre-seminar Reading available at https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/access/content/group/fceac83f-391f-437f-b4bf-91214ee1efaa/Philosophy%20of%20Criticism/Brit%20J%20Aesthetics-2004-Crowther-361-77.pdf

 

2) OCCT Discussion Group

Ali Smith in conversation with Matthew Reynolds and the discussion group, on the subjects of criticism, creativity and translation.

Thursday 8 May (NB not the usual Monday), 12.45-2pm, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College.

This is a special, joint meeting of OCCT’s graduate-led discussion group and St Anne’s Arts & Humanities Discussion Group. Ali Smith is the author of many award-winning works of fiction and criticism, including  Artful, The Accidental, and The First Person and Other Stories, and is a former Weidenfeld Professor. We are delighted that she is able to return to Oxford for this event  As usual sandwiches will be provided. RSVP is essential.

Please email ahdg@st-annes-mcr.org.uk by Tuesday 6 May to confirm attendance and any dietary requirements. Please excuse the urgent bold, but we expect this to be a very popular session and we don’t want you to miss out. Early RSVP strongly advised.

The Comparative Criticism Discussion Group will be meeting again, on its usual Monday, in weeks 4, and 6.

 

In other news this week:

1) New York poet, translator, and publisher Jonathan Galassi on the subject of creative translation. 3pm, Thursday, 8th May in the Roy Griffiths Room (Keble College, Arco Quad).  In addition to being a terrific poet himself as well as the president of the publishing house Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, Jonathan is the translator of two major Italian poets — Eugenio Montale and Giacomo Leopardi. At Keble he will be discussing in particular the fantastic Montale poems “The Hitler Spring” and “The Eel.” Please do email Dr. Nicola Gardini at nicola.gardini@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk and he will add you to the attendance list. All welcome.

2) If you would like a preview and a taste of what the seminar will be like, Jonathan Galassi and another American poet, Maureen McLane will be reading from their own work the night before, on Wednesday 7th May at 6:30pm in the Pusey Room as part of Keble’s “Meet the Poet Reading Series”. All welcome. Come along if you can!

3) Please do check the Links page, new conference and funding calls have been added : http://oxfordcomparativeliterature.com/links/

Programme for Trinity Term

We have another full programme this term, with our traditional OCCT Wednesday seminars in weeks 3-6, and other seminars and events on other days. NB the inaugural Oxford Translation Day, in fact a day and a half of seminars, readings and talks: details will follow in due course.

Our Graduate-Led Discussion Group meets on Mondays of even weeks, 12.45-2pm, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College. All welcome. For more details, check http://oxfordcomparativeliterature.com/discussion-group/

Comp Crit TT 2014 updated poster _ bis