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Writers on Campus – Writing Translation

La Trobe University Library

Event Date: 30 August 2023 12:30 PM to 30 August 2023 01:30 PM
Author / Presenters: Adjunct Professor Lilit Thwaites, Dr Nataša Kampmark and Dr Brigid Maher
Event Organiser: La Trobe University Library

Join us for Writing Translation, the next in our Writers on Campus series of conversations, panels and events celebrating writers at La Trobe University. Just imagine the world with only the original language version of texts and stories we hold close to our hearts or use in our research. Many of us wouldn’t be able to read fairytales and children’s stories we grew up with from the Grimm Brothers or Hans Christian Andersen, or the songs and stories of First Nations peoples, or the Bible or the Quran. Very few people can read the works of people like Confucius, Homer, Dante, Cervantes, Kafka, Mann, Dostoevsky, Proust, Camus, Ibsen, Brecht, Strindberg, Singer, Kazantzakis, Saramago, Pamuk, García Márquez, Lorca, and a host of philosophers, historians, mathematicians, scientists, educators and artists, without translations into “our” language. We might not be able to relax with a thriller by Stieg Larsson or read TinTin to the kids. Nor would the works of Australians writing in English or Indigenous languages be able to be sold and read in many overseas markets. Luckily, we do have translations and translators, thanks to whom we can access myriad works written in “other/foreign” languages – sometimes without our even realizing it has been translated. And at La Trobe, we have many translators working on everything from crime fiction to memoir, science fiction to poetry, to academic articles, and across a wide range of languages. So what is literary translation? What’s the process, and how do you go about it? Why does translation of literature matter—and to whom? In the next session of Writers on Campus, we ask the experts: Lilit Thwaites, Nataša Kampmark, and Brigid Maher. Brigid Maher has translated several works of contemporary Italian literary fiction into English, including a prison memoir/novel, a thriller and an historical novel. As Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at La Trobe University, she also frequently has the opportunity to nurture students’ translation skills through her teaching and postgraduate supervision. Her most recent translations are Massimo Donati’s The Mountain (Text, 2020) and Bianca Pitzorno’s The Seamstress of Sardinia (Text/HarperCollins, 2022). She also publishes research in the field of literary translation studies and on the use of translation in language teaching. Lilit Žekulin Thwaites is an award-winning Australian literary translator, and an Adjunct Professor in contemporary Spanish literature at La Trobe. Her book-length translations include The Prince of the Skies (Antonio Iturbe, 2021), the bestselling The Librarian of Auschwitz (Antonio Iturbe, 2017, & the graphic novel version, 2019), Australian Connection (multiple authors, 2019), and two futuristic novels by Rosa Montero, Tears in Rain (Rosa Montero, 2012), and its sequel, Weight of the Heart. (2016). Translations of short stories, essays and the occasional poem have been published in various journals and anthologies. In 2016, she was awarded the Spanish Order of Civil Merit for her promotion of Spanish culture in Australia., and in 2020, was recognised by the Association of Iberian and Latin Studies of Australasia [AILASA] with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Iberian Studies. She is currently the President of AALITRA (Australian Association for Literary Translation). https://scholars.latrobe.edu.au/lmthwaites; https://zhuktranslations.com/ Nataša Kampmark is an educator, producer and translator. She lectures at La Trobe, produces radio content in language for SBS Serbian and regularly translates literary and non-literary texts from English into Serbian. Her book-length literary translations include: Priče iz bezvremene zemlje [Tales from the Timeless Land] (Agora, 2012), Gertrude Stein's collection of poems Meka dugmad [Tender Buttons] (Polja, 2021), Behrouz Boochani's memoir Nema prijatelja osim planina [No Friend but the Mountains] (Partizanska knjiga, 2021). Her translations of short stories and poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies. She has also translated several books of non-fiction and numerous pieces of critical theory. She has taught literary translation, led workshops and projects involving multilingual classes of students, and developed and delivered a series of webinars "Text Analysis for Translation" for Professionals Australia. Her latest translation of Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness is due to appear this year. She is currently editing an issue of literary magazine Polja, celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Patrick White winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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