OCCT MT2021 Week 1 Updates

Next week, we meet for our first Discussion Group session of the term. On Monday 18 October, at 12:45pm - 2pm in Seminar Room 10 at St Anne’s College, as part of a joint event with the OCCT Review, we will host one of the journal’s contributors, Denis Topalović (Oxford), who will discuss his review of Modernism in Trieste: The Habsburg Mediterranean and the Literary Invention of Europe by Salvatore Pappalardo. All are welcome!

On Saturday 9 October, Jaime McKendrick's exhibition, The Years and After, opened at St Anne's College's Mary Ogilvie Gallery. Featuring the illustrations to the poetry pamphlet The Years as well as other recent art work, this exhibition remains open until October 22. Please come and visit!

On Monday 11 October, the first seminar of the APGRD Research Seminar 2021 took place on Zoom. Co-organised with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), and the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA), and with the support of the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation research centre (OCCT), this event featured Emily Greenwood (Princeton) and María del Pilar Blanco (Oxford), who discussed 'Disciplinarity'.

And, finally, a big thank you to everyone who attended our Welcome Drinks on Wednesday 13 October. It was lovely to see so many new faces, and to have an opportunity to meet each other in person.

For more information about all of our events, please see our events page.




1. CfP: Cultural Memory of Past Dictatorships

 Cultural Memory of Past Dictatorships:  Narratives of Implication in a Global Perspective

Symposium Date: 20 May, 2022

Mode of Delivery: Online

Host Institution: University College Cork, Ireland

Deadline for Submitting abstracts: 17 December, 2021


Keynote Speakers will include: 

Professor Jie-Hyun Lim (Critical Global Studies Institute, Sogang University)

Professor Juliane Prade-Weiss (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Professor Michael Lazzara (University of California, Davis)


Democratic societies around the world are haunted by the memory of their dictatorial past. While the legacy of past dictatorships has long been a point of concern of academic disciplines such History, Sociology, and Heritage Studies, in the last decades, it has become a key issue for scholars of literature, cinema, and visual arts, too. This is a much welcome trend of the scholarship of Memory Studies, not only because writers, film-makers, and visual artists can heavily affect how the democratic present imagines and understands the dictatorial past, but also because they allow us to think about it in particularly complex and productive ways.

Recent development of memory theory confirms the importance of cultural production. Going beyond a schematic victim-perpetrator dichotomy that tended to characterise national and public discourses across the world, today’s scholarship of Memory Studies points towards the importance of mapping the grey zone that exists between victims and perpetrators, recognising the varied ways in which ordinary people can be entangled with past, present, and structural injustices and how they can be implicated in their perpetuation. Cultural products seem particularly apt to think about the past along these lines since novels, films, graphic-novels, tv-series, and works of art enable us to see the diverse subject-positions that individuals can have vis-à-vis past injustices, including those that fall beyond the purview of the law. By doing so, cultural products can offer extremely powerful platforms to reflect on the dictatorial past in all its complexities.

This Symposium brings together scholars working on the representation of past dictatorships through the study of cultural products. Adopting Michael Rothberg’s concept of implication as a common thread, the Symposium aims to investigate the ways in which cultural products engage with the ethical dilemmas of complicity, guilt, and responsibility that dictatorships create. In representing past dictatorships, how do cultural products construct and problematise the notions of victim, perpetrator, beneficiary, bystander, collaborator, and implicated subject? How can cultural products help us think about the ways ordinary citizens are involved in dictatorial regimes? What are the benefits and limitations of using aesthetically refined works to pose ethical questions about the past? By approaching these issues in a global, comparative, and transnational perspective, the Symposium also aims to explore the tensions between local and global circulation of narratives of implication assessing which visual and narrative tropes and templates are used to appeal to both global and local audiences.

We welcome papers that touch upon the legacy of any past dictatorships in Africa, Americas, Asia, and Europe (widely conceived, including both Eastern and Western countries as well as the Balkans) through the study of any forms of cultural products. If interested, please send a 300-word abstract and short bio blurb to both organisers by 17 December, 2021:

Organisers: Dr Guido Bartolini  (gbartolini@ucc.ie

                      Dr Diana Popa  (popa@tlu.ee)


The Symposium seeks to explore the following, non-exhaustive, list of topics:

— The involvement of ordinary people in the crimes of dictatorships.

— Position-taking through cultural depictions (e.g., victims, perpetrators, beneficiaries, bystanders, collaborators, and implicated subjects).

— Narratives of guilt and responsibility for past dictatorships.

— Failures to construct a sense of implication through redemptive narratives and self-absolving tropes.

— Diachronic implication in and trans-generational responsibility for the dictatorial past.

— The relationship between the Ethics and the Aesthetics in the representation of past dictatorships.

— The limits and dangers of narratives of implication.

— Tensions between the local and global in narratives of implication (either at production and reception level of the artwork or at the textual level) 

— The relationship between transnational memory practices and national, local or regional debates provoked by narratives of implication.


You will be notified whether your proposal has been accepted in February 2022.


2. Event: Women, Memory & Transmission Postcolonial Perspectives from the Arts and Literature



Monday 18 October, 2021, 9am - 6pm (BST)

Maison Française d’Oxford, 2 - 10, Norham Rd, Oxford, OX2 6SE 


Convened by Justine Feyereisen and Elisa Moris Vai

Keynote Speaker: Deborah Willis (New York University - Tisch School of the Arts)

With the artists Heather Agyepong, Mohini Chandra, Kama La Mackerel, Ingrid Pollard, Erika Tan and Jasmine Togo-Brisby

And the scholars Deniz Gundogan Ibrisim, Emma Parker, Jenni Ramone, Alan Rice, Amanda Tavares and Antonia Wimbush


Watch live here: https://youtu.be/mMpaezMGlO8

A limited audience will also be invited to attend. Registration via Eventbrite

More information about the programme here

In collaboration with Photo Oxford Festival 2021, hosted by the Maison Française d’Oxford, and supported by the Humanities Cultural Programme, the international and interdisciplinary Conference “Women, Memory & Transmission: Postcolonial Perspectives from the Arts and Literature” will explore what it means for women to transmit memories in postcolonial contexts. What strategies do women develop to tackle postcolonial issues? What are the issues to address and the struggles to lead to be heard and valued as tellers of History? What ethical and political issues does the reception of their works raise? The conference will bring together art-world figures and scholars in the fields of gender studies, memory studies, postcolonial studies, and Global South studies to adequately contribute to show how the Humanities can lead to a better awareness of the key social and political role of women in reinterpretation of colonial History as acts of resistance and empowerment.

The conference will coincide with a photographic exhibition by Elisa Moris Vai, showcased during the 2021 Festival at the Maison Française d’Oxford (15 Oct. – 15 Nov.). The French photographic artist Elisa Moris Vai will present her series Catherine, Kiambé, Surya. The exhibition shows her photographic response to three female characters in La Quarantaine (1995) and Révolutions (2003), set in Mauritius, by Nobel Prize J.M.G. Le Clézio. The images closely intertwine fiction and reality, literature, and photography, to better understand how the transmission of memory can be a tool of resistance and empowerment by women in postcolonial contexts.The exhibition is curated by Pelumi Odubanjo.


3. Event: Book Launch—Modernism and Theology

Please join us for an online seminar to mark the launch of Modernism and Theology – a new monograph by Dr Joanna Rzepa (University of Essex). The author will be in conversation with Professor Finn Fordham (Royal Holloway). 


The launch will take place as part of the King’s Comparative Literature research seminar series via MS Teams on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021, at 4.30pm BST. 

The event is free and open to all, please contact the organisers for details on how to join.

There is no need to pre-register.  

 Modernism and Theology: Rainer Maria Rilke, T. S. Eliot, Czesław Miłosz by Joanna Rzepa is the first book-length study to examine the interface between literary and theological modernisms. It offers a cultural history of the period, considering a broad range of literary and historical sources, including novels, drama, poetry, literary criticism, encyclicals, theological and philosophical treatises, periodical publications, and wartime propaganda. It provides a comprehensive account of literary responses to the modernist crisis in Christian theology from a transnational and interdenominational perspective. By engaging with a wide variety of authors and sources, the book recovers the forgotten theological dimension of the very concept of ‘modernism’. 


Prof. Finn Fordham is Professor of Twentieth Century Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written two monographs both for OUP – one on Finnegans Wake, the other on ‘genetic criticism’ and ideas of the self – and also edited collections of essays, and an edition of Finnegans Wake for Oxford World Classics. He is interested in the uses of the term ‘modernism’, and in interwar cultural politics when the idea of ‘cultural modernism’ was being invented.  He is currently writing a cultural history around the single day when World War Two was declared.

Dr Joanna Rzepa is Lecturer in Literature in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, at the University of Essex. Prior to joining Essex, she held posts at Trinity College Dublin, and the University of Warwick. Her research interests include modernism and twentieth-century literature, cultural and intellectual history, Holocaust writing, and literary translation. Her articles have appeared in Modernism/modernity, Comparative Critical Studies, and Translation Studies, and she is the winner of the Martha Cheung 2020 Award for Best English Article in Translation Studies by an Early Career Scholar. Her first book, Modernism and Theology, was published by Palgrave in 2021.  


4. Event: Cannibal Translation and Latin American Anthologies of World Literature

Cannibal Translation and Latin American Anthologies of World Literature



11 November, 2021

4pm - 5.30pm BST

Online seminar


Part of the Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translation in collaboration with Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

Co-convened with LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies)


Speaker: Isabel Gómez (University of Massachusetts Boston)

What could literary translation accomplish if practiced as a reciprocal, creative endeavour rather than a unidirectional, faithful homage to an original? The Latin American translation practices I illuminate in my forthcoming book Cannibal Translation (Northwestern University Press) reject normative, servile translation and instead develop techniques to question, reanimate, or improve on their source texts. Building on the Brazilian avant-garde notion of cannibalism as an indigenous practice of honourably incorporating the other into the self, Cannibal Translation animates an alternative ethics of translation norms within Latin American configurations of World Literature. In this talk, I focus on the Cannibal Translation techniques used in the World Literature anthologies of Brazilian poet Augusto de Campos and Mexican writer José Emilio Pacheco. Published in the 1980s, these two poet-translators collect a broad canon of World Literature while also calling into question that framework to explore and translate from fragmented incompleteness and a pose of non-mastery in which the translator is a loving amateur and source authors become a mask, a heteronym, a voice held in common and reactivated through their Latin American varieties of Spanish and Portuguese. Pacheco and De Campos’s anthologies never let readers forget the mediated perspective presented in any translation. Reading them comparatively, I find within each project a critical approach to World Literature that asks: what does it mean to acknowledge that, in translation, the source author becomes an invented heteronym in the target language? Pacheco and De Campos deploy Cannibal Translation techniques of approximation, porous prose, and untranslation to reimagine colonial relationships between languages, to emphasize the role translation plays in the incorporation of subaltern figures into the literary frame, and to play with abandoning and usurping authorship and authority.


Isabel Gómez is an Assistant Professor of Latin American & Iberian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Bosto,n where her research and teaching focus on Latin American literatures and translation studies. Recent publications can be found in Translation Review, the Journal of World Literature, Mutatis mutandis, and Hispanic Journal. Her first book, titled Cannibal Translation: Literary Reciprocity in Contemporary Latin America, forthcoming with the FlashPoints series published by Northwestern University Press, illuminates translation practices of twentieth-century Latin American authors as forms of creative destruction and homage. As a member of the Executive Council of the ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association), and President of the standing research committee on Translation Studies, she invites interested scholars to participate in the Summer 2022 ACLA and ICLA conferences, where she is organising seminars on “Translation and Reparation.”

This free event will be held online. Please note that you will need to register in advance to receive the online event joining link. To register for this seminar taking place on Thursday 11 November at 4pm BST (11am EST) go to: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/24989


5. CfP: Second World Congress of Translation Studies

 The French Society for Translation Studies (Société française de traductologie, SoFT), is organising the Second World Congress of Translation Studies, which whill be held online from September 5 - 9, 2022. The first day will be broadcast live from Sorbonne University.

 The aim of this major event is to review the translation, dissemination, and valorisation of scientific research in different fields of knowledge: natural sciences, formal sciences, artificial intelligence, human and social sciences. It will serve as a springboard to present, instigate or develop high impact social initiatives that aim at increasing the quantity and quality of translated research texts in the world, both written and oral, within diverse scientific disciplines, and in a great range of languages.

To find out more about this event, including how to submit proposals, please see https://www.cmt2022.org


6. Event: Translation and Transcultural Studies Seminars, University of Warwick

 As part of our Autumn Term programme of online research seminars in Translation and Transcultural Studies at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (University of Warwick), we are delighted to announce our forthcoming seminars.

The events take place on MS Teams. We would kindly ask you to register in advance by completing the short registration forms available below - you will be provided with the relevant link Teams invite on the day of the talk.


Wednesday, 27 October 2021, 10pm - 11pm BST

Dr Zhongli Yu (University of Nottingham Ningbo China): ‘From Western Feminism to Chinese Feminism: A Translational and Historical Perspective’ 

registration form closes on Tuesday, 26 October at midnight BST

Wednesday, 17 November, 2021, 4pm - 5pm BST

Dr Fruela Fernández (University of the Balearic Islands): 'Recognition vs Redistribution? Testing Political Debates Through Translation Flows'

registration form closes on Tuesday, 16 November at midnight BST

Full details are also available in this poster for publicity available here.

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