Location: Institute of Public Knowledge, 20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
Is there such a thing as “untranslatables”? What mental and cultural gymnastics must be performed to translate works of fiction or philosophy from one language to another, or to adapt a comic book for screen?
Join us for a panel discussion with Barbara Cassin (philosopher, former member of the Collège International de Philosophie, CNRS research director), David Bellos (translator, Professor of French and Italian and Comparative Literature, Princeton University), Simon Critchley (philosopher, Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research), and Antonin Baudry (Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the US, author of the graphic novel Weapons of Mass Diplomacy), moderated by Rebecca L. Walkowitz (associate professor and director of graduate studies in English at Rutgers University).
Co-sponsored with Public Books; Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU; Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Antonin Baudry ( Abel Lanzac) is the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States. In February 2013, under the pseudonym of Abel Lanzac, Baudry received the prize for best album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival with designer Christophe Blain. The award-wining Quai d’Orsay (Dargaud, 2010) was translated as Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, (SelfMadeHero, 2014). Its film adaptation Quai d’Orsay / The French Minister premiered in November 2013 and was nominated for a 2014 César award for best adaptation.
David Bellos taught at Edinburgh, Southampton and Manchester before coming to Princeton in 1997. He worked first in Nineteenth-Century Studies, then developed interests in modern and contemporary French writing, as the translator and biographer of Georges Perec. He has a joint appointment in French and Comparative Literature and is Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication. He has won the French-American Foundation’s translation prize (1988), the Prix Goncourt de la Biographie (1994) and the Man Booker International translator’s award (2005). He is also the author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear? The Amazing Adventure of Translation (2011), which has been translated into many languages.
Barbara Cassin is Research Director at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. A former program Director at the International College of Philosophy, she was also Director of its Scientific Council, member of its Management Board and since January 2011, she has ensured its presidency. Cassin is the author or editor of more than 20 works of philosophy. As editor of the Dictionary of Untranslatables, she has worked on establishing a map of European philosophical differences in languages and the difficulties in translating. In 2012, she received the Grand Prize of Philosophy of the Académie Française.
Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. His books include Very Little…Almost Nothing, Infinitely Demanding, The Book of Dead Philosophers, The Faith of the Faithless, The Mattering of Matter. Documents from the Archive of the International Necronautical Society (with Tom McCarthy) and Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine (with Jamieson Webter). An experimental new work, Memory Theatre, and a book called Bowie were published in September 2014. He is moderator of ‘The Stone’, a philosophy column in The New York Times, to which he is a frequent contributor.
Rebecca L. Walkowitz teaches in the English Department and Comparative Literature Program at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the translation and global circulation of contemporary fiction, and on transnational approaches to literary history. Her new book, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in the Age of World Literature, will be published by Columbia University Press in June 2015. She is also the author or editor of eight other books, including Cosmopolitan Style: Modernism beyond the Nation and, with Douglas Mao, Bad Modernisms.