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Lectures and Conferences

Lectures and Conferences





Previous Lectures


Apr. 5 :  “From Spectatorship to Sponsorship: Female Participation in the Festivals of Colonial Potosi”

Lisa Voigt, Professor of Spanish, Ohio State

Voigt's paper focuses on how women of both indigenous and European descent observed and participated in public festivities in the colonial silver mining boomtown of Potosi, in the Spanish viceroyalty of Peru. Through an analysis of visual and textual sources representing women, it highlights their agency as well as the limits placed on it, as seeks to contribute to a more nuanced view of the political instrumentality of festivals.

Mar. 1 :  “Compound Discomfort, Episodic Puzzlement: Diego de Ocana (ca. 1570-1608) in Early Modern Spanish World”

Kenneth Mills, Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Kenneth Mills drew from a book of writing he is writing about the transatlantic journey of a Castilian Hieronymite alms-gatherer and image-maker Diego de Cana. He will forcus upon Ocana's fragmentarily reported and partly invented episodes, with particular attention to the portrayal of culturally composite people, places and phenomena.

Feb. 15 :  “Talk to God and Write it Down: Visionary Translation in the Late Middle Ages”

Barbara Zimbalist, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas El-Paso


Sep. 28 :  “Translating God(s): Intertextuality between Missionary and Maya Literature in Colonial Guatemala”

Garry Sparks, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University

Early sixteenth-century Spanish Dominicans developed an alphabet to write the Mayan languages, but also adopted elements of Maya myths to convey Christian theology. And within only a few decades, the last pre-contact generation of Maya leaders began to write their own documents with the mendicants' orthography. Focusing on names for Christian and Maya god(s), intertextual analysis between the Dominican Theologia Indorum (Theology for the Indians) and the K'iche' Popul Wuj (Book of the Council) allows for a tracing of histories of transmission and reception during the period of the first encounters.

March 29 :  “Style as a Cognitive Function”

Michael Shapiro, Professor Emeritus of Slavic and Semiotic Studies at Brown University

Shapiro will presaent the case for viewing style, a phenomenon that cuts acrsoss disciplinary boundaries, as a fundamentally cognitive category, a trope of meaning. He will argue that such a tropological analysis should be reconceived in terms of the theory of signs (the semiotic), specifically that of its modern founder, Charles Sanders Peirce. 

March 16 :  “From Shoah to Son of Saul: and Intergenerational Dialogue”

Catherine Portugues, Professor of Comparative Literature and Film at University of Massachusetts Amherst

The lecture will be at Stanford University comparing Claude Lanzmann's documentary Shoah and Laszlo Nemes's Son of Saul to show how transgenerational cinema reckons with the traumas of history. Her visit is sponsored by the Stanford University Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Film & Media Studies, and the Taude Center for Jewish Studies. 


April 25 :  “Red T. Protecting Translators and Interpreters in High-Risk Settings”

Maya Hess, Forensic Linguist and Founder of Red T

Red T was established in 2010 to advocate for the protection of translators and intepreters working in conflict zones and other high-risk settings.  The lecture discussed various ways scholars can work together to change the way linguists are perceived by those who employ them and by the wider public.  Given the UMass interest in issues of power and translation, many ideas were generated. 

Nov. 7 :  “Fabricated Shame: The Loss of Honor as Productive in Medieval Romance”

Amy Vines, University of North Carolina Greensboro


April 23, 2014 ( 3.30pm, Herter 212 ) : "Legal Matters and Other Issues"

Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian, UMass Amherst

April 14, 2014 ( 3.30pm, Herter 301 ):  "The Perils of Polyglossia"

Esther Allen (, Baruch College of The City University of New York

April 7, 2014 ( 5.00pm, Herter 212 ): "Cover Letter Workshop"

Sebastian Schulman, Translation Project Coordinator, Yiddish Book Center

March 24, 2014 ( 5.00pm, Herter 301 ): "Birth of a Writer: Josep Pla's The Gray Notebook"

Peter Bush

February 10, 2014 ( 4.30pm, Herter 301 ): "Montreal's New Latinité: Spanish-French Connections in a Trilingual City"

Hugh Hazelton, Professor Emeritus, Concordia University / Program Director, The Banff Centre


April 17, 2013: "Vicente Rocafuerte (1783-1847): Translator and Revolutionary"

Charles Hatfield, University of Texas at Dallas

March 11, 2013: "Where are you from? The Poetics of Elsewhere"

Alicia Borinsky, Boston University

Feb. 14, 2013: "Translating Old Myths for Contemporary Theater: Oedipus Rex through Hölderlin's Translations"

Kathrin Rosenfield, Universidade Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


November 30, 2011: "Sergio Chejfec's My Two Worlds and the 'Delirious Branching Effects' of Translation"

Margaret B. Carson, Borough of Manhattan Community College of The City University of New York


Luz María de la Torre Amarguaña lecture "The Indigenous Movement in Ecuador" organized by Comparative Literature graduate student Esther Cuesta in partnership with the Smith College Department of Spanish and Portuguese


Prof. Myriam Watthee-Delmotte, Université catholique de Louvain (1 lecture)
OGSCL New Faculty Lecture Series


Prof. Chantal Zabus, Universities of Paris (1 lecture)
Dr. Nawal El Saadawi, Cairo (1 lecture)
Prof. Jean Perrot, Universities of Paris (3 lectures)
Prof. Jeremy Yudkin, Boston University (1 lecture)
American Translation Studies Association international conference


Prof. Chantal Zabus, Universities of Paris (6 lectures)


Texte, Image, Imaginaire/ Imaginary, Image Word: International Conference


OGSCL Lecture Series "Dialogues in Cultural Studies." Faculty from related departments.


Prof. Jacques Carion, Université catholique de Louvain (1 lecture)
Prof. Veronique Plesch, Colby College (1 lecture)
Prof. Vitaly Chernetsky, Columbia University (1 lecture)
Prof. Myriam Watthee-Delmotte, Université catholique de Louvain (1 lecture)


Prof. Jean-Louis Tilleuil, Université catholique de Louvain, (6 lectures)
Prof. Bernd Dolle-Weinkauff, University of Frankfurt (6 lectures)
Prof. Lin Kenan (2 lectures)
Prof. Maria Nikolajeva, Stockholm University, lecture (1 lecture)


Prof. Lin Kenan, People's Republic of China (2 lectures)
Prof. Rui Yang, Dickinson College, lecture (1 lecture)