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Lectures and Conferences



October 30: "African Americans and Comic Art"

with William H. Foster III, professor emeritus of English and Communications at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Waterbury, Connecticut.


October 10: "Translator/Author Discussion"

with Iraqi author Shahad al-Rawi, author of the The Baghdad Clock, shortlisted for the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), and her translator, Dr. Luke Leafgren, winner of the 2018 Banipal Prize for translation. 


October 3: "An Evening of Poetry in Translation Reading Followed by a Conversation with Author/Translator"

with the translingual poet, essayist, and translator of Polish poetry, Piotr Florczyk.    


April 19: "A Conversation on Writing and Translation"

with acclaimed Moroccan novelist Abdellah Taia and translator Emma Ramadan


April 10: "Re-examining Impartiality and Role Boundaries for Healthcare Interpreters"

Elena Langdon Fortier, adjunct faculty in the Online Certificate in Professional Translation and Interpreting at UMass Amherst

Elena Langdom Fortier spoke about the evolving role of healthcare interpreters and their application of standards of practice in the field. 


March 27: "Interpreted Interviews with Traumatized Children"

Lisa Aronson Fontes, Senior Lecturer at UMass Amherst University Without Walls

Lisa Aronson Fontes spoke about the role of interpreters in interviewing children victims of traumatic events.


February 28: "Medical Interpreting: Gaps and Opportunities for Collaborations"

Tim Moriarty, Manager of Interpreter & Translation Services at Bay State Health

Tim Moriarty discussed the work, skills, demands, and in-house training of healthcareinterpreters and opportunities of collaborations between real-world needs for language mediation and academic institutions offering interpreter education.



Nov. 2 : “Poltical Translation: How Social Movement Democracies Survive"

Nicole Doeer, Professor, University of Copenhagen

Professor Doeer's considers "political translation" as a framework to address misunderstandings regarding race, gender, class, and linguistic  differences in multicultural societies.

Sept. 25 : "When Words Fail: Expanding the Borders of Translation"

Moira Inghilleri, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Inghilleri's paper argued for an expansion of the horizon of translation and interpreting to wider forms of symbolic expression, includig the visual arts,  to allow language in all its forms to serve as a better tool to capture complex meanings, particularly in contexts where some form of trauma has occurred. 

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