The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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What's Happening


The Comp Lit Department sponsors lectures and lecture series.


March 8

"Creative Resistance against the Border-Industrial Complex: Translating and Representing Narratives from Australian Immigration Detention" 

Omid Tofighian, the University of Sydney

April 3

"Languages of Comparison/Comparative Accents" 

Akshya Saxena, Vanderbilt University

2021-2022 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Race speaker series

March 3

"Fictions of Consent: Slavery, Servitude, and Free Service in Early Modern England" 

Urvashi Chakravarty  University of Toronto

April 20

"In Defense of Blackness: Patterns of Argumentation in Al-Jahiz’ Fakhr Al-Sudan-Ala-Al-Baydan"

Touria Khannous Louisiana State University


Oct. 18

"Writing an Asian and Latinx America in the Age of Neoliberal Migration"

Long Le-Khac Loyola University Chicago

Nov. 15

"Plant Life: Notes on the End of the World"

Stefanie K. Dunning Miami University


April 13 – 6pm US EST (Webinar)                  

"Looking Back, Looking Forward: Reflections on Approaches & Trends in Dialogue Interpreting Research"  

Rachel Herring, Century College

March 24 12pm US EST (Webinar)             

"Borderless People Reflecting on Borders: Interpreters from the Asylum-Seeking Community Review their Professional and Personal Boundaries"  

Michal Schuster, Bar Ilan University

February 5 12pm US EST (Webinar)              

"Training Prisoners to Become Interpreters in Spain?"

Prof. Carmen Valero Garcés, University of Alcalá, Madrid


October 30 

"African Americans and Comic Art"

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

October 10 

"Translator/Author Discussion"

 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"

Translingual poet, essayist, and translator of Polish poetry, Piotr Florczyk.    

April 19 

"A Conversation on Writing and Translation"

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


March 27: "Interpreted Interviews with Traumatized Children"

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


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

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



November 2  “Poltical Translation: How Social Movement Democracies Survive"

Nicole Doeer, Professor, University of Copenhagen


September 25  "When Words Fail: Expanding the Borders of Translation"

Moira Inghilleri, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


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

Lisa Voigt, Professor of Spanish, Ohio State


March 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


February 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


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

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


March 29  “Style as a Cognitive Function”

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


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

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



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

Maya Hess, Forensic Linguist and Founder of Red T


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

Amy Vines, University of North Carolina Greensboro


April 23 "Legal Matters and Other Issues"

Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian, UMass Amherst


April 14  "The Perils of Polyglossia"

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


April 7  "Cover Letter Workshop"

Sebastian Schulman, Translation Project Coordinator, Yiddish Book Center


March 24 "Birth of a Writer: Josep Pla's The Gray Notebook"

Peter Bush


February 10 "Montreal's New Latinité: Spanish-French Connections in a Trilingual City"

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


April 17  "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


February 14 "Translating Old Myths for Contemporary Theater: Oedipus Rex through Hölderlin's Translations"

Kathrin Rosenfield, Universidade Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil


November 30 "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