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Current and Past Directors

Photo of Professor Regina Galasso, the director of the UMass Translation Center

Regina Galasso, PhD

Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program

Director of the Translation Center

Regina Galasso (B.A. Rutgers University; M.A. Middlebury College; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University) is Associate Professor in the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Program and Director of the Translation Center of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her award-winning scholarly work highlights the role of translation in literary histories and contemporary culture. She creates and supports ways to promote translation education to encourage greater understanding of this needed service and intellectual activity. Her research and teaching interests include 20th- and 21st-century Iberian Literatures, literature of the city, and translation. She is the author of Translating New York: The City’s Languages in Iberian Literatures (Liverpool UP, 2018), recipient of the 2017 Northeast Modern Language Association Book Award. She is the editor of the forthcoming This Is a Classic: Translators on Making Writers Global (Bloomsbury, 2023). She is the co-editor of two edited volumes: Avenues of Translation: The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing (Bucknell UP, 2019), recipient of the 2020 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Book Award, with Evelyn Scaramella, and a special Nueva York issue of Translation Review 81 (2012) with Carmen Boullosa. She is the translator of Alicia Borinsky’s Lost Cities Go to Paradise (Swan Isle P, 2015) and Miguel Barnet’s A True Story: A Cuban in New York (Jorge Pinto Books, 2010). Since 2018, Dr. Galasso has worked with public schools throughout Massachusetts to provide educational and professional development opportunities to interpreters and translators who work in K-12 schools. During 2018-2019, she was appointed by the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on the School Interpreters Task Force and continues to partner with DESE to improve language access initiatives in Massachusetts schools. With her students, she curated the 2022 exhibition “Read the World: Picture Books and Translation” for the Reading Library at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. She was a Spanish teacher at the César Chávez Public Charter Schools for Public Policy and an interpreter during the Kennedy Center’s AmericArtes Festival in Washington, DC. Before joining the faculty at UMass Amherst, she was a professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York.

Barbara Zecchi, PhD

Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Director of Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies

Barbara Zecchi received her PhD from the University of California Los Angeles in 1998. After teaching at different universities in Spain (University Carlos III of Madrid, University of Valencia, University of Cádiz) and in the United States (Saint Mary's College of California, California State University and the Johns Hopkins University) she joined the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2005 and was promoted to full professor in 2015. She has authored and edited several books including La pantalla sexuada (Cátedra, 2014), Desenfocadas: Cineastas españolas y discursos de género (Icaria, 2014), Gynocine (U of Zaragoza, 2013), and Teoría y práctica de la adaptación fiímica (Compultense, 2011), among others. She directed the Translation Center from 2014 to 2017. In 2016, she assumed the co-direction of the Digital Humanities Initiative Program. She became Director of Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies in 2017.

Photo of Professor Barbara Zecchi

Edwin Gentzler, PhD

Emeritus Professor of Comparative Literature

Edwin Gentzler served over twenty years (1994-2015) as Director of the Translation Center, building it from a small community translation service to a thriving national center, with over half a million dollars of paid projects annually. The profits from the Center are reinvested into the university to support faculty, students, and university activities related to translation, interpreting, language, and cross-cultural understanding. The synergy among translation practice, teaching, and theory has served as a model for programs around the world. It also shows the contribution language and literature students can make to the economic well-being of the region.

Professor Gentzler is primarily known for his works in translation theory. His most recent book, Translation and Rewriting in the Age of Post-Translation Studies (Routledge, 2017), looks at the afterlife of translations and their influence on other works of literature, art, and the media. Translation and Identity in the Americas (Routledge, 2008) suggests that translation is deeply involved in social and individual identity formation. Contemporary Translation Theories (Routledge, 1993; Multilingual Matters, 2001) offers a multi-theoretical approach and has been translated into Italian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, and Greek. Further, Gentzler is the co-editor (with Maria Tymoczko) of Translation and Power (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002), which shows how translation is connected with institutions of power, such as publishing firms, universities, and government agencies.

Professor Gentzler’s contributions to the field are many, including his work co-founding the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association (ATISA), the discipline’s national organization. Indeed, the first meeting of ATISA (originally named ATSA), was held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2004, with over 100 scholars from the United States, Mexico, and Canada attending. He served on the executive committee for the Nida Institute in New York and taught at the Nida Summer School in Italy. Nida focuses on translation of the Bible; a book that has been translated into more languages than any other, and whose translators are well-known for their cultural approach. Further, Gentzler served as co-editor (with Susan Bassnett) of the Topics in Translation Series for Multilingual Matters, editing over twenty volumes, including works on translation in “lesser-known” languages. Gentzler continues to serve on editorial boards of translation journals worldwide, such as Perspectives (Spain), translation (Italy), Journal of Chinese Translation Studies (China), Cadernos de Tradução (Brazil), and Across (Hungary), as well as local journals, such as the Massachusetts Review (University of Massachusetts) and Metamorphoses (Smith College).

Professor Gentzler’s teaching has focused on translation theory, and he has developed courses in contemporary translation theory, post-colonial studies, fiction and translation, and translation in the Americas, which he taught both in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts and for the Crossroads in the Studies of the Americas (CISA), a Five-College Program. He has taught many practical courses, too, including the translation workshop, medical translation, and several courses on translation technology. The medical translation course, offered first in the classroom, later via video-conferencing, and most recently online, is one of the most successful in the country. Gentzler has been nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series as well as for Distinguished Teaching Awards, and has received the Export Achievement Award from the Pioneer Valley Trade Council.

Read Professor Gentzler's letter to the Translation Center from March 2018

Photo of Professor Edwin Gentzler