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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Structuring Knowledges: Translating Structures/Structuring Translations - Roundtable discussion

7th June 2018, 16:30 to 18:00, Ritson Room, Department of Classics, 38 North Bailey, Durham University, Professor Todd Reeser (University of Pittsburgh)

Taking as a point of departure Pierre Bourdieu’s understanding of habitus as an attempt to bridge the gap between structure and agency, this strand argues that translation can productively be seen as a structure structured by such social phenomena as language and culture or as a structure structuring, i.e. influencing, their development. Expanding beyond the field of Translation and Interpretation as traditionally defined, the activities of this strand will thus explore how translation structures and is structured by its various engagements and applications. Such an exploration is timely, as the AHRC Translating Cultures funded theme recognizes, in an era of ever-increasing global connectivity, international crisis, and planetary precarity all of which necessitate new forms of intercultural exchange.

This strand aims to foster constructive dialogue between translators and interpreters, experts in translations studies, and scholars making use of translation in other fields. What can these different groups learn from each other about translation and its study that might alter or even transform disciplinary limitations? More broadly, what can we learn through comparative and interdisciplinary dialogue about how translation functions as a travelling concept, used in more or less metaphorical ways in a range of disciplines? Finally, given that we work in an academic climate in which interdisciplinarity and collaboration are both constantly being promoted, what might translation have to teach us about the opportunities and pitfalls of collective work requiring mediation across disciplinary boundaries both within and beyond the academy?

Translating Structure/Structuring Translation is organized by Marc Schachter (MLAC, French), Sergey Tyulenev (MLAC, Translation Studies) and Binghan Zheng (MLAC, Translation Studies) and co-sponsored by the IAS, the Translation Repositioned stream of the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative, and Durham’s Centre for Intercultural Mediation. The strand will host three speakers, one in each term.

Next Event in the Programme

Roundtable Discussion of Professor Todd Reeser’s Setting Plato Straight: Translating Ancient Sexuality in the Renaissance chaired by Dr Anthony Hooper (Classics) with remarks by Professor Reeser and responses from Professor Jennifer Ingleheart (Classics), Dr Andrea Capra (Classics) and Dr Marc Schachter (MLAC).

Thursday, June 7th from 16:30-18:00 in the Ritson Room, Department of Classics, 38 North Bailey

About Todd Reeser
Todd Reeser is Professor of French and
Program Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. In Setting Plato Straight, Professor Reeser undertakes the first sustained and comprehensive study of Renaissance textual responses to Platonic same-sex sexuality. Reeser mines an expansive collection of translations, commentaries, and literary sources to study how Renaissance translators transformed ancient eros into non-erotic, non-homosexual relations. He analyzes the interpretive lenses translators employed and the ways in which they read and reread Plato’s texts. In spite of this cleansing, Reeser finds surviving traces of Platonic same-sex sexuality that imply a complicated, recurring process of course-correction—of setting Plato straight.

Professor Reeser’s visit is sponsored by the IAS, OWRI, and the CIM as well as MLAC and the Departments of History and Anthropology.

Professor Reeser will also present a talk entitled “Affect Theory and Masculinity Studies” on Friday, June 8th at 17:30 in Seminar Room 1, History Department, 43 North Bailey.

Contact for more information about this event.