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Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing

May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am - May 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm

Keynote speakers: Anna-Louise Milne (University of London Institute in Paris), Rebecca L. Walkowitz (Rutgers University)

A Reading and Discussion with Katja Petrowskaja (Vielleicht Esther) and translator Shelley Frisch of the English translation, Maybe Esther, is scheduled as part of the conference on 30 May under the series Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation.

This conference is organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in collaboration with the AHRC Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’. It follows on from an exploratory workshop that was held at the IMLR in March 2018, ‘A New Language – a New Life? Translingual literature by contemporary women writers’. It brings together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in a range of language fields in order to explore the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues.

In the current era of mass migration and transnational movement, analysis of translingualism as the mode of expression of this movement is an important area of inquiry. Where static concepts of belonging are questioned and increasingly replaced by hybrid identities and affiliations, and by fluid attachments, changing with time, the power of translingual language use and its analysis can become a means to re-imagine the identitarian force of language. Translingualism can bring to the fore new subjectivities and new forms of community (Kellman, 2000; Yildiz, 2012). Considered in conjunction with questions of gender and power, translingual writing can also reveal powerful ways of conceptualizing emancipatory feminine writing. Beyond concerns of identity formation, translingual language use opens up new ways of thinking, deconstructing established modes of expression through associative cross-language connections. In so transcending the binaries of language use it is apt to reveal new forms of literary writing.

Dr Anna-Louise Milne is an author, an academic, and founder of The Paris Centre for Migrant Writing and Expression (ULIP). Professor Rebecca L. Walkowitz teaches English and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Her recent monograph, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature (2015), has been highly influential in re-thinking literary history as a series of transnational and translingual convergences and divergences.

Registration includes attendance at the Encounters reading/discussion with Katja Petrowskaja and Shelley Frisch, lunch and a drinks reception on the first day, and refreshments throughout.


Standard rate: £30
Concession rate (conference speakers/students/unwaged): £15 

This event is organised Centre for Contemporary Women’s Writing, the Institute of Modern Languages Research and the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community, Translingual Strand.


May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am
May 31, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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