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Translation Studies Hub: Profs. Aria Fani on the Allure of Untranslatability and Hamza Zafer on Translating Quranic Narrative
Translation Studies Hub: Profs. Aria Fani on the Allure of Untranslatability and Hamza Zafer on Translating Quranic Narrative
WhenThursday, Feb. 13, 2020, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus roomCMU 202
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsSimpson Center for the Humanities
Target Audiencefaculty, students, community
Facebookwww.facebook.com…
Twitter@uw_translation, #UWtranslators
Description

In the first part of this talk, Prof. Aria Fani (assistant professor of Persian and Iranian Studies) will do a presentation on the idea of untranslatability, which has been used as a normative framework for the discussion and analysis of linguistic and cultural difference. Whether done in the name of cultural recognition or cultural chauvinism, he argues that the rubric of untranslatability places too many restrictions on our understanding of linguistic and cultural difference. In fact, untranslatability is best viewed as a remnant of romantic nationalism and its monolingual ethos. This presentation will engage the work of a prominent Persian-language scholar in conversation with theorists of untranslatability in comparative and world literature today.

In the second part of this talk, Prof. Hamza Zafer (assistant professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies) will do a presentation on the challenges and strategies of translating Quranic narrative as the citational, non-linear style of Quranic narrative poses a unique set of challenges to the conscientious translator. The presentation will focus on translating “The Surah of Noah” (Q. 71), the Quran's highly stylized retelling of the Noah story from the Book of Genesis. Most translations of this Surah attempt to coordinate the Quran's idiosyncratic telling with its Biblical Vorlage. In so doing, they inadvertently frame Quranic narratives as disjointed or confused Arabian "translations" of pristine Biblical "originals". The presentation will explore translation strategies that preserve the interpretive agency of Quranic narrative and highlight the rhetorical force of Quranic narrative through the use of sound and structure.

You can RSVP here.

Light snacks will be provided, feel free to bring your lunch.

Questions? Email Jesús Hidalgo: jhidalgo@uw.edu

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