Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation

Encounters: Writers and Translators in Conversation bring together writers and their translators in front of an audience, providing a unique opportunity to experience author and translator reading from the text and in conversation, and allowing a fascinating insight into the working relationship between the two as well as the practical and theoretical aspects of translation. Translation competitions and workshops are organised from time to time to complement the conversations. The events provide an opportunity to engage with texts in German and in English and can be enjoyed by an audience with little or no knowledge of German as well as those competent in both languages.  

Encounters are held in London or Nottingham, are open to all wishing to attend and are usually free of charge. The events are run by the Institute of Modern Languages Research (University of London School of Advanced Study) in conjunction with the University of Nottingham.

Organisers: Dr Heike Bartel (Department of German Studies, University of Nottingham); Dr Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR, London)

The Encounters series is sponsored by the Keith Spalding Trust (University of London, IMLR)

Next Encounters

Kerstin Hensel and Jen Calleja
Thursday, 22 February 2018, at 18:00 - POSTPONED to Wednesday, 23 May 2018
at the University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

This Encounter focuses on Kerstin Hensel’s narration Tanz am Kanal (1997) and Jen Calleja’s translation, published earlier this year as Dance by the Canal with Peirene Press. Dance by the Canal tells the story of a woman who fails to find her place in society – neither in communist GDR nor in the capitalist West. Her refusal to conform to the patriarchal structures of both societies forces her into ever-increasing isolation.
Kerstin Hensel was born in 1961 in Karl-Marx Stadt in former East Germany and studied in Leipzig. She has published over 30 books: novels, short story collections, poetry and plays. She has won numerous prizes, including the Anna-Seghers prize as well as the Lessing prize for her entire body of work.
Jen Calleja is a literary translator from German into English, a writer, editor and musician. She was recently Translator-in-Residence at the British Library.
Further details and registration

Kerstin Hensel and Jen Calleja







Doerte Hansen and Anne Stokes - CANCELLED/To be rescheduled for 2018-19
Thursday, 21 June 2018, at 18:00
at the University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

This Encounter features author Dörte Hansen, whose novel Altes Land (2015) quickly became a favourite of the German reading public, and translator Anne Stokes. Stokes’ translation of the novel was published by St. Martin’s Press under the title This House Is Mine (2016) and has been long-listed for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award. The novel tells the story of a beautiful old farm building in the north of Germany, focusing on the women of several generations, who found refuge in the house and made it their home.
Dörte Hansen was born in 1964 in Husum and studied linguistics at the Universities of Kiel and Galway. She wrote her dissertation on multilingualism and language contacts at the University of Hamburg and then worked as a writer and editor for radio and the press. Her first novel, Altes Land, published in 2015, has been translated into ten languages. Her second book will appear later this year.
Anne Stokes holds a PhD degree in German literature from Ohio State University and a PhD in English literature (creative writing and literary translation) from the University of Glasgow. She directs the Translation Studies programmes at the University of Stirling, and translates literary and academic texts from the German, including work by Sarah Kirsch (Ice Roses: Selected Poems [2014]), Monika Rinck, and Else Lasker-Schüler. Her translation of Altes Land (This House is Mine) was nominated for the ATA’s 2017 Ungar German Translation Prize.

Further details and registration

Julya Rabinowich and Tess Lewis
Tuesday, 18 September 2018, at 19:00
at the Austrian Cultural Forum, 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7

Julya Rabinowich is one of the most prominent writers living and working in Austria today. Born in St. Petersburg, she moved to Vienna in 1977. Her work responds to the European refugee experience, but also engages intensively with the Austrian cultural heritage of the fin de siècle and beyond. She writes weekly columns addressing current issues for the Austrian newspaper Der Standard.
Tess Lewis has translated numerous books from the German and French, including Austrian authors Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Doron Rabinovici, and Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion, for which she won the 2017 PEN Translation Prize.  Works by Julya Rabinowich she has translated include her debut novel Spaltkopf [Splithead] for Portobello Books in 2011 and an excerpt from her 2012 novel Die Erdfresserin [The Earth Eater].

This event is sponsored by the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature and Culture

Further details and registration

Julya Rabinowich and Tess Lewis