A New Language - a New Life? Translingual literature by contemporary women writers

A New Language - a New Life? Translingual literature by contemporary women writers
1 March 2018, 2.00pm - 6.00pm
Gordon Room, G34, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


This symposium will bring together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in the language fields of Italian, French and German. We will explore the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues. Among the questions we will explore are the following:

  • Is translingual writing perceived by the authors in question as a liberation and a new beginning, or as a requirement demanded by the literary market?
  • How does the particular attention to language required in translingual writing affect the text?
  • What are the distinctive literary and linguistic strategies employed in translingual writing?
  • Does writing in a foreign tongue go hand in hand with establishing a new identity?
  • What can translingual writing achieve that goes beyond the possibilities of texts produced by mother-tongue writers?

The symposium is conceived as a springboard for a larger international conference on women’s translingual writing, which is being planned for 2019. It is part of the AHRC-funded Open World Research Initiative project Cross-Language Dynamics - Reshaping Community, generously supported by the Cassal Trust Fund and co-organised with the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW).


14:00 Welcome
14:10 Anne Fleig (FU Berlin): New Language and Female Voice – Heteroglossia in the Writings of Emine Sevgi Özdamar and Yoko Tawada;
Mary Gallagher (University College Dublin): Nancy Huston on Othering the Mother-Tongue
Maria Cristina Seccia (Hull): Translingualism as Reparation in Shirin Ramzanali Fazel’s Nuvole sull’Equatore
15:30  Tea / Coffee
16:00  Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR, London): Translingual Creativity and Belonging in Katja Petrowskaja’s Vielleicht Esther (2014)
Anna-Louise Milne (University of London Institute in Paris): Plural Subjectivities, or ‘Writing With’

Programme and Abstracts - please note this is an updated programme due to travel issues caused by adverse weather.

This event is supported by the Cassal Trust Fund and the Open World Research Initiative Cross-Language Dynamics translingual strand. You can find out more about the project by visiting our website or following us on Twitter.

All are welcome to attend this free event. Places are limited so please book in advance.



Jo Bradley
020 7862 8732