Bilingual Life Writing by Contemporary Women Writers

Bilingual Life Writing by Contemporary Women Writers
30 November 2018, 11.00am - 6.00pm
Bedford Room, G37, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

This seminar is rooted in two developments in recent scholarship. First, the ‘global turn’ in literary studies invites a rethinking of literary history. Categories such as ‘American literature,’ ‘German literature,’ ‘Chinese literature’ or ‘French literature’ have traditionally linked bodies of literature to a specific nation, history and language. Recently, leading scholars have been shifting this paradigm by examining the transnational encounters, border crossings and migrations that influence literary creation. Rather than imagining literature and culture in terms of national boundaries, this scholarship highlights that national literatures are far from monocultural, monolingual or monoethnic entities. 

Second, the ‘translingual turn’ invites us to reconsider the language in which these ‘national’ literatures are written. Harvard University’s Longfellow Institute interrogates American literature in languages other than English, challenging the notion that American literature is exclusively an English-language phenomenon. A similar project at the University of Wollongong, Australia, demonstrates that Australian literature is written in many languages in addition to English. Since the first book-length study of bilingual writing in English, Stephen G. Kellman’s The Translingual Imagination in 2000, several scholars have interrogated bilingual writing, most commonly in Anglophone literatures. 

Programme (pdf)

11:00 Registration and welcome

11:10 Panel 1 – Chair: Shirley Jordan (Newcastle/CCWW)
Antonia Wimbush (Birmingham): “Gisèle Pineau: A Transnational, Translingual Writer?” 
Christopher Hogarth (South Australia): “‘Causer des migraines à Léopold Sédar Senghor?’ The use of African languages in Fatou Diome’s prose” 
Natalie Edwards (Adelaide): “Bilingual Life Writing by Maryse Condé”

12:30 Lunch (own arrangements)

13:15 Panel 2 - Chair: Natalie Edwards (Adelaide)
Fiona Cox (Exeter): “Translation, Creativity and Grief in the work of Josephine Balmer” 
Julia Waters (Reading): “Ananda Devi and Self-Translation”
Julie Rodgers (Maynooth): “Ying Chen and the linguistic ‘entre-deux’” 

14:45 Tea and coffee

15:00 Panel 3 – Chair: Christopher Hogarth (South Australia)
Nicole Fayard (Leicester): “Translating Words into Action: The Suggestive Power of Language in Marie Nimier’s L’Hypnotisme à la portée de tous” 
Sandra Daroczi (Bath): “Autobiographical projections in Julia Kristeva’s fiction”

16:00 Workshop on Lydie Salvayre

16:40 Concluding remarks and future research
Antonia Wimbush (Birmingham) and Ashwiny Kistnareddy (Cambridge)

17:00 Wine Reception

This event is generously supported by the Cassal Endowment Fund

Registration fee £10 | Students/unwaged £5


Cathy Collins
020 7862 8738