Tag Archives: Master Teachers

Teach-In on Immigrant Rights, 12/11

December 11
Noon – 4:00 PM
61 Broadway at Wall Street (PSC-CUNY Building)
Lunch Provided / Spanish Translation

The IWJC [http://www.nycga.net/groups/immigrant-worker-justice] is hosting a teach-in on Sunday, Dec 11 that is open to the public. Although immigrants’ and immigrant workers’ rights have been emphasized in protests on the West Coast, these issues and populations have been less attended to in this area. The teach-ins will present an opportunity for people interested in these issues to hear from members of workers’ centers, immigrant community groups, and non-traditional labor organizations. Students interested in popular education styles would particularly enjoy themselves.

Scholarly Communications and the Digital Humanities: Panel Discussion (4/7)

This panel discussion is being moderated by Draper’s Master Teacher in Art Worlds, Anna McCarthy.

Scholarly Communications and the Digital Humanities:
A Panel Discussion with Alexander Provan and Dan Cohen, moderated by Anna McCarthy
Thursday, April 7th, 2011
6 pm
Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor Conference Room
Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary. Photo ID required.
The panel will discuss issues of readership, collaboration and format in the digital environment as they relate to the work of humanists from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives.
Alexander Provan, Editor of Triple Canopy, an online journal and workspace, Contributing Editor of Bidoun, an online magazine of art and culture from the Middle East.

Dan Cohen, Associate Professor of History and Art History, George Mason University, and author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web.

Anna McCarthy, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies, NYU Tisch, co-editor of the journal Social Text, and author of Ambient Television: Visual Culture and Public Space, and The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America.
This event is co-sponsored by The Digital Humanities Working Research Group, a project of the Humanities Initiative led by Diana Taylor (Professor of Performance Studies, Spanish and Portuguese and Director of the Hemispheric Institute) and Michael Stoller (Director of Collections & Research Services, New York University Libraries) that brings together a broad range of humanists and technologists from across NYU to discuss the role and implication of digital technologies in the Humanities.

Dec 15th Book Launch, NYU | Toilets: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing

Dear Students:

Please see below for more information about a book launch for Toilet: The Public Restroom and the Politics of Sharing, which was co-edited by Harvey Molotch, Draper’s Master Teacher in The City.

Toilet Book Launch Party

Wednesday, 15 December 2010 | 6:00 p – 8:00 p
Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

Harvey Molotch, Laura Norén and NYUPress are pleased to invite you to join them in celebrating the launch of their co-edited volume “Toilet: The public restroom and the politics of sharing”. Although what happens in the toilet usually stays in the toilet, Molotch and Norén have brought together academics from architecture, sociology, archeology, urban studies, and the law to peel back layers of taboo, speak the unspeakable and reveal the lessons we can learn in the public restroom.

We will be joined by Rick Bell (Executive Director of the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter) and Catharine Stimpson (Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at NYU) who will be offering brief remarks.

Wine and cheese will be on hand. Please RSVP along with your guests so that will know how many to expect.

This event is co-sponsored by the New York University’s Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and Sociology, NYUPress, and the Institute for Public Knowledge.

New book from master teacher Harvey Molotch

Our master teacher for The City, Harvey Molotch, has a new book out from NYU Press: Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing. Here is an e-interview with him from a recent edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

You can find the book’s blog here.


Interview with Richard Sieburth, Draper Master Teacher in Literary Cultures

Draper is privileged to have Professor Richard Sieburth as our Master Teacher in Literary Cultures. Richard has a joint appointment in the Comparative Literature and French Departments at NYU, is a noted Ezra Pound scholar, and is also a respected translator of German and French texts. His English translation of Selected Writings by Gérard de Nerval won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Translation Prize in 2000 and his translation of Emblems of Desire: Selections from the “Délie” of Maurice Scève was a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize.

Richard’s most recent translation, The Salt Smugglers by Gérard de Nerval was published in August. This week, he took the time to answer some questions about translation for in.ter.reg.num.

1. How did you come to be a translator?

When you grow up, as I did, in a bilingual household (German-English), you tend as a child to be fascinated with the secret language your parents are speaking (you imagine, in order to exclude you). I imagine most translators are driven by this kind of infantile curiosity: not Freud’s child voyeur who happens to “see” some primal scene (a tergo or not), but rather one who “listens” to or “overhears” a language not primarily intended for him. The act of translation would thereby involve the fantasy of readdressing this forbidden language to yourself, and then reperforming it in your own tongue in order to recapture its intention.

Later, while in boarding school in Switzerland, I spent a great deal of time traveling across the cantons in trains. You become a translator by simultaneously observing the landscape flowing by beyond the train window and noticing, written below it like some sort of allegorical inscription, the quadrilingual command: NICHT HINAUSLEHNEN/ E PERICOLOSO SPORGERSI/ NE PAS SE PENCHER AU DEHORS/ DANGER! DON’T LEAN OUT. Are these all saying the same thing?

2. What has been your most difficult translation project? What has been the most enjoyable?

Translating the rhymed dizains of Maurice Scève was probably the most difficult from the purely formal point of view: there was so little room to maneuver. Think of Marcel Marceau the mime feeling his way with his hands along the surface of an invisible mirror that is caging him in. Hölderlin, whom I translated in my mid-twenties, was a pure joy. It was what Schiller would call a “naïve” translation, as opposed to a “sentimental” (self-conscious, ironic) or “elegiac” translation. I actually visited Hölderlin’s landscapes near Tübingen just to get a sense of how the light or sound broke across the local hills. I translated Büchner’s Lenz in the course of a (mild) nervous breakdown, though I can now no longer remember which provoked which. Scholem I translated during and just after Sept. 11th, with the acrid after-stench of the Twin Towers floating through my window. Translating Michaux has perhaps been the most total blast. Nerval lies somewhere between a fond sibling and a scary Doppelgänger.

3. Do you subscribe to a particular theory of translation? Do you believe it possible to apply the same theory to all texts, or does each project require a more individualized approach?

The only translation theorist who has made a real difference to me is Antoine Berman. But the more I think about it, the more I tend to believe that there is no Theory of Translation, only a History of Translation. This is what Benjamin means by the original’s Nachleben or Fortleben. Translation merely articulates the history of the original (or the history of its translator’s encounter with it). If a translation does not register the “historicity” (ugh) of its encounter with the original—if it cannot define the “time” at which its language meets (or greets) the language of the original—the “event” of translation has not really taken place. How to theorize the “eventness” of the event? Here’s Hölderlin: “Try taking it by surprise, and it turns/ To a dream; try matching it by force,/And punishment is the reward;/Often, when you’ve barely given it/ A thought, it just happens.” Translation: a way, perhaps THE way, that language “happens.”

4. What would you say is a common myth about translation?

The most prevalent (mis)conception (or myth?) is that a translation is somehow “like” or “equal to” to the original. That it is a “metaphor” of the original, thus somehow “substitutable” for the original. Yes, the words “translation” and “metaphor” are etymologically “translations” of each other. But Benjamin’s great insight is that a translation is not “like” the original (via some sort of “equivalence” theory of truth as the “adequation” of two terms), but that it exists “next” to the original, “after” the original, as a “result” of the original. Therefore the relation is profoundly metonymic, not metaphoric.

5. Who is a translator whose work you admire?

I agree with Ezra Pound that Arthur Golding’s version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses is “the most beautiful book in the English language.” I very much dig Florio’s Montaigne & Renaissance translations in general. Perverse as it may sound, I have a greater interest in translators from English than into English because their work renders the “event” of translation so much more evident to me. [I love watching English-language films with foreign subtitles]. Thus: Pierre Leyris’s French versions of Hopkins (or Coindreau’s French Faulkner), or Celan’s Shakespeare. Or some of the current castings into French of Zukofsky (of course, Zukofsky’s Catullus is an ongoing instigation). But for me THE most important translator has been Pound. Of late, I have been increasingly whelmed by his late Confucian Odes.

6. What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a translator?

Learn languages, many languages, in order to lose your own. Learn to listen. I.e. Learn to be excluded from what you hear [see above] or think you speak.

Above all, stay in touch with the best of contemporary writing (and singing) in your OWN language. Anybody can learn a foreign language. What’s hardest is then trying to (re)learn your own.