Event: Virtual talks by translators of Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan | Oct 20, Oct 25

Sasha Senderovich's picture

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October 20, 2022 to October 25, 2022
Washington, United States
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Languages, Literature

The Translation Studies Hub at the University of Washington in Seattle--together with UW's department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Ellison Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies--cordially invites you to the following two virtual events focused on the work of translating the contemporary Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan:


Oct 20, 6 pm Pacific (9 pm Eastern) on Zoom 

Free and open to all.

Translations that Sound Right: On Rendering the Ukrainian Writer Serhiy Zhadan into English 

With translators Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler

Details here; register here (required).

The need to address a constellation of competing goals is one of the most challenging aspects of literary translation. Among the most intractable of those challenges is rendering semantic content without sacrificing the aesthetic value of aural qualities of the original such as rhyme and alliteration. Of equal importance are the cognitive “rhymes” produced by recurring images and phrasings, which serve to reinforce a book’s moods and preoccupations. Translators Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler will discuss their experience of preserving these effects in their work on two novels by the great contemporary Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan, Mesopotamia and The Orphanage.


October 25 pm Pacific (9 pm Eastern) on Zoom

Free and open to all

Translating the Eccentric and the Commonplace

With translators Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler

Details here; register here (required).

Discourse around translation tends to primarily focus on rendering aesthetic value, semantic content, and cultural context, but a fourth dimension, which is equally foundational to the process, is rendering eccentric text in the source language as eccentric text in the translation and preserving the unmarked quality of commonplace text. Literary translators Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler will discuss a fundamental aspect of their profession--with the examples from their work on the Ukrainian writer Serhiy Zhadan's novel The Orphanage--that is often perniciously overlooked: what they refer to as “marked” and “unmarked” language. This seminar will help participants avoid the stilted, overdesigned sentences that often plague literary translation and more closely replicate the original reading experience.  Limited spots available. Register at the zoom link to be added to the list.


Contact Info: 

Sasha Senderovich [he/him/his] 

Assistant Professor | Slavic Languages and Literatures | Jackson School of International Studies | University of Washington, Seattle

Email: senderov@uw.edu | My new book: How the Soviet Jew Was Made (Harvard University Press, 2022)