Karen Renee Emmerich

  • Interpretation: The Problem of Context

    The need to think "contextually" is a basic premise shared by many scholarly practices of interpretation, including cross-cultural comparison and translation in anthropology, comparative literature, and beyond. But what exactly does context mean in these practices, how does it work, and where does it end? How does context help us frame particularity and generality, periphery and center, past and present? How does it support normative positions of relativism or universalism?
  • Practicing Translation

    Academic work in disciplines across the humanities and humanistic social sciences are fueled in part by practices of translation, and many disciplines are moving toward a consideration of translation as scholarship in its own right. Yet few graduate students are trained practices of translation, either within their discipline or as an interdisciplinary node of intellectual engagement.
  • Beyond Crisis Contemporary Greece in Context

    This course examines an emergent historical situation as it unfolds: the ongoing financial, social, and humanitarian "crisis" in Greece, including the "refugee crisis." It offers a comparative approach to current Greek cultural production, through literature and film of the past decade and writings drawn from history, anthropology, political science, economics, news sources, and political blogs.
  • Translation, Migration and Culture

    This course will explore the crucial connections between migration, language, and translation. Drawing on texts from a range of genres and disciplines - from memoir and fiction to scholarly work in translation studies, migration studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology - we will focus on how language and translation affect the lives of those who move through and settle in other cultures, and how, in turn, human mobility affects language and modes of belonging.
  • Beyond Crisis Contemporary Greece in Context

    This course examines an emergent historical situation as it unfolds: the ongoing financial, social, and humanitarian "crisis" in Greece, including the "refugee crisis." It offers a comparative approach to current Greek cultural production, through literature and film of the past decade and writings drawn from history, anthropology, political science, economics, news sources, and political blogs.
  • Translation, Migration and Culture

    This course will explore the crucial connections between migration, language, and translation. Drawing on texts from a range of genres and disciplines - from memoir and fiction to scholarly work in translation studies, migration studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology - we will focus on how language and translation affect the lives of those who move through and settle in other cultures, and how, in turn, human mobility affects language and modes of belonging.
  • Archive Writing

    Contemporary changes in modes of creating, presenting, and preserving knowledge have also fostered a scholarly and artistic fascination with old media, book history, archives, manuscripts, etc. This course explores the practical and ethical issues involved in archival work, and how modern and contemporary poets have used archival research to fuel historically- and politically-minded interventions.
  • Archive Writing

    Contemporary changes in modes of creating, presenting, and preserving knowledge have also fostered a scholarly and artistic fascination with old media, book history, archives, manuscripts, etc. This course explores the practical and ethical issues involved in archival work, and how modern and contemporary poets have used archival research to fuel historically- and politically-minded interventions.
  • Gendered Fictions of Translation

    Translation is a marginalized literary activity; the work of female translators, and of international female writers, is underrepresented in the current publishing market. At the same time, fictive representations of translators, and particularly female translators, abound. This course examines the gendered politics of invisibility that informs popular discourse surrounding translation. We will read primarily works of fiction by women, translated by women, and/or about a female translator.
  • Radical Poetics, Radical Translation

    This course invites students to consider not just what poems mean but how they mean, and how that, how, complicates, challenges, obscures, enlivens, or collides with the task of translation. We will look at forms of poetry that challenge the limits of the translatable, as well as radical translation methods that expand our notion of what translation is. Examples include poems written in made-up languages; unstable texts; homophonic and visual translation; erasure poetics; and multilingual poems.

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