The University of Sydney: Seminars Italian Studies and Global Middle Ages

The University of Sydney: Seminars Italian Studies and Global Middle Ages

Italian Studies Research Seminar Series, first meeting Semester 2
“Dante’s Commedia and Distant Reading: A New Approach”, Jacob Blakesley, University of Leeds

Date: Thursday, 10 August 2017
Time: 4:15pm-6:00pm
Venue: SLC Common Room (Brennan MacCallum Building, 7th floor)
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In the seven centuries of Dante scholarship, there has been little comparative research on the translation and circulation of Dante’s Commedia. Only two edited collections include panoramic essays on translations of the Commedia into a number of languages. This is most likely due to the striking fact that there exists no bibliography of worldwide translations of the Commedia. No one knows how many translations there have been into major and minor languages; nor how many times each cantica has been translated, nor how many translators there have been. This paper describes the initial work-in-progress stage of a new project, which will catalogue all the worldwide published translations of the Commedia, from the sixteenth century until today. Adopting a distant-reading, quantitative methodology, inscribed within a sociological approach to literary translation, this project will be the first study to map and study the circulation and translation of Dante’s Commedia across the globe. This paper will address the methodology for this study (relying on different sources, ranging from Worldcat, national libraries, and UNESCO’s Index Translationum to printed bibliographies), and describe the expected outcomes of the project.

JACOB BLAKESLEY is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Translation Studies and a University Academic Fellow in World Literatures at the University of Leeds. His monograph, Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2014. He recently edited, with Jeremy Munday, a special journal issue of Translation and Literature entitled ‘Poetry Translation: Agents, Actors, Networks, Contexts’ (2016). His book in progress is called ‘Poets of Europe: Translators of the World’, which shows the dramatically different translation practices of English, French, and Italian poet-translators. He has published articles on literary translation and Italian poetry in various journals, such as Allegoria, Italica, Lettere Italiane, Moderna, Semicerchio, and Testo a Fronte.

Global Middle Ages seminar series, Semester 2

  • Wed 16 August – Prof Constant J. Mews (Monash University) [rescheduled from May)]: Rethinking Religious History in Global Perspective: Songlines, Sacred Stories and Theologies
  • Wed 30 August – Dr Michael Abrahams-Sprod (FASS-SLC, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies): Sanctifying God’s Name: The Ethos of Jewish Martyrdom in Medieval Ashkenaz (Germany)
  • Wed 20 September – Anne Dunlop (University of Melbourne): Mongol Eurasia and Cangrande’s Silk Suit
  • Wed 25 October – Prof Dominique Barbe (University of Noumea, New Caledonia): Oceania in the Middle Ages: A Connected World

Date and time: Wednesdays: 4:00pm-5:30pm
Venue: Kevin Lee Room (Quadrangle Building, Level 6, [Brennan MacCallum Building])
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