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How Should A Translator Act?: Translation and Performance on Stage and in the Classroom

Bela Shayevich
Monday, October 21, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
144 Louis A. Simpson International Building
Monday, October 21, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

While on first glance, translation seems to be a two-dimensional, linguistic medium, translators are often tasked with creating dialogue and poetry, forms that emerged from and come alive in performance. At the same time, although performance and translation are most often studied separately, it's not hard to see that performance is a kind of translation and translation, as a mimetic practice, is a kind of performance. So what can translators learn from performers to help them create three-dimensional texts? How can acting pedagogy help translators lift their work off the page? I will discuss my personal quests for answers to these questions as a translator, performer, interpreter, and educator.

Bela Shayevich is an artist, writer, and translator from the Russian. Her books include Vsevolod Nekrasov's I Live I See (Ugly Duckling Presse, co-translated with Ainsley Morse), Igor Kholin's Kholin 66 (Ugly Duckling Presse, co-translated with Ainsley Morse), and Svetlana Alexievich's Secondhand Time (Random House). She teaches ESL and facilitates experiments in translation.