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Research seminars: February 2014

6 February 2014
PG research seminar
Simon Kay
"Attitudes to the translation of Virgil's Aeneid in early modern France"
Anaïs Fusaro
"Commemoration, memory and mourning - the individual writing experience of Serge Doubrovsky in Le Livre Brisé"
4.30pm, Arts seminar room 2

10 February 2014
Visiting Scholar in Translation Sudies - Research Seminar
Dr Laura Spoturno (UNLP- CONICET, La Plata)
"Translation and agency. The role of interpreters in the conquest of Mexico."
In the past twenty years, translation scholars have introduced into the discussion of translation the variables of ethics, ideology, agency, and more recently, resistance and activism. Examining the figure of Malinche, Captain Cortés’s major interpreter, in the political and cultural scenario of the Conquest of Mexico calls for the indirect consideration of such variables. The analysis of her positioning and choices as an interpreter should attempt to reconstruct as much as possible the conflicting, if not agonistic, context in which she performed her task. This seminar sets to examine and confront the recreation, both discursive and iconic, of the figure of Malinche in a set of documents which appeared in the sixteenth century and which were meant to give testimony of some of the aspects of the Conquest of Mexico. It goes without saying that the study of Malinche’s role as an interpreter cannot be done but through the documents that made a note as to her work; i.e., the chronicles, letters, and codices that inquire into this historical period. The veracity of these documents remains uncertain and one should bear in mind that as recreations of a given historical period they were also subject to the rules which typically govern the acts of translation and interpretation: commission, selection, partiality, the requirements of the context, and the pressure of political, institutional and personal agendas, among others. This seminar has two main goals. On the one hand, I wish to analyse the presentation of Malinche in Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s sixteenth century chronicles, Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España, which depict her as a formidable interpreter between the Spanish Conquistadors and the Aztecs in the times of the Conquest of Mexico. On the other hand, I intend to see how the views expressed by Díaz del Castillo, Cortés’s loyal soldier, contradict, support, or extend the images of Malinche registered in two pictorial manuscripts originally produced in the sixteenth century: the Florentine Codex by Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and the Lienzo de Tlaxcala, the work of the indigenous people. Ever since the Conquest, the figure of Malinche has been a subject of controversy. Was she a victim of the Spanish Conquistadors or the victim of her own people, a faithful interpreter or a traitor to her people?
5pm, Buchanan 216

20 February 2014
Russian research seminar
Prof Dan Healey (University of Oxford)
"'Send me as far away as possible!’ The Gulag doctor’s notebook as heroic genre."
One of the many paradoxes of Stalin’s forced-labor camps, the “Gulag”, was the presence of a medical service that employed both prisoner and “freely hired” doctors. In the Gulag’s hundreds of clinics and hospitals behind barbed wire, both free and unfree medical workers struggled to save lives and improve the health of some of the Soviet Union’s most despised and feared people: convicted criminals and so-called “enemies of the people.” Russians looking back on Stalin’s Gulag have been perplexed by the existence of a medical service in the camps. Solzhenitsyn in his magisterial Gulag Archipelago dismissed it as hostile to the prisoner’s welfare. Yet doctors and medical staff who worked there have a different view. Writing in the Russian tradition of the “doctor’s notebook” Gulag physicians recorded the hard-won successes of medicine in extreme conditions. The “heroic genre” of the Gulag doctor’s notebook is not without its problems, but it reveals a world of conscientious medical care in places of profound abjection, and challenges us to re-think the Gulag as we have imagined it.
5pm, Buchanan 216

19 February 2014
Cineclub Juan Pablo Rebella
"La mirada de Icíar Bollain"
"Tierra y libertad", Ken Loach (1996)
Bilingual with subtitles and Icíar Bollain
Loosely based on and dramatising an actual episode of the Spanish Civil War, whose outcome greatly surprised Spanish spectators.
In 1936 a Scouser decides to fight for the Spanish Republic against fascism and discovers a bewildering new cultural context as he tries to enlist with the International Brigades, eventually serving with the POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista).
4pm, School 6

26 February 2014
Cineclub Juan Pablo Rebella
"La mirada de Icíar Bollain"
Hola ¿estás sola? (1995), Icíar Bollaín,
4pm, School 6

27 February 2014
Italian Research Seminar
Professor Guido Bonsaver (University of Oxford)
Professor Phil Cooke (University of Strathclyde)
"Cultures of Fascism and Antifascism in Italy: Historical Debates, Contemporary Perspectives"
5pm, Buchanan 216

28 February 2014
Hispanic Research Seminar
Kormi Anipa
"Juan de Valdés’s Diálogo de la lengua as a Bone of Contention"
4pm, Quad 36