Thinking about Translation with Penn Humanities Forum

This academic year, I’m a regional fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum on Translationphf-translation. Organized by Bethany Wiggin and James English, the interdisciplinary forum seeks to push our conception of translation and the categories it informs. Each week, a participant shares a work-in-progress, and following a brief response by an appointed seminar member, the discussion opens up to the whole group. So, in addition to reading papers outside my disciplines, I’m privy to modes of cross-fertilization generally unavailable to me.

Over the next two semesters, I plan a series of posts that are less reports on the seminar presentations and more reconsiderations of my approaches to global translations of The Canterbury Tales. Sometimes I will be trying out the new perspectives and fresh ideas (for me, at least) presented and discussed at that week’s seminar. In some cases, the other seminar participants will be astonished by my takeaways; I know the conversations vibrate different chords for me than they do for others. In all cases, these are the early impressions recorded in the two hours between the end of the seminar and the beginning of my train trip back to New Haven. Though I will certainly revise these ideas as I continue to work on my monograph, these posting will attempt to capture my raw impressions.

Article: Miller’s Tale and Chinese Culture


Collage of images: English gentleman (early modern printed text), a Confucian scholar (modern drawing), and examples of ancient Chinese seal script. [original image here]

Several blog postings relating to Chaucer in Chinese contexts have appeared on this blog (see here, here, and here), and we are happy to draw attention to another resource:

Xiaolei Sun (孙晓蕾), a doctoral student at Shanghai International Studies University (and currently a visiting scholar at the University of Leeds), recently discovered this blog and kindly informed us of her article “When Fabliau Humour in Chaucer’s The Miller’s Prologue and Tale meets Chinese Translation and Culture,” published in the White Rose College of Arts & Sciences Journal (Universities of Leeds, Sheffield & York, 18 May 2016).

You can read the article online or download it as a PDF.

Beyond the Anglophone Inner Circle of Chaucer Studies [cross posting]


Outdoor portrait of Candace Barrington (2016).

Just posted today at the In The Middle blog: a timely, topical piece by Candace Barrington (co-director of Global Chaucers) on the importance of moving Chaucer Studies beyond the “Anglophone Inner Circle.” (Her posting is part of series of papers originally presented at a session organized by Jeffrey J. Cohen at the New Chaucer Society Congress held in London in July 2016.)

To read this posting (and more context for the NCS session), visit the In The Middle blog.