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CCPS Lecture. Translating Pan Tadeusz: A Conversation with Bill Johnston

Bill Johnston, professor of comparative literature, Indiana University
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
12:00-1:20 PM
Off Campus Location
This interactive talk will offer a practitioner’s reflections on the making of a new translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s 1834 narrative poem Pan Tadeusz, widely referred to as “Poland’s national epic.” We’ll talk about the challenges presented, and the questions posed, by this particular act of translation, including those of imagined and actual readership; the role of aesthetic pleasure in the reading experience; and translation as trespass.

Bill Johnston’s rhyming verse translation of Adam Mickiewicz’s epic poem Pan Tadeusz (Archipelago Books, 2018) won the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry and the 2019 AATSEEL Translation Prize. Johnston’s other awards include the Found in Translation Award for Tomasz Różycki’s mock epic poem Twelve Stations (Zephyr Press, 2015), as well as the PEN Translation Prize and the Best Translated Book Award, both for Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books, 2010). He has also translated the work of Julia Fiedorczuk, Tadeusz Różewicz, Magdalena Tulli, Andrzej Stasiuk, and Jerzy Pilch, among others. He has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (twice), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2014 he was awarded the Transatlantyk Prize for contributions to the promotion of Polish literature abroad. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

Registration for this webinar is required at

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: European, International, Language, Literature, Poland
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Copernicus Center for Polish Studies, Center for European Studies, International Institute, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia