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Coming to America: Translating Arabic Fiction in the Age of Global Liberation

Nancy Roberts, free-lance Arabic-to-English translator and editor
Thursday, November 11, 2021
4:30-6:00 PM
4310 Modern Languages Building Map
Join Comparative Literature as we welcome Nancy Roberts, free-lance Arabic-to-English translator and editor on November 11th, 2021 @ 4:30pm in room 4310 of the Modern Languages Building.

Translators of literary works perform numerous functions simultaneously in relation to both a written work and its author. These functions include the linguistic, the cultural, the socio-political and the personal. Varied though they are, these functions might be summed up in the words “partner” and “mouthpiece.” After a brief detour into how her life trajectory led her to the field of Arabic-English translation, Nancy Roberts will relate her attempts to serve as “partner” and “mouthpiece” in the process of translating works originating in Palestine (Ibrahim Nasrallah’s Time of White Horses [زمن الخيول البيضاء], Lanterns of the King of Galilee [قناديل ملك الجليل] and Gaza Weddings [أعراس آمنة], and Ahlam Bsharat’s Codename: Butterfly [اسمي الحركي فراشة]) and Libya (Najwa Bin Shatwan’s, The Slave Yards [زرايب العبيد], and Ibrahim al-Koni’s The Night Will Have Its Say [كلمة الليل في حق النهار]).

Nancy Roberts is a free-lance Arabic-to-English translator and editor with experience in the areas of modern Arabic literature, politics and education; international development; Arab women’s economic and political empowerment; Islamic jurisprudence and theology; Islamist thought and movements; and interreligious dialogue. Literary translations include works by Ghada Samman, Ahlem Mostaghanemi, Naguib Mahjouz, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Ibrahim al-Koni, Salman al-Farsi, Laila Al Johani, and Haji Jabir, among others. Her translation of Ghada Samman’s Beirut ’75 won the 1994 Arkansas Arabic Translation Award; her rendition of Salwa Bakr's The Man From Bashmour (Cairo: AUC Press, 2007) was awarded a commendation in the 2008 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Translation, while her English translations of Ibrahim Nasrallah’s Gaza Weddings (Cairo: Hoopoe Press, 2017), Lanterns of the King of Galilee (AUC Press, 2015) and Time of White Horses (Cairo: Hoopoe Reprint, 2016) won her the 2018 Sheikh Hamad Prize for Translation and International Understanding. She is based in Wheaton, Illinois.

This event will be held IN PERSON.
Building: Modern Languages Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Activism, African American, Amas, American Culture, Arab, arab american studies, Arab Heritage Month, Arabic, Art, Arts of Islam, Book, Books, center for middle eastern and north african studies, cmenas, Comparative, Complit, Culture, Discussion, Diversity, Free, Global Islamic Studies, Islam, Islamic Art, Islamic Peace Studies, islamic studies, Language, Lecture, Literature, MESA, Middle East Studies, Multicultural, Muslim, Poetry, Storytelling, Translate, Translation
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Comparative Literature, Department for Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of Middle East Studies, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Romance Languages & Literatures, Global Islamic Studies Center, Department of American Culture, Arab and Muslim American Studies (AMAS)

The Global Islamic Studies Center organizes a number of public events each year such as lectures, conferences, and films, many in collaboration with other U-M units. Please use our searchable events calendar for information about upcoming programs sponsored by GISC and the Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS).