In this weekend-intensive course—suitable for non-translators, new translators, and those with some experience—we will read different types of texts from translators and writers discussing the theory and practice of translation, both as a general concept and through the lens of their individual practices. Texts will include critical essays, creative prose, multiple translations, annotated translations, as well as translators’ interviews and memoirs. We will discuss how the provided insights can guide us in our own work as translators and writers. Participants will also be invited to do some writing/translating to reflect on these topics in relation to their individual practices.
Writers/translators will leave this class with a better understanding of not only translation per se, but also the intersections of writing and translation. They will gain a deeper awareness about the impact of translators’ subjective individual choices, while expanding their conceptions of possible translation practices and processes to include some extremely creative ones.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.
- Familiarity with some central translation concepts
- Studying and discussion of translation samples and annotations
- Studying and discussion of translators/writers’ reflections on their practices
- Discussion of and writing on how these apply to participants’ practices
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
- Knowledge of another language is not mandatory for participation in the course
- Participants can be new to translation or have some experience in it
- We will look at and discuss works in class together, so no pre-class reading is necessary for this course
- Participants are expected to take part in class conversations
- Participants are expected to write/translate during class time as well as in response to the offered prompts in order to receive brief verbal feedback from the instructor and other participants in class
Day One: Looking at work samples and analysis, discussion of related translation concepts, reflection on and discussion of how these can apply to participants’ individual practices
Day Two: Looking at work samples and analysis, discussion of related translation concepts, reflection on and discussion of how these can apply to participants’ individual practices
Poupeh Missaghi is a writer, a translator both into and out of Persian, an editor, and an educator. She holds a PhD in English and creative writing from the University of Denver, an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in translation studies. Her debut novel trans(re)lating house one was published by Coffee House Press. I’ll Be Strong for You, her translation of Nasim Marashi’s novel, is forthcoming in spring 2021. She co-edits Matters of Feminist Practice from Belladonna* Collaborative and teaches at Pratt, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and at Baruch College.
“I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your class. The information and sources were great; but your insights were fabulous. I was so excited about the concepts you introduced, and found myself full of questions and desires for more. I so appreciate you taking the time to introduce so many concepts...Thank you.”
“Every course I've taken from Poupeh, including this one, elevates, lifts and "calls" to participants, taking us to depths personally (or, if I may, "soul"-fully) while approaching the challenges of craft, enlightening while exhorting. Rare combination, and does so generously, invitingly, and encouragingly. I love, too, that her instruction does not pull punches, that the work demands everything of us -- not just a compartmentalized "writer side"--all while revealing that there's a "true" part of us lying in wait to meet these challenges. Brings a great presence to the instruction space ... No matter the subject, I always come away more seriously, imaginatively, and playfully occupying my humanity.”
“This is the second event I've attended that was led by Poupeh, and both times she introduced multiple perspectives of the topic, encouraging participants to look at writing from a historic, layered, perspective. In both sessions with Poupeh, I took pages of notes because everything she and the other participants said was illuminating. She invited participants to engage throughout the session, so it was less of a lecture and more of a living breathing class with speakers building off of each other and responding to each other. ... I left the session wishing it could be an ongoing class and also having dozens of ideas for writing. Poupeh is one of those instructors/speakers who brings out nuanced and thoughtful comments from the participants. I'd love to take more classes with her, especially a longer generative writing class.”
“Poupeh Missaghi is so keenly attuned to the frequencies of city life that reading her novel of Tehran felt like a revelation. In fragments layered over one another, moments are extended, lives are resurrected, lovers meet, and many questions are asked. Which of the dead do we honor and why? Whose stories do we listen to, and why do we listen to them, and are we ever really listening? trans(re)lating house one is a searching, brilliant novel completely unlike anything I’ve ever read.”
“In this beautiful and brave book, art, love, death, and shards of the city accrete into a crucial archive of unbearable loss, but also of rich, fierce life. Echoing the probing explorations of Edmond Jabès, Anna Akhmatova and Charlotte Delbo, but with concerns and methods all her own, Poupeh Missaghi has fashioned a novel that bears clear-eyed witness and calls into question the act of witnessing, that beautifully renders a time and a place and interrogates whether such an endeavor is possible at all. The process of making and unmaking mirrors the world of missing art and bodies at the book’s center. This is important work. I hope Missaghi’s stunning debut finds its way into many hands.”
“Poupeh Missaghi’s TRANS(RE)LATING HOUSE ONE, through a fascinating synthesis of poetic form and rhetorical voice, strikingly theorizes our incessant need to narrate death and ‘to translate loss into language,’ while affirming those who memorialize, who make art, who witness. TRANS(RE)LATING HOUSE ONE documents disappearance. It documents state murders. It documents the disappearance of art, culture, and documentation itself. These urgent narratives make real what the cold facts cannot contain: how the corpses were once bodies that were loved, how they loved others, how they were tortured, how the authorities do all that they can to not name the missing, to conceal the histories, and to prevent society from understanding, grieving, and healing. TRANS(RE)LATING HOUSE ONE resonates with recent masterworks about disappearance, such as Sara Uribe’s ANTIGONA GONZALEZ or Patricio Guzmán’s NOSTALGIA FOR THE NIGHT, where the search to find the disappeared becomes inseparable from how we understand the hemisphere, the nation, and even the universe itself. This is a rare and remarkable book.”