International Gothic Association Annual Meeting, 28 July - 1 August

World Literature instructors Maria Ignacia Barraza and Mark Deggan presented on a sponsored panel at the International Gothic Association Annual Meeting in Vancouver. Maria, who also conceptualized and organized the panel, presented a talk entitled "“Ernesto Sabato’s On Heroes and Tombs: The Father Figure’s Acts of Transgression and the (Im)possibility of the Cleansing of Past Sins." Mark spoke on “ de mystiek der zichtbare dingen ”: Eco-Performativity, East Indies Gothic, and de Stille Kracht." John Whatley, who also teaches for World Literature, was the organizer of the conference. Kudos to everyone!

Dr. Ortabasi at Meiji Gakuin University

On April 8, Dr. Ortabasi addressed colleagues in The Faculty of International Studies at her hosting university in Yokohama on the subject of her research project, in particular her study of childhood reading experiences as they are portrayed in the autobiographies of Meiji and Taishô period elites.

Not Beyond Our Ken

In keeping with his interests in Arabic literature, Ken Seigneurie's translation of a novelized biography by Rashid al-Daif has just appeared from University of Texas Press under the title What Makes a Man? Sex Talk in Beirut and Berlin

On April 30 Dr Seigneurie will also give an evening lecture at Columbia University's Institute for Comparative Literature and Society: “Humanities in Today's University: The Elegiac in Modern Arabic Literature” 

Dr. O at the National University of Singapore

Dr. Ortabasi was in Singapore on March 23rd at the invitation of the Japanese Studies Department. She gave a talk entitled “In Search of Lost Worlds: Meiji and Taishô Period Elites Remember Their Childhood Reading," in which she discussed child memoirs written by Japanese intellectuals born between 1870 and 1930.




Dr. O Interviews Stephen Snyder


Dr. Melek Ortabasi has done a great interview for the SCBWI Japan Translation Blog with prominent translator Stephen Snyder about his translation of Confessions by Kanae Minato. This book won an Alex Award for a YA book that appeal to teens.

This interview has everything (but spoilers!), including background on how the book was translated and tidbits about a few other books, too.




February 10 & 11, 2015

Dr. Ortabasi gave two invited talks at Stanford University. The first talk was a discussion of Ortabasi's recently published book,  The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation, and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio  (Harvard University Asia Center, 2014). The second was a presentation of her new research on translation and world children's literature, entitled "World Literature in the Nursery, 1870-1930."

Event poster.

Dr. O Interviewed

Fall 2014

Dr. Melek Ortabassi recently completed an interview in reference to her newly published book by Harvard University Press titled The Undiscovered Country: Text, Translation and Modernity in the Work of Yanagita Kunio. She covers quite an array of topics as the interview progresses, touching on her intial interest in Japanese literature, to the subject of her book Yanagita Kunio, and to one her favorite topics, translation.

The interview can be listened to here.

Dr. O Travelling!

Fall 2014

Since September, Dr. O has moved base camp to Yokohama, Japan, where she is being hosted by Meiji Gakuin University.  While in Japan, she is doing research at various libraries on the history of translated children's literature.  She often visits the lovely International Children's Library in Ueno, which as large holdings in international and Japanese children's literature.  She recently met up with Japanese colleagues whom she got to know at the "book castle" in Munich, and also attended a workshop held by the Japan chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.  It was an honour to meet Cathy Hirano, Lynne Riggs, Alexander O. Smith, and Juliet Winters Carpenter, whose translations of children's (and other) literature she has had the pleasure of reading and teaching!

Summer 2014

This summer, Melek Ortabasi has been doing research at the International Youth Library (Internationale Jugendbibliothek) in München (aka Munich), which is housed in a beautiful restored 15th century castle. At the "Book Castle," Dr. Ortabasi has been combing the Library's store of historical children's books in order to find sources for her new project, tentatively entitled "The World Republic of Childhood: Translation and Children's Literature, 1870-1930."

Pictured here from the top are the lovely Blutenburg Castle, the comfortable desks in the castle's reading room, staff and other visiting researchers, and a reading from July's White Ravens Festival, a biennial celebration of contemporary children's literature from all over the world.