WLSC 2016

In translation:
Identity and World Literature


“All language is but a poor translation”
- Franz Kafka

As the famous Latin saying goes, Omnis Traductor Traditor – every translator is a traitor. To this day, translation remains a tricky subject: some believe that translations are invariably flawed and betray their originals, while others look to translation to mediate intercultural relationships. As such, translation inevitably emerges as a point of interest in the study of World Literature. Comparative Literature scholar David Damrosch defines World Literature itself as "...writing that gains in translation". More to the point, although translation presents itself as traitorous to identity, it is, at the same time, a necessary vehicle through which literature circulates. Without translation, many texts would never reach us, and never have the possibility to teach and inspire. Through circulation, translation becomes the very space that affords identity expression; translation provides the possibility for texts to transcend their ethnic borders and reach readers on the basis of sometimes unexpected synergies. It is towards this tension that the 2016 World Literature Student Conference directs its attention, using translation as a lens through which identity and global literatures can be explored.

Bearing in mind the inherent tensions found in translation and identity, SFU’s World Literature Program invites students to present papers pertaining to the theme, In Translation: Identity and World Literature, for its second annual Conference. Papers should be 5-6 minutes in length (approximately 500-600 words), and may be interdisciplinary in nature. All FASS undergraduates who submit a paper related to the Conference’s theme will be given equal consideration during the selection process.

The Conference took place on April 7th 2016 at SFU’s Burnaby campus, and was immediately followed by a gala reception.


A1. Voicing the Inexplicable: Contention, Circulation, and Context in Translation and Identity

Moderator: Michael Jaeggle

1)      Alex Harasymiw

The Text is not the Territory: The Placeless Translations of Goethe's Weltliteratur

2)      Abby Zaporteza

Guilty Feet and Wedding Dresses: Exploring Catharsis in Pop Music

3)      Liza Siamer

Translation as Betrayal: Death Imagery in Arabic and English Versions of Kanafani's Men in the Sun

4)      Alexzandria Wong

The Commodification of Cultural Performances: Mariachi and Kecak

5)      Iulia Sincraian

Untranslatability and Identity: “Dor” in Romanian Literature


B1. Bridging the Divide: World Literature and the Translating of Location

Moderator: Rhiannon Wallace

1)      Kate Moffat

The "Wildest Dreams" of a "Femme d'Aujourd'hui": The Influence of Location on Interpretation

2)      Moe Marjani

Beyond Concise Sketching: An Analysis of Ghassan Kanafani's Men in the Sun Translation

3)      Linda Zhao

The Essence of Translation: Seeking Common Ground while Reserving Differences

4)      Jasmin Ring

Silence in the Poetry of Paul Celan: Expressing the Inexpressible

5)      Rachael Sykes

Idol Culture through Japanese and American Film: A Critical Examination of Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan


A2. Revelations of the Self: Literature and Identity from Urban Cinema to the Epic

Moderator: Jasmin Ring

1)      Danielle Paillé

This is the Rhythm of Bombay: An Analysis of the City Rhythms in Shroff's Breathless in Bombay

2)      Charles Mao

Moving Mountains: World Literature and the Creation of New Perspectives

3)      Janelle Lee

Epic Heroines? Comparing The Ramayana and Princess Mononoke

4)      Jaiden Dembo

Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis: A tale of Freudian Regression

5)      Maya Gal

The Epic Archer: A Portrayal of Divinity and Humanity

6)      Avnit Garcha

Performance as a Mode of Female Objectification in 1993 Bollywood Film Khal Nayak


B2. The Biography of Modernity through Different Languages

Moderator: Mayanga Ngulube

1)      Kelsey Wilson

"Frozen In Time": Repetition of the Epic in Fairy Tale

2)      Brigitte Malana

Beyoncé and the Greeks: Using Femininity for Political Purposes

3)      Shanelle Sham

Male Validation and Wartime Narration in Maus and Barefoot Gen

4)      Rhiannon Wallace

Bakhtin Goes to the Movies: Absolute Distance, Indian Film and the Contemporary Epic

5)      Erica Maglio

Unveiling the Patriarchy: Reinterpreting Islamic Texts through a Feminist Lens

6)      Ken Ip

Updating the Promise of Weltliteratur: Examining the Digital Landscape through Goethe