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Literary Translation as a Political Act

  • When:
  • Where: Greek Centre, Mezzanine Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
  • Entry: Free

Event Details

As part of the enriching Greek History and Culture Seminars presented by the Greek Community of Melbourne, Dr. Konstandina Dounis will present a lecture about the "Literary Translation as a Political Act", at The Greek Centre, on Thursday 13 July 2023, at 7 pm.

The political contextualisation of literary translation has long been aligned with the official policies of nation states to ferry their literature across national divides. Export strategies in this regard, particularly post-World War Two, ultimately enhanced the promotion of national cultures via global networks, with transnational readerships and prestigious awards being rendered possible.

One only has to peruse post war Nobel Prize winners to see the manifestation of this. By contrast, this presentation seeks to explore another tangent of literary translation that is inextricably linked with my own positioning within a linguistically and culturally diverse diaspora reality – this personal position gaining its impetus from long-standing political convictions centred around issues of gender and class.

The translation of first-generation immigrants’ poetry and prose works into the English language, the official lingua franca of Australia, has the potential to widen this country’s national literary canon to include narratives that have hitherto been silenced. Moreover, that this ‘silencing’ pertains to working class narratives depicting the actual lived experience of the mass-migratory post-war era, renders the extant portrait of ‘post war immigrant life’ deplete both in terms of the history of the diaspora and of the nation at large. Revisionist readings of these literary works provide a welcome opportunity to re-negotiate hitherto officially sanctioned historical perspectives, imbuing the resultant socio-cultural mosaic with invaluable detail and texture.

Dr Konstandina Dounis is a cultural historian, author and literary translator. Greek-Australian literature, history and culture has been the axis around which her research has revolved. Her doctoral thesis, The Shadow and the Muse, entails extensive forays into unearthing immigrant women’s texts, examining their propensity to challenge historically entrenched perspectives relating to gender-based invisibility. She is the recipient of the Monash University MSA Award for Teaching Excellence 2018; AALITRA Award for Literary Translation 2020, 2nd Prize; GACL Literary Competition Prose 2020, 1st Prize. Her most recent publication: ‘Poetry and Post-War Immigration from Europe’ The Cambridge History of Australian Poetry. She teaches within the Faculty of Education at Monash University and, as of February 2020, works with the Monash Education Academy whose central mandate is the university-wide enhancement of teaching practice.

About the Greek Community of Melbourne

The Greek Community of Melbourne is a prominent organisation dedicated to promoting and preserving Greek history, culture, and heritage in Australia. Through various initiatives, events, and educational programs, the community aims to strengthen the connection between Greek Australians and their rich cultural background.

The Greek History and Culture Seminars serve as a platform for engaging discussions and lectures, contributing to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Greek history and culture.

When: Thursday 13 July, 7pm.

Where: Greek Centre (Mezzanine, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne)

About Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023

This event belongs to the series, Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023.

The Greek Community of Melbourne hosts a wide range of events, from intimate gatherings to large functions, and celebrates cultural diversity with vibrant festivals, performances, and exhibitions.

SERIES DATES: Thursday, 02/03/2023 – Thursday, 05/10/2023

See all Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023 published events.

  • LANGUAGE English
  • CATEGORY Published Works
  • EVENT SERIES Seminars > Greek History and Culture Seminars 2023
  • SERIES DATES Thursday, 02/03/2023 – Thursday, 05/10/2023
  • PRESENTED BY The Greek Community of Melbourne
  • PLACE Greek Centre, Mezzanine
  • ADDDRESS Mezzanine Level, 168 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000