Playing It By Ear: Translating Literary Non-fiction

OCT 22, 2021 | 4:00 PM



Online Event


October 22, 2021: 4:00 PM


Ph.D. Programs in English and Latin American, Iberian, & Latino Cultures (LAILAC), & the Center for the Humanities



Literary translation is a political issue as well as a creative art with a rich history that demands a representational code of ethics as well as an artistic talent. Issues of voice, diction, register, local usage, and tone have a huge impact in the translation of fiction & non-fiction, as well. Translation of works from Spanish into English include various registers of English as well as different vernaculars of Spanish including Latin American Spanish and Latinx Spanish. We will discuss key texts in Spanish-English Latinx translation and how Latin American translation works paved the way.

Born in Ecuador and raised undocumented in New York City, author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio writes with candor and clarity about mental health, beauty, music, and the experiences of immigrants who live in this country without citizenship. A 2011 graduate of Harvard, her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Vogue and many other publications. Her first book, The Undocumented Americans (2020), a collection of essays that are part memoir, part reporting, has been greeted with enormous acclaim. A finalist for the National Book Award, The Undocumented Americans was listed among Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020 and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.  She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at Yale University. Read her interview with NYT here.

Adrian Izquierdo teaches at Baruch College, and researches and writes about Renaissance literature and translation studies. His translations and co-translations of essays by Jamaica Kincaid, André Aciman and José Ardila, one of Granta’s twenty-five test Spanish-language novelists, have appeared in Granta and Granta español. He earned his Ph.D. at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

This is an online event. Please register here to participate via Zoom. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing participation information.