Lorna Hardwick Poster

Thursday, March 5, 2009
4:00 PM
2175 Angell Hall

Translating Classics in the Modern World: a Democratic Turn?

Lorna Hardwick
Professor, Open University

This lecture considers how ancient drama and poetry has been translated and adapted into new works, with examples that show the variety of people and practices that are involved worldwide, from Africa to Europe, the Middle–East, the Caribbean and the Americas.  However it is not enough to appreciate how each generation and culture inscribes new layers of meaning into Greek and Latin texts. It is also necessary to consider how the ancient themes and forms shape modern meaning, making the notion of modern ‘democratic’ appropriation of classical texts a contested issue.

Lorna Hardwick teaches at the Open University, Milton Keynes (UK), where she is a Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project. She is the author of many articles and books on Greek cultural history and its reception in modern theatre and literature, including Translating Words, Translating Cultures (2000) and New Surveys in the Classics: Reception Studies (2003).

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Translation Lunch

2015 Tisch (Comparative Literature Library)

You are invited to a series of informal translation lunches, sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature and the Global Ethnic Literatures Seminar at the University of Michigan.  A light lunch will be provided.

12-1 pm Tuesday March 10
"ON TRANSLATING GREEK TRAGEDY: A Conversation with Reginald Gibbons"

Reginald Gibbons recently published new translations of Sophocles, "Selected Poems: Odes and Fragments" (Princeton 2008) and he has also translated Euripides' "Bacchae" (Oxford 2001) and Sophocles' 
"Antigone" (Oxford 2003).  A finalist for the 2008 National Book Award in poetry, Reginald Gibbons is widely known as poet, fiction writer, translator, and professor at Northwestern University. He is in residence as Zell Visiting Writer for a week at the University of Michigan, sponsored by the MFA Program.


Classical Translation Workshop 2.0

In conjunction with the translation contest described below, Contexts for Classics wants to establish an online resource for critical feedback on translation projects involving Greek, Latin, or other ancient languages (classical Arabic, classical Chinese, Hebrew, Sanskrit, etc.) or translations from modern language texts, which somehow reflect on, develop, or explicitly resist the Classical tradition.

Send your work to our upcoming blog site and get feedback from editors Matt Pfaff (mpfaff@umich.edu) and Spencer Hawkins (spenseur@umich.edu).

Once we have enough excellent material, we hope to publish a compendium!


Announcing the 8th Annual


Students from all departments are invited to submit translations of texts from Latin, Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek. We know that there are many people inspired by the beauty of these languages who wish to render them more freely and creatively than classwork often involves. This contest is intended to highlight the work of students who are interested in the process of translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful enterprise. We welcome students in Classics and other languages and literatures as well as creative writers and students interested in translating Greek and Latin into other media, such as music, the visual arts, screen arts, theater, dance, etc. Faculty in all departments are encouraged to announce this contest to their classes. We invite graduate students to inform their own undergraduate language and writing classes about this contest, and to enter it themselves.There will be two categories of contestants: undergraduate students and graduate students. Prizes will be given in each category for the first, second, and third place winning entries of original translations from the languages of Greek or Latin of any era. Winning authors will have the opportunity to present their translations and receive their prizes at the annual Classics awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 22, 2009.


1. Please submit your work anonymously in the following format: include your translation without your name; a copy of the original text; and a cover page with your name, the title and author of the original text, your contact information (email, phone number, address, and department), and whether your entry is for the undergraduate or graduate level.

2. Submissions are due April 1st, to Carrie Baker (647-6251 or mscarrie@umich.edu) in the Comparative Literature Main Office, 2015 Tisch Hall(2nd floor).

3. All submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of faculty from Classics, Comparative Literature, and English.

4. Students affiliated with any department are eligible.

5. All work should consist of original translations/interpretations of works from Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, or Latin.

6. Original works may be in prose or verse and translations may be in prose, verse, or other format, such as multi-media.

7. Maximum length of written submissions is five double-spaced pages.

8. In each category (undergraduate and graduate), the prizes will be gift certificates to a local bookstore of: $150 for each first place winner; $100 for each second place winner; and $50 for each third place winner.

9. Winners will also have the opportunity to read or present their translations at the Classics awards ceremony on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2009