nida school of translation studies
An Initiative of the Nida Institute

Translation Studies Research Symposium 2015

25 September 2015 - 25 September 2015

The co-directors of the Nida School of Translation Studies, Drs. Stefano Arduini and Philip H. Towner, in collaboration with the Director of the Center for Applied Liberal Arts at New York University, Dr. Jenny McPhee, are pleased to announce the 2015 Translation Studies Research Symposium. 

  • Theme: Untranslatability and Cultural Complexity
  • Presenters: Lydia H. Liu and Michael Wood
  • Respondents: Mary Louise Pratt and Philip E. Lewis
  • Date and Time: Friday, September 25, 2015 | 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Venue: Woolworth Building, NYU | 15 Barclay Street (at Broadway), New York, NY
  • Registration: To register, please visit
    • Registration fee: $25.00 USD
    • Registration deadline: September 11, 2015

Lydia H. Liu is the Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. She is also founding Director of the Tsinghua-Columbia Center for Translingual and Transcultural Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Professor Liu is a theorist of media and translation, a scholar of comparative literature, and a creative writer in Chinese. Her publications include The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (2010), The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (2004), Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity (1995) and more recently, The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory (2013), co-edited and co-translated with Rebecca Karl and Dorothy Ko. Additionally, she is author of The Nesbit Code, a work of experimental non-fiction written and published in Chinese (2013). 


Michael Wood is the Emeritus Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He formerly served as Chair of the English department and, from 1995-2001, was the Director of Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton. His list of publications includes books on Stendhal, García Márquez, Nabokov, Kafka, and Yeats, as well as Literature and the Taste of Knowledge (2005), Nation, Language and the Ethics of Translation (2005, co-edited with S. Bermann), A Very Short Introduction to Film (2012) and, most recently, Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much (2015). His essays and literary reviews also appear regularly in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, New Republic, and more.


Mary Louise Pratt is Silver Professor at New York University, where she teaches in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Prior to taking up this post in 2002, she was Olive H. Palmer Professor of Humanities at Stanford University. Among her most important publications are Toward a Speech Act Theory of Literary Discourse (1977); Women, Culture and Politics in Latin America (1992, co-authored); and the ground-breaking book Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (1992; second edition 2007). She has received Guggenheim, NEH, and ACLS Fellowships and has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She was President of the Modern Language Association in 2003. Her current research interests include language, linguistic agency, and globalization. 


Philip E. Lewis is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, where he served as chair of Romance Studies and Dean of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of “Vers la traduction abusive” (1980), translated as “The Measure of Translation Effects” in Joseph Graham’s Difference in Translation (1985). Lewis’s notion, derived from Derrida’s “Le retrait de la métaphor” (1978), has entered Translation Studies via Venuti’s concept of “abusive fidelity” in The Translator’s Invisibility (1995). Lewis has published numerous essays on 17th-century French literature, and two books, La Rochefoucauld: The Art of Abstraction (1977) and Seeing Through the Mother Goose Tales (1996), and was also editor of the journal diacritics, which, during the 1970s, was instrumental in publishing first translations into English of works by many continental philosophers, including Derrida, Foucault and Cixous. From February 2007 until March 2015, Lewis served as Vice-President of the Andrew Mellon Foundation. 

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