Karen Van Dyck

Columbia University

A Different Alphabet: Migration, Translingualism, Translation

What happens if we approach the cultural translation of migration through the nitty-gritty practices of translating languages? If we pay attention to the linguistic signs of transnational movement—the use of creoles, code switching and loan words—can we formulate new ways of understanding xenophobia, border crossing, and assimilation? What lessons does the polylingual literature of the Diaspora have for translation practice and migration policy? I address these questions in A Different Alphabet, my book-length study of the role of translation in literature about and by the Greek Diaspora since the 1880s.

Karen Van Dyck is the Kimon A. Doukas Professor of Modern Greek Literature at Columbia University. She is the founder and former director of Hellenic Studies (1988-2016) and has also been an active member of the Institute for Research on Women, Sexuality and Gender, the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society, the European Institute and the Istanbul Global Center. Her books and translations include Kassandra and the Censors, The Scattered Papers of Penelope, Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry, winner of the London Hellenic Prize, and Margarita Liberaki's novel Three Summers.

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