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UCI’s International Center for Writing and Translation Reopens for the 2019-2020 School Year

by: Ian Silver

Graphic design by Alexis Cormier

UCI’s International Center for Writing and Translation reopened at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. As part of its relaunch, the center introduced three new initiatives for the future: “Writing and Injustice,” “Writing in the Expanded Field” and “Untranslating Theory.”

This year the center will be devoting the most time to the “Writing and Injustice” initiative, according to Carrie Noland, the director of the International Center for Writing and Translation. 

“The ‘Writing and Injustice’ initiative harmonizes with the major initiative of the new Humanities Center … it is a series that will be inaugurated by the visit of the Martinican author Patrick Chamoiseau,” Noland said.

Chamoiseau was awarded the Prix Goncourt, a major literary prize in France akin to the Pulitzer Prize in the U.S., for fiction in 1992 for his novel, “Texaco. Chamoiseau focuses on racial and economic injustice. He will be working closely with students during his visit to UCI.

“We are inviting him to campus not only to speak, but to participate in a translation workshop of his newest book, so students and faculty will be invited to work closely with him to translate his book from French into English,” Noland said.  

“Writing in the Expanded Field” and “Untranslating Theory” are the other two initiatives that will be launched this year.

“Writing in the Expanded Field” will focus on “cross-media” and “multi-media events” that will be interactive for students. Meanwhile, “Untranslating Theory” will focus on “Pop-Up Seminars,” which will be three-hour seminars that focus on achieving a greater understanding of one text.

Noland emphasized that these events will focus on student participation rather than standard lectures.

“Our events are going to be primarily participatory events, in other words, instead of having the usual lecturer who lectures for an hour … we are going to stage events where students will be involved with the speaker and their work,” Noland said.

Clarinda Mac Low, daughter of Fluxus poet Jackson Mac Low, will be visiting UCI in March 2020 to do a re-staging of her late father’s book, “The Pronouns: A Collection of 40 Dances for the Dancers.” Graduate and undergraduate students will be invited to work and perform with Mac Low as part of this initiative.

“Our emphasis is really on hands-on work. Students translating, performing and writing,” Noland said.