PEN: Kitchen Table Translation

Kitchen Table Translation stems from thinking about how immigrants, children of immigrants, or people who identify as part of a Diaspora might bring a particular set of concerns to the task of translation. When the movement of texts (translation) is linked with the movement of bodies (migration), issues of language and culture necessarily collide with questions about politics, history, race and imperialism—the very contexts of migration and Diaspora. Given how central globalization and migration are to our world today, it seems urgent to foster conversations about translation that take these issues into account. Considering that the world of literary translation is also very white, Kitchen Table Translation creates an opportunity to hear from writers and translators who can speak about personal, cultural and political dimensions of translation in relation to the technical, aesthetic, literary aspects of the work. 

Eiko Otake is a New York-based movement artist, performer, and choreographer who for more than forty years worked as Eiko & Koma. Since 2014, she has directed and performed a solo project, A Body in Places, and, in collaboration with photographer-historian William Johnston, a series of exhibitions showing her dancing in ruined Fukushima, and elsewhere. 

Dagmawi Woubshet is an associate professor of English at Cornell University. He is the author of The Calendar of Loss: Race, Sexuality, and Mourning in the Early Era of AIDS, and co-editor of Ethiopia: Literature, Art, and Culture, a special issue of Callaloo. His writings have appeared in publications including TransitionThe Atlantic, and African Lives: An Anthology of Memoirs and Autobiographies.

Amy Sara Carroll is the author of SECESSION (2012), FANNIE + FREDDIE/The Sentimentality of Post-9/11 Pornography (2013), and REMEX: Toward an Art History of the NAFTA Era (forthcoming). Since 2008, she also has been a member of the Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, coproducing the Transborder Immigrant Tool. Recently, she was named a 2017-2018 Cornell Society for the Humanities Fellow.

Moderator Madhu Kaza is a writer, translator, artist, and educator born in Andhra Pradesh, India and based in New York City. She has translated the contemporary Telugu women writers Volga and Vimala. She is the editor of Kitchen Table Translation: Migration, Diaspora, Exchange and the spring 2017 issue of the literary journal, Aster(ix). She is currently at work on a novel titled Afterlife.