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Release: Oct. 23, 2001

Leading scholar of literary translation visits UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Lawrence Venuti, professor of English at Temple University and director of the Temple study abroad program in Rome, will visit the University of Iowa Oct. 24-27 as Ida Beam Visiting Professor in the department of cinema and comparative literature. He will give a free, public lecture "Translating Humor: Equivalence, Compensation, Discourse," on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 4 p.m. in Room 107 of the English-Philosophy Building.

An expert translator and leading scholar of the history and theory of literary translation, Venuti has translated authors including Barbara Alberti, Dino Buzzati and I. U. Tarchetti. He will teach classes in the Translation Workshops and work with student translators, faculty, and visiting writers.

Venuti's 1995 study "The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation" reinvigorated an on-going debate about whether the translator's fidelity to sources should lead to a transparent English, or whether we must understand translation to produce an artwork that bears an identity or signature of the translator as well as the stamp of its original author. "The Scandals of Translation: toward an Ethics of Difference" (1998) has carried the discussion further. As editor in the field of translation studies, Venuti has contributed "Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology" (1992), "Translation and Minority" (1998), and "The Translation Studies Reader" (2000). His newest project "Translation: a Textbook for Research and Practice" will be in print shortly.

Venuti's visit is co-sponsored by the department of French and Italian, the department of Spanish and Portuguese, and the International Writing Program. For further information, contact the department of cinema and comparative literature at (319) 335-0330.

Venuti's activities at the UI are supported by the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program, which brings outstanding scholars to the UI campus for residencies ranging from a few days to an entire academic year. A native of Vinton, Iowa, Beam willed her farm to the UI in 1977. Proceeds from the sale of the farm were used to establish the visiting professorships program in her name. Since 1977, hundreds of eminent scholars and scientists have visited the UI campus to give public lectures and to meet with students and faculty.