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Center director awarded translation studies grants

Rich Watts stands in front of a row of bookshelves. He wears a black puffy vest and black sweater.

September 28, 2021

Richard Watts, faculty director of the Center and associate professor in French and Italian Studies, was recently awarded two grants for translation studies.

The first grant constitutes the third year of support from the Simpson Center for the Humanities at UW for the activities of the Translation Studies Hub, a project Watts co-directs with Heekyoung Cho (associate professor in Asian Languages and Literature) and Michael Biggins (Slavic, Baltic and East European studies librarian and affiliate professor in Slavic Languages and Literatures).

The Translation Studies Hub organizes monthly colloquia and an annual keynote address, offers a team-taught graduate seminar, Translation Across the Disciplines, in which Canadian (and especially Québecois) translation-studies scholars play an important role, and is developing a Graduate Certificate in Translation Studies.

Rich also received a grant from the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment in July 2021 to complete a translation of Elisée Reclus’s L’Histoire d’un ruisseau (1869; The Story of a Stream), of which he has published an initial chapter in Michigan Quarterly Review (Spring 2020). Directly and indirectly, these grants support the Canadian Studies Center’s investment in the recognition and study of Canada’s official bilingualism and unofficial multilingualism (represented by the many First Nation, Métis, and Inuit languages spoken in Canada, of which the Center regular teaches several) and the crucial role of translation in maintaining communication across such a diversity of languages. A recent example of the relevance of translation to the Center’s activities comes in the form of a story on our program in the Inuktitut language that appeared in Inuktitut Magazine (Spring 2019), which appeared in four separate versions: one in English, one in French (another language whose study the Center supports), and two in Inuktitut, the first in romanized script and the second in syllabics!