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Livestreamed on this page on Tuesday 2 June 2020 at 10:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 18:30 BST (London, UTC+1) / 19:30 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

United States
Tuesday 2 June 2020

Translating for the Future: Children’s Literature in Translation

Lawrence Schimel in conversation with Daniel Hahn, and moderated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Tuesday 2 June 2020
Daniel Hahn and Lawrence Schimel.

Daniel Hahn (photo by John Lawrence) and Lawrence Schimel (photo by Nieves Guerra).

PEN America, the Center for the Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library presented Translating for the Future: Children’s Literature in Translation livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Tuesday 2 June 2020 at 10:30 a.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC-7) / 12:30 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC-5) / 1:30 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC-4) / 18:30 BST (London, UTC+1) / 19:30 CEST (Berlin, UTC+2).

Translators of children's literature—always read by both adults and children— face various unique challenges, including the potential for bi- or multilingualism, the incorporation of illustrations, and differing cultural taboos or views of what is and isn't appropriate for children. Many classics of children's literature (The Little Prince, Pippi Longstockings, the Grimm & Andersen fairy tales, etc.) are read in translation, even if they're not treated as such the way adult books in translation would be. Are translators of works for children "translating for the future" by helping them to develop empathy and learn about other cultures in our globally-connected world, or are they simply sharing universal stories full of delight and emotion that hopefully create lifelong readers?

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with about seventy books to his name. He is has been co-editor of a series of reading guides for children and teenagers, and in 2015 published a new edition of The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature. His translations (from Portuguese, Spanish and French) include a wide range of books for young readers, from picture-books to young adult novels.

Lawrence Schimel writes in both Spanish and English and has published over one hundred twenty books as author or anthologist, in a wide range of genres, including fiction, poetry, graphic novels & children’s literature. He's won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, a White Raven, and the Lambda Literary Award (twice), among many other honors and awards. His translations into Spanish include the graphic novel They Called us Enemy by George Takei and picture book Millions of Cats by Wanda Gàg; his translations into English include the middle grade novels The Wild Book by Juan Villoro and The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Campos, children's poetry collection Poems the wind blew in by Karmelo C. Iribarren (winner of a PEN Translates Award from English PEN), and YA novel La Bastarda by Trifonia Melibea Obono (Global Literature in Libraries Best Translated YA Award Honor Title).

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the former editor-in-chief of MultiCultural Review and editor of Once Upon a Cuento, a collection of short stories for children by Latinx authors. She has three published novels for children and teens — the award-winning YA novel Gringolandia, its companion Surviving Santiago, and the pioneering own voices novel Rogue, for middle grade readers. Her historical novels MOONWALKING, a middle grade verse novel co-authored with Zetta Elliott, and TORCH, for YA readers, are forthcoming in 2021. She has translated picture books, middle grade novels, and screenplays from Portuguese and Spanish to English and is currently co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee. She reviews books for multiple publications and blogs at www.lynmillerlachmann.com.

About this Conference and Conversation Series

Translating the Future launched with weekly hour-long online conversations with renowned translators throughout the late spring and summer and will culminate in late September with several large-scale programs, including a symposium among Olga Tokarczuk's translators into languages including English, Japanese, Hindi, and more.

The conference, co-sponsored by PEN America, the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center CUNY, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, with additional support from the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, commemorates and carries forward PEN's 1970 World of Translation conference, convened by Gregory Rabassa and Robert Payne, and featuring Muriel Rukeyser, Irving Howe, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and many others. It billed itself as "the first international literary translation conference in the United States" and had a major impact on US literary culture.

The conversations are hosted by Esther Allen & Allison Markin Powell.

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email tv@howlround.com, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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