Creating and Translating Worldviews

Creating and Translating Worldviews

Writers create worlds. This session will raise the question of what translators do when they translate authors. What worldviews are they translating when they translate the words and worlds of authors? What role does language play in shaping the meanings of those worldviews and the meanings they can have for us today when we transform them into other spaces, other times, other tongues?

Translating literary texts forces us to move beyond form and meaning, and to explore how the worlds of authors are patterned. By moving beyond the dictionary and beyond the idea that translators must render the meaning of their authors, this session should enable literary scholars and translators to explore ways in which literary texts work. At the same time, translating should highlight something of the sensibility of the literary scholar. This leads us to a key question related to the success of translations: What goes wrong when the literary sensibility is not developed in translators?


Professor James W. Underhill lectures on Literature, Poetics, and Translation at Rouen University in Northern France. His work on worldview and language focuses on both linguistic constraints at a deeper level, and the essential creative impulse by which individuals stimulate the shared language of the community. His most recent publications include Voice and Versification in Translating Poems (Ottawa University Press, 2017), and, with Mariarosaria Gianninoto, Migrating Meanings: the people, citizen, individual, & Europe (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming in 2019).

Date & time

Thu 26 Jul 2018, 1–2pm


Milgate Room, AD Hope Building, ANU


James Underhill


Russell Smith


Updated:  20 July 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications