Today at Duke University's Franklin Humanities Institute - I was honored to be invited as part of a series of colloquia on The Future of The Humanities - and what (bearing in mind interdisciplinarity, the Digital Humanities, etc. we believe the Major Issues in our field to be. Subjects are being grouped together and then emphatically not paired - so today, two art historians, two African-Americanists, two Comp Lit people - but each of us on a different panel from our co-disciplinarian. This is the other art historian, Claire Bishop, from CUNY Grad Center, being super-interesting on the question of "the contemporary." It was, indeed, a terrific day of discussion and idea-sharing and cross-disciplinary talk.
But. Nowhere - I swear nowhere in my correspondence about this event was the word "translation" mentioned. Maybe it wasn't part of the original plan? But it was certainly there, after the colon, in the title for the day. We all had to write and submit position papers a couple of weeks ago, and then talk for 15 minutes to introduce them, today. Luckily, I could insert "translation" in one or two spots verbatim, and it was, indeed, an underlying theme in what I'd written. Perhaps the title was added after they'd gathered together our paper drafts? It certainly pulled all of our conceptual speculation together, very well.