Lost without Translation: Telling the Stories of a Silenced People
Anushiya Ramaswamy has been prolific researcher with a specialization in Compositions theory, History of Rhetoric, African American Rhetoric and Post Colonial literature. Her essay, “Translating Tamil Dalit poetry,” appeared in World Literature Today. She translated two Tamil novels by the Sri Lankan Tamil writer Shobhasakthi who lives in exile in Paris (Gorilla, Random House; Traitor, Penguin) and a poem collection Give us this day feast of flesh: Translated poetry of N.T. Rajkumar (published by Navayana). Prof. Ramaswamy explores the challenges of translating the works of writers who come from marginalized social location. Lost without Translation: Telling the Stories of a Silenced People The last thirty years of civil war in Sri Lanka has left its minority Tamil people ravaged like their home towns. Those who were able to slip into other lands, lead precarious lives as mostly illegal immigrants. Of the survivors in Sri Lanka, thousands still live in refugee camps behind barbed wire. Her work in translating the novels and short stories of the Sri Lankan writer Shobasakthi, attempts to bring into the world the tales of a denied people. In her talk, she hopes to speak of the need for translating the narratives of the powerless as a globalized world finds it easy to forget the sufferings of whole populations. Her translations offer a counter narrative to the official versions, the tourist posters, and the political speeches that claim that there are no victims now.
Cosponsored by the Fall 2012 LSA Translation Theme Semester and Kitabmandal