R215. Telling the Whole Truth: Refracting Languages and Perspectives That Are Rarely Translated

Room 1, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


The term "world literature" can be misleading—so many languages are left out. As translators of languages that rarely appear in English, we are concerned that even ardent advocates of world literature are participating in marginalization. Middle Eastern voices, female, and working-class perspectives are often rare and deeply misunderstood. Translators of such voices discuss how to carve out a rightful and nonfetishized space and advocate for change.



Aviya Kushner is the author of The Grammar of God. She is the language columnist at The Forward and a Howard Foundation fellow in nonfiction. An associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, she is also a contributing editor at A Public Space.

Niloufar Talebi is a writer, award-winning translator, and multidisciplinary artist. Projects: Belonging, Vis & I, ICARUS/RISE, Persian Rite of Spring, Fire Angels, Epiphany, Plentiful Peach, The Investment. Her work is commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, BAM, Stanford, Kennedy Center.

Diana Arterian is the author of Playing Monster :: Seiche, the chapbooks With Lightness & Darkness and Death Centos, and coeditor of Among Margins: Critical & Lyrical Writing on Aesthetics. She's a poetry editor at Noemi Press and is earning her PhD in literature and creative writing at USC.

Lida Nosrati is a literary translator whose poems and translations of contemporary Iranian poetry, short fictions, and drama have appeared in The Capilano Review, Words Without Borders, Anomaly (fka Dunken Boat), and Lunch Ticket among others. She works as a legal worker in Toronto.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center