Prof. dr. Helena Taylor is joining CERES this spring for a lecture entitled:

“Women’s classical reception in early modern France: ethos, adaptation, and the canon” 

Abstract: Women writers of seventeenth and early eighteenth-century France had a complex relationship with ‘classical reception’. Not only did women rarely have access to classical languages, but the expectations of modesty, shaped by men and women alike, were at odds with the learning and erudition entailed by knowledge of ancient Greek or Latin. In this talk, I will compare how three very different women writers ­— Madeleine de Scudéry (1607-1701), Antoinette Deshoulières (1638-1694) and Anna Dacier (1647-1720), a novelist, a poet and a translator — constructed their relationship to ancient culture as key to their authorial ethos. I will then examine the relationship between this ethos and their uses of, and engagement with, antiquity. I suggest that these three cases challenge assumptions about gender, knowledge, and canon formation and serve as useful touchstones for interrogating methodologies of reception studies.

The lecture will take place online, June 3rd 2021 at 11am (CET). For registration and zoomlinks, please contact beatrijs.vanacker@kuleuven.be.

The lecture is part of a research workshop initiated jointly by the University of Exeter and KU Leuven.

Before Invisibility: Classical meets Vernacular in Early Modern Translation Studies

The premodern period in Europe is defined by a rise in vernacular cultures and their translation and, in a broader sense, by cultural transmission as a phenomenon central to intellectual life. As a result, the dominance, prestige and cultural capital possessed by classical culture were constantly being contested, as is evident from the transnational Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns. 

How might we assess the production and reception of translations from ancient and from vernacular languages? What does this comparison reveal about national identity; about cultures of knowledge, particularly as they pertain to  genre and authorship; and about translation and the book trade?

While focussed on the early modern initially, this project also poses broader thematic questions, and so would benefit from the perspective of colleagues working in Medieval and Modern European studies and in Translation Studies; such questions relate to the changing status of the discipline of translation and of the translator more broadly (starting from the premise that the ‘invisibility’ of the translator is a modern phenomenon); and bring in approaches from book history, translation studies, cultural history and literary studies. This joint research initiative of KU Leuven and Exeter University comprises two workshops, on April 30 (organized online by Exeter University) and on June 2 (organized online by KU Leuven). Participation is free, but registration is required.

This joint research initiative of KU Leuven and Exeter University comprises two workshops, on April 30 (organized online by Exeter University) and on June 2 (organized online by KU Leuven). Participation is free, but registration is required.

To receive further practical information and zoom links for both sessions, please contact: Helena Taylor (H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk); Freyja Cox Jensen (F.Coxjensen@exeter.ac.uk) ; Beatrijs Vanacker (beatrijs.vanacker@kuleuven.be)

Click here to download the complete programme

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