Translation in Transition: Australian Literature in Japan

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Event Details

31 July 2019 at 4:00 pm
Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium
School of Languages Literatures Cultures and Linguistics; Japanese Studies; Japanese Studies Centre


Please join us for the first JSC seminar of Semester 2!

Professor Tomoko Ichitani from Seinan Gakuin University will speak about her research 'Translation in Transition: Australian Literature in Japan'. Afternoon tea will precede the seminar. Hope to see you there!

Title:  Translation in Transition: Australian Literature in Japan

Abstract:  From the early modernisation of Japan through to contemporary times, translations have had a continued, if waning, impact on Japanese society and culture. While providing an overview of the relationships between Japanese translations of Anglophone literature, literary studies and the social-cultural currents running through modern Japanese history, this talk will particularly focus on the translation of Australian literature into Japanese. In doing so, it will offer analyses of key works of translation in relation to their historical, political, social and cultural contexts. Attention will be given to The Masterpieces of Australian Contemporary Literature Series which was established by Gendai Kikakushitsu Publishing in 2012 with the support of the Australia-Japan Foundation. This ten-year project aims to increase the recognition of contemporary Australian literature by translating and publishing Australian novels in Japan. The project also attempts to reveal 'Contemporary Australia' and share with Japanese audiences the diversity of its culture and society. Six books have been published through the series to date and in this talk I will introduce details of the project as well as my own experiences in translating The Secret River, which was the fourth book in the series. By examining the social and cultural transitions within literary translation in Japan this talk will conclude by exploring the implications of The Masterpieces of Australian Contemporary Literature Series.

Biography:  Tomoko Ichitani is Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at Seinan Gakuin University in Fukuoka, Japan. She is currently Visiting Fellow at the Australian Centre in the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne. Her primary area of research is Australian contemporary literature, with particular focus on Indigenous Australian writing and multicultural writing. She has published widely on these topics both internationally and within Japan, including the forthcoming edited volume Transpacific Ecocriticsm (Sairyusha, 2019) and a contributing chapter in Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature (Cambrian Press, 2010). She also works to promote Australian literature to Japanese audiences and in 2015 she translated Kate Greenville’s The Secret River into Japanese as part of the Masterpieces of Australian Contemporary Literature Series. She is currently working on a collaborative translation of Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria. She is on the Board of Directors of the Australian Studies Association of Japan and the Australia and New Zealand Literary Society of Japan.