Building Other Bodies: A Conversation About Speculative Fiction In Translation
This event brings together writers and translators of speculative fiction from Taiwan, South Korea, and Kuwait: Mona Kareem, NEA-award-winning poet who translated Octavia Butler’s Kindred into Arabic in 2020; Bora Chung, author of the short story collection Cursed Bunny (Honford Star, 2021) and the collection’s PEN-Award-winning translator Anton Hur; Chi Ta-wei 紀大偉, author of the 1995 queer Taiwanese classic The Membranes (Columbia University Press, 2021), and the novel’s translator Ari Larissa Heinrich (translator of Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre (NYRB, 2014)). The conversation will explore the craft of writing speculative fiction, the challenges—both technical and institutional—of bringing these works into/out of English, and the problems of race, genre, and geography. The 90-minute discussion will be moderated by Dr. Claire Gullander-Drolet and Dr. Dylan Suher (Society of Fellows in the Humanities, University of Hong Kong), followed by a Q and A.
This event is supported by the Society of Fellows in the Humanities, University of Hong Kong and the Korean Cultural Centre in Hong Kong.
Authors will appear virtually.
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Featuring (click on author names to read more)
Mona Kareem is the author of three poetry collections and the translator of Octavia Butler, Ra’ad Abdulqadir, and Ashraf Fayadh.
Bora Chung is a writer, translator, and a Russian literature scholar. She lives and writes in Seoul, South Korea.
Anton Hur is a Korean translator. Winner of a PEN Translates award and the PEN/Heim grant, his book translations have been published by Tilted Axis, Grove Atlantic, Feminist Press, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Honford Star, and others
Ta-wei Chi is a queer writer in Taipei. His science fiction novel, The Membranes, translated by Ari Heinrich, is published in 2021. He is associate professor of Taiwanese literature at National Chengchi University, where he teaches LGBT studies and disability studies. His monograph in Chinese, Tongzhi wenxueshi, discusses queer literature in Taiwanese history from the 1960s to the new millennium.
Ari Heinrich is Professor of Chinese Literature and Media at the ANU and author of a number of books including Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body (Duke, 2018). Ari is also the translator of Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre (New York Review Books, 2014) and Chi Ta-wei’s The Membranes (Columbia, 2021).
Photo credit: Tara Pixley