“The Truth in Translation: Telling Stories of Women and the Lebanese Civil War”
by Michelle Hartman, McGill University.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Rittenberg Lounge, Mather Hall

This year's the lecture is being organized by Professor Kifah Hanna and the Arabic Section of the Language and Culture Studies Department

“The Truth in Translation: Telling Stories of Women and the Lebanese Civil War” tells a story about telling stories of women and the Lebanese Civil War. It poses a series of questions about how we can translate women’s war stories from Arabic to English—how we identify them, understand them, work with them, and share them. Using insights from translation studies, the talk uses several specific examples to explore where “truth” can be located and created in translation.

Michelle Hartman is Professor of Arabic Literature at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. She is a literary scholar and translator, especially of Arab women’s fiction into English. Her most recent books include Women’s War Stories: The Lebanese Civil War, Women’s Labour, and the Creative Arts(Syracuse UP, 2022) and the award winning Breaking Broken English: Black-Arab Solidarity and the Politics of Language(Syracuse UP, 2019). She has published more than a dozen full length literary translations, one of the most recent of which is the prison memoir of Nawal Baidoun, Memoirs of a MilitantMy Years in the Khiam Women’s Prison (2022). Her most recent (forthcoming) book, with Malek Abisaab, is What the War Left Behind: Women’s Stories of Resistance and Struggle in Lebanon some elements of which she will be discussing at Trinity College.