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ODU to Host International Symposium: Mother Tongues and Other Cultures

More than 60 presenters, representing over 15 languages and cultures, will take part in Old Dominion University's seventh international symposium, "Mother Tongues and Other Cultures: Creative Writing, Translation and Multi-Cultural Transformation," Sept. 10-13.

Among the presenters will be Holocaust survivors and several prominent featured speakers, including journalist and novelist Rafael Seligmann, often called the "Philip Roth of Germany."

"In our increasingly global and international world, more and more people migrate and settle in new cultures but continue to express themselves in their original language. In the process, subcultures emerge which create new cross-cultural modes of representation," said Frederick Lubich, professor of German in ODU's foreign languages and literatures department, which sponsors the symposium.

"They not only transform mother tongues but affect also other forms of expression, such as film and music, as well as sexual, spiritual and cultural identity. These various forms of transculturations invariably require sophisticated translations in order to be properly understood and fully appreciated. This four-day conference will trace these various aspects in over 15 languages and cultural communities, ranging from the last representatives of Holocaust survivors to the most recent voices of young American poets writing in different tongues."

Seligmann will give the keynote address, "The Renaissance of the German-Jewish Novel," at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in room 1012 of the Batten Arts and Letters Building.

The conference readings will be complemented by research papers.

A link to the symposium program, which includes a complete listing of presentations and film screenings, can be found on the College of Arts and Letters Web site: http://al.odu.edu.

For more information about the symposium, contact Lubich at 757-683-3981 or flubich@odu.edu.

The symposium was made possible by the support of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation, the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and Temple Israel.

This article was posted on: September 2, 2009

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