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8 May 2006
Book Talk and Signing by Editor and Contributors to Newly Published Essay Collection May 16

Di Biase speaking to international scholars about the publication of essay collection on travel and translation.

There will be a book talk and signing by the editor and contributors to a newly published essay collection on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. on the 11th floor of Houston Cole Library. The essays examine the topic of travel and translation. The book talk begins with its origination from a 2002 JSU conference of Renaissance scholars to its publication.

Carmine G. Di Biase, Professor in English at JSU, has recently achieved the publication of an influential collection of essays, "Travel and Translation in the Early Modern Period." Originally, the essays began as a purposefully conceived conference of the same title. It was held over three days in November 2002 at Houston Cole Library, JSU. Dr. Di Biase invited international scholars in their field to contribute papers with the aim of turning them into a unique volume.

The edited volume includes essays by History professor Rusel Lemmons, English Professors Randall C. Davis, Joanne E. Gates, and Di Biase himself. Geography and Geology professor Kelly Greg contributed to the 2002 program with a narrated slide show of Hernando de Soto's travels through the Southeast. Howard Miller, formerly of the department of History and Foreign Languages Department, is a contributor in a volume that includes seventeen essays. The volume is Volume 26 of the "Approaches to Translation Studies," published by Rodopi Press of Amsterdam and New York.

Di Biase, speaking recently at a meeting of JSU's faculty group, Academe, mentioned that he was especially pleased to have Oumelbanie Zhiri contribute, as her scholarship on the influential "Leo Africanus" has received international acclaim.

The relationship between travel and translation might seem obvious at first, but to study it in earnest is to discover that it is at once intriguing and elusive. Of course, travelers translate in order to make sense of their new surroundings; sometimes they must translate in order to put food on the table.

The relationship between these two human compulsions, however, goes much deeper than this. What gets translated, it seems, is not merely the written or the spoken word, but the very identity of the traveler.

The essays constitute the first survey of how this relationship manifests itself in the early modern period. As such, it should be of interest both to scholars who are studying theories of translation and to those who are studying travel and the literature of travel.

The May 16th event in the library will be an informal talk about how the collection came together. Contributors will speak briefly on their topic.

Di Biase uses his expertise on Michelangelo and John Florio to investigate concerns of the whole volume, especially as it relates to crisis points in the life of an exile and how the act of translation is transformative and cultural. Lemmons writes on Martin Luther's travel to Rome and how that instigated the resistance to decay in the Catholic Church and eventually his 95 Theses. Randall Davis examines the Anglo-American attitudes to Native American Languages, stressing that Roger Williams conveyed-- more than others who had early contact with the New World-- a mutual understanding between cultures. Joanne Gates looks at the curious and comedic antics of John Taylor, Water Poet of the Thames, who had a particular fascination for ridiculing the foreign travels of Thomas Coryate.

Copies of the book can be ordered through the press. Order forms will be supplied at the event. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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