Translating Homer’s Odyssey

Composed over 2,700 years ago, Homer’s Odyssey is the second oldest extant text of Western literature and has been widely translated by prominent men of letters. In 2017, University of Pennsylvania Professor of Classical Studies Emily Wilson published the first English translation done by a woman, which was widely lauded by scholars and poets. In the Heinz Bluhm Memorial Lecture on April 24, Wilson will talk about her translation and the creative process behind it, as well as previous translations of the Odyssey and the reception of her work. Wilson’s publications include The Death of Socrates and The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca. Her lecture will take place in Devlin Hall, room 101, beginning at 5:30 p.m. More on Wilson from the New York Times Magazine

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Key to digital transformation

Organizations need to understand that best way to respond to digital disruptions is not through technology, but through people and processes. Being digital in today’s world means having an organizational culture that is agile, risk tolerant, and experimental. That’s the message in a new book by BC Information Systems Professor of Information Systems Gerald (Jerry) Kane and co-authors Anh Nguyen Phillips (Deloitte Center for Integrated Research), Jonathan Copulsky (Northwestern University), and Garth Andrus (Deloitte Consulting LLP). In The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation (MIT Press, April 2019), the authors argue that effective digital transformation involves changes to organizational dynamics and how work gets done. Their book draws on four years of research, conducted in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, surveying more than 16,000 people and conducting interviews with managers at such companies as Walmart, Google, and Salesforce. The authors illuminate the concept of digital maturity and address the specifics of digital transformation, including cultivating a digital environment, enabling intentional collaboration, and fostering an experimental mindset.

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Hollywood is calling

Boston College alumna Juliette Fay transports readers back to 1920s Hollywood in her new historical novel, City of Flickering Light (Simon & Schuster, 2019). City of Flickering Light tells the story of Irene Van Beck, Millie Martin, and Henry Weiss, three friends who search for fame and fortune in the silent film industry. According to the publisher: “Despite the glamour and seduction of Tinseltown, success doesn’t come easy, and nothing can prepare Irene, Millie, and Henry for the poverty, temptation, and heartbreak that lie ahead.” Fay’s previous novels include The Tumbling Turner Sisters, Shelter Me, and The Shortest Way Home.

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Refusenik literature

On April 16, Boston College will hold a symposium to mark the English-language publication of Doctor Levitin, a novel by David Shrayer-Petrov, edited and co-translated by BC Professor Maxim D. Shrayer. The event will feature an academic panel, a reading, and a panel on literary translation. The symposium will take place from 4 to  7 p.m. in Devlin Hall, 101. Sponsors: Institute for the Liberal Arts; Jewish Studies Program; Department of Slavic and Eastern Languages and Literatures; Program in East European Studies. See flyer for event details.

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Intercollegiate poetry festival

Students representing 24 Boston-area colleges and universities will read from their original poetry at the 2019 Greater Boston Intercollegiate Undergraduate Poetry Festival being held at Boston College April 16. Meg Kearney, founding director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College, will be the keynote speaker. Her collection of poems, Home By Now, was winner of the 2010 L. L. Winship/PEN New England Award and also a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and Foreword Magazine‘s Book of the Year. A chapbook of poetry written by participating students will be published in conjunction with the event. The BC student chosen to participate in the festival is Sabrina Black, Class of 2019, who will recite her poem, “From Our Family to Yours.” The festival begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Yawkey Center’s Murray Function Room. Sponsors: Poetry Days and Boston College Magazine.

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Translating Aristotle

For more than two thousand years, Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric has shaped thought on the theory and practice of the art of persuasive speech. Aristotle defends rhetoric as an art and a crucial tool for deliberative politics while also recognizing its capacity to be misused by unscrupulous politicians to mislead or illegitimately persuade others. A new translation of Aristotle’s treatise by Behrakis Professor in Hellenic Political Studies Robert C. Bartlett takes into account important alternatives in the manuscript and is fully annotated to explain historical, literary, and other allusions. Bartlett’s translation, Aristotle’s “Art of Rhetoric” (University of Chicago Press, 2019), also includes an interpretive essay. An expert in classical political philosophy, Bartlett also is the author of Sophistry and Political Philosophy: Protagoras’ Challenge to Socrates.

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Ireland and Shakespeare

Patrick Lonergan Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies Patrick Lonergan will present “Shakespeare and the Modern Irish Theatre: Staging Anglo-Irish Relations from 1916 to Brexit,” on April 10 at 4:30 p.m. in the Burns Library’s Thompson Room. A professor of drama and theatre studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Lonergan has written or edited 12 books on Irish drama, exploring how current events and societal trends influence the way drama is conceived, staged, and interpreted, and the impact this has on public views on political or social issues. At BC, he is teaching the course Theater and Globalization—examining how the growth of world theater has shaped the work of dramatists in an expanded literary marketplace. His lecture will examine the connections between Shakespeare, Irish theater, and Irish-Anglo relations. Read a Q&A with Lonergan from the Boston College Chronicle.

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