Virtual Middlebury

Open to the Public

Paratexts: What they are and what they can teach us about Arabic literature in translation

What happens to our reading of modern Arabic literature in English translation if the role of the paratext, instead of the text, is foregrounded? Paratexts are any aspect of a text’s accompanying material. These include titles, subtitles, prefaces, forewords, afterwords, notes, introductions, epigraphs, blurbs, book covers, and dust jackets. This talk focuses on the ubiquitous use of paratexts in translations of Arabic literature from 1950s to the present as a crucial site of translation in translation.

Dima Ayoub (BA, University of Windsor; PhD, McGill University), is assistant professor of Arabic, C.V. Starr Junior Faculty Fellow in International Studies, and the former director of the Middle East Studies program. Her book manuscript Paratext and Power: Modern Arabic Literature in Translation rewrites the social and cultural history of modern Arabic literature in translation by centering the role of publishers, translators, and paratexts, in addition to writers. Professor Ayoub specializes in translation studies, feminist and queer theory, and postcolonial studies. Parallel to her book project, she is currently developing a digital archive of modern Arabic literature in English, French, German, and Spanish translation.

Sponsored by:
Provost's Office; Office of Advancement

Contact Organizer

Borden, Gail A.