Photo Credit: Photograph by Agnese De Donato, title: Donne non si nasce, si diventa, 1970. Gelatin Silver print 30x24. Courtesy Collezione Donata Pizzi / Archivio De Donato

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Event Details

Thu, April 18, 2024 to Fri, April 19, 2024

9:00 – 20:30

VILLA SASSETTI
New York University
Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Florence, Italy

All events are free and open to the public.

To attend in person, please send your RSVP to: lapietra.events@nyu.edu.

To register for any of the hybrid sessions on Zoom, please use the links in the program on this page.

Alfabeti del Corpo: Gender, Translation, and Activism is a two-day symposium exploring intersections of feminism, abolition, and translation studies.

The symposium program will include panels, workshops, and salons featuring scholars and practitioners from NYU and beyond.

 

VIEW THE FULL PROGRAM HERE

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 18

9:00-9:30am CET – Welcome/Introductions


9:30-11:00am CET – Sound Translingualism and Motherless Tongues

Moderator:
Robert Fitterman

Panelists:
Allison Grimaldi Donahue
Eugene Ostashevsky
Jennifer Scappettone


11:30am-1:00pm CET – Photography Workshop: Self-Portraiture and Landscape

Facilitators:
Alessandra Capodacqua
Montana Ray


2:30-4:00pm CET – Translating Across, Amid, Between: A Conversation

Moderator:
David Larsen

Panelists:
Nathalie Handal
Jennifer Hayashida
Mitra Rastegar


4:30-6:00pm CET (10:30am-12:00pm ET) – Keynote: Mónica de la Torre

Introduced by Janet Hendrickson
 (Webinar registration link)


6:30 – 8:30 pm CET (12:30-2:30pm ET) – Salon

MC: Robert Fitterman

Participants: Alessandra Capodacqua, Allison Grimaldi Donahue, Jennifer HayashidaDavid Larsen, Eugene Ostashevsky, Montana Ray + Yhuri Cruz, Jennifer ScappettoneJennifer Zoble, and students from NYU Florence and NYU New York.
(Webinar registration link)

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 19

 

9:00-9:30am CET – Welcome/Coffee


9:30-11:00am CET – Plenary: Ann Goldstein and Jenny McPhee in Conversation


11:00am-12:30pm CET – Translation Workshop: Disruption Not Distortion

Facilitators:
Janet Hendrickson
Suzanne Maria Menghraj
Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù


2:00-3:30pm CET (8:00-9:30am ET) – Keynote: Vera Gheno

Introduced by Elisa Biagini
(Webinar registration link)


4:00-5:30pm CET – Feminism, Marxism, and Abolition

Moderator:
Montana Ray

Panelists:
Patricia Badji
Christina Chalmers
Marie Moïse
Tiana Reid


6:00-8:00pm CET – Salon

MC: Elisa Biagini

Participants: Dejan Atanacković, Elisa Biagini, Christina Chalmers, Mónica de la Torre, Robert Fitterman + Roberto Balò, Nathalie Handal, Janet Hendrickson, Eric Nicholson, and students from NYU Florence

 

 

Alfabeti del Corpo: Gender, Translation, and Activism is hosted by NYU Florence and sponsored by NYU’s Minor in Translation Studies. We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the following administrative and academic units:

Office of Global Programs
Global Research Initiatives, Office of the Provost
Liberal Studies
Department of Comparative Literature

 

Featured Biographies

Dejan Atanacković

ARTIST AND JOURNALIST

Dejan Atanacković has held and curated visual art exhibitions since the 1990s. For over 20 years, he has taught courses in art, visual culture, and writing at various universities in Florence and Siena. He received the 2018 NIN Award for his first novel Lusitania (Besna Kobila, 2017). His collection of short stories, The Man without a Tongue, was published in 2018. He’s published stories in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, and columns for NIN magazine (2018-2023). He co-founded the Serbian political movement Ecological Uprising in 2021 and served on the Belgrade City Council from 2022 to 2023 with the left-green coalition Moramo (“We Must”). Since January 2024, he has been a regular columnist for the Belgrade weekly Novi Magazin. He lives between Belgrade and Florence.

Patricia Badji

TRANSLATOR AND CUSTOMER CARE SPECIALIST

Patricia Badji is an Italian-Senegalese translator with a Master’s Degree in European and Extra-European Languages and Literatures from Università degli Studi di Milano. She furthered her education with a postgraduate degree in Editorial Translation from English into Italian at Agenzia Formativa TuttoEuropa in Torino. She is interested in women’s studies and the impact of capitalism on marginalized groups, and her latest translation, Oltre la periferia della pelle by Silvia Federici (D Editore, 2023), reflects her dedication to amplifying crucial voices. Besides her translations, she also works part-time as a Customer Care Specialist.

Roberto Balò

POET

Roberto Balò is the author of several poetry books. Since the early 1990s he has collaborated with artists, musicians, and performers. His latest book, Saga, was published in 2019 by Porto Seguro press. He co-directs Accademia del Giglio, a language and art school in Florence where he teaches Italian as a foreign language and is a trainer for L2/LS teachers

Elisa Biagini

LECTURER, NYU FLORENCE

Elisa Biagini has published several poetry collections such as L’Ospite (Einaudi, 2004), Fiato. parole per musica (D’If, 2006), Nel Bosco (Einaudi, 2007), The guest in the wood (Chelsea editions, 2013-2014 Best Translated Book Award), Da una crepa (Einaudi, 2014), The Plant of Dreaming (Xenos books, 2017), Depuis une fissure (Cadastre8zero, 2018; Prix Nunc 2018), Filamenti (Einaudi, 2020), Filaments (Le Taillis Pré, 2022), and TRÅDAR (Bökforlaget Edda 2023). Her poems have been translated into fifteen languages and she has translated several contemporary American poets for reviews, anthologies, and complete collections (Nuovi Poeti Americani; Einaudi, 2006), as well as a selection of Paul Celan’s poems. She teaches writing at NYU Florence and is the artistic director of the international poetry festival “Voci Lontane, Voci Sorelle.” www.elisabiagini.it

Alessandra Capodacqua

LECTURER, NYU FLORENCE

Alessandra Capodacqua, a Naples-born photographer and lecturer at NYU Florence, explores identity and gender through self-portraits using diverse devices from pinhole cameras to smartphones. Her work, displayed globally and part of collections like the Galleria degli Uffizi, also involves curating exhibitions and organizing photography festivals. As a recognized juror and portfolio reviewer, she contributes to the photography community and, since 2018, has advised and curated for the Collezione Donata Pizzi, featuring over 90 Italian women photographers.



Christina Chalmers

PhD CANDIDATE, COMPARATIVE LITERATURE, NYU

Christina Chalmers is a researcher working at the intersection of intellectual history, feminist philosophy, environmental humanities, psychoanalysis, and Marxist economic theory. Her doctoral dissertation, nearing completion, is titled “Crises of Transmission: The Concept of Inheritance, the Critique of the Family, and the Philosophy of History in 1970s Italy.” Presently a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at NYU, her research is supported by the AAUW, the Remarque Institute, and NYU’s Center for the Humanities. She has translated books by Elvio Fachinelli and Franco Farinelli, and is a writer and editor of poetry.

Yhuri Cruz

ARTIST AND PLAYWRIGHT

Yhuri Cruz is a Brazilian artist and playwright whose visual and literary practices involve the integration of collective performances and theatrical installations–a series of works he’s named The emancipation plays. He is interested in the global Black diaspora and its available archive. His work engages in historical fiction, critical fabulation, Black emancipatory fantasy, and institutional criticism across a range of media such as drawings, films, sculptures, and performances. His works are housed in public and private collections in Brazil and internationally.

Mónica de la Torre

MADELON LEVENTHAL RAND DISTINGUISHED LECTURER, BROOKLYN COLLEGE

Mónica de la Torre’s most recent book of poems and translations is Repetition Nineteen (Nightboat, 2020). Other collections include The Happy End/All Welcome (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)—a riff on Kafka’s Amerika—and Public Domain (Roof Books, 2008). She has translated an array of poets including Amanda Berenguer, Omar Cáceres, Ana Hatherly, Lila Zemborain, and Gerardo Deniz. With Alex Balgiu, she co-edited the anthology Women in Concrete Poetry 1959–79 (Primary Information, 2020). She is the recipient of the 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts C.D. Wright Award for Poetry and a 2022 Creative Capital grant. She teaches at Brooklyn College. 



Robert Fitterman

CLINICAL PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Robert Fitterman is the author of 15 books of poetry. His most recent book, Creve Coeur, is forthcoming with Winter Editions (May 2024). Other titles include: This Window Makes Me Feel (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), No Wait, Yep. Definitely Still Hate Myself (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), Nevermind (Wonder Press, 2016), and Rob the Plagiarist (Roof Books, 2009). He is the founding member of the artists-poets collective Collective Task. He lives in New York City and teaches writing at New York University.

Vera Gheno

RESEARCHER, UNIVERSITY OF FLORENCE

Vera Gheno, sociolinguist and translator from Hungarian, teaches at the University of Florence and is focused mainly on digital communication, gender issues, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ann Goldstein

TRANSLATOR

Ann Goldstein is a former editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Elsa Morante, and is the editor of The Complete Works of Primo Levi in English (Liveright, 2015). She has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN Renato Poggioli prize, and awards from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Allison Grimaldi Donahue

AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR

Allison Grimaldi Donahue is the author of Body to Mineral (Publication Studio Vancouver, 2016) and On Endings (Delere Press, 2019). She is translator of Carla Lonzi’s Self-portrait (Divided, 2021) and Blown Away (Fomite, 2021) by vito m. bonito. In 2022, she curated an exhibition at MAMbo on Giulia Niccolai, and in 2023, a residency about the work of Alice Ceresa at Sonnenstube Lugano. She has recently performed at Kunsthalle Bern, Cabaret Voltaire, MACRO, and Short Theatre Rome. She holds an MA in Italian literature from Middlebury College and a PhD in Philosophy from European Graduate School. She lives in Bologna.

Nathalie Handal

PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE IN LITERATURE & CREATIVE WRITING, NYU-AD

Nathalie Handal is the author of ten award-winning books, translated into 15 languages,  including Life in a Country Album, winner of the Palestine Book Award, and The Republics, winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing and the Arab American Book Award. She is the recipient of awards from the PEN Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Fondazione di Venezia, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, and Africa Institute, and is featured at the United Nations for Outstanding Contributors in Literature. Handal is a professor at NYU Abu Dhabi, and writes the literary travel column “The City and the Writer” for Words Without Borders.



Jennifer Hayashida

PhD CANDIDATE, ARTISTIC RESEARCH, THE UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG

Jennifer Hayashida is a poet, translator, and artist based in Stockholm. She earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley and MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She is currently a PhD candidate in artistic research at HDKV, the Academy of Art & Design at Gothenburg University, and teaches in the creative writing program at Biskops Arnö Nordens Folkhögskola. Her dissertation project, Feeling Translation, is an artistic research enquiry where translation is deployed as writing apparatus, pedagogical scaffold, and practice of solidarity. She is the author of A Machine Wrote This Song (Gramma Poetry/Black Ocean, 2018) and the chapbook Översättaren som arkiv/Arkiv som översätter (Autor, 2020). Her scholarly and creative work has been published in journals including Women’s Studies Quarterly, Women & Performance, and The Asian American Literary Review. Her translations between Swedish and English include collections by Athena Farrokhzad, Don Mee Choi, Iman Mohammed, Kim Hyesoon, and Merima Dizdarević.

Janet Hendrickson

CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Janet Hendrickson is Clinical Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies at NYU, where she teaches writing and translation. She is also a literary translator from Spanish and Portuguese. Her experimental translation of Treasure of the Castilian or Spanish Language (New Directions, 2019), which turns a 1611 dictionary by Sebastián de Covarrubias into a series of prose poems, was longlisted for a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She also translated The Future Is Not Ours (ed. Diego Trelles Paz, Open Letter, 2012), a generation-defining anthology of new Latin American fiction.

David Larsen

CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

David Larsen is a US poet and translator, and a current research fellow of the Library of Arabic Literature at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Jenny McPhee

ACADEMIC DIRECTOR AND CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NYU SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Jenny McPhee is the author of the novels The Center of Things, No Ordinary Matter, and A Man of No Moon, and co-author of Girls: Ordinary Girls and Their Extraordinary Pursuits. Her translations include books by the authors Natalia Ginzburg, Primo Levi, Giacomo Leopardi, Curzio Malaparte, Paolo Maurensig, Elsa Morante, Anna Maria Ortese, and Pope John Paul II. She teaches creative writing, literary translation, and contemporary global literature at NYU. She co-founded the Bronx Academy of Letters, a NYC public school, in 2003. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

Suzanne Maria Menghraj

CLINICAL PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Suzanne Maria Menghraj teaches courses in creative approaches to scholarship in the NYU Global Liberal Studies Critical Creative Production concentration, as well as writing in the NYU Liberal Studies Core and NYU Opportunities Program. Her 2020 video essay “Northern Range” was screened at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza as part of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Cinema Ephemera series. Suzanne was a member of the library’s inaugural creatives-in-residence cohort. Her essays and translations have appeared in Guernica, Punctuate, Writing on the Edge, Flyway, People Holding, and Languages of Discrimination and Racism in Twentieth-Century Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).

Marie Moïse

LECTURER IN COMMUNICATIONS, JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

Marie Moïse is an Haitian-Italian researcher. She’s a Lecturer in Communications at John Cabot University of Rome, and research collaborator at the University of Innsbruck. A PhD in political philosophy, she works on racist and colonial legacies from a decolonial feminist perspective. She has co-authored several collections of feminist and afrofeminist essays and short stories, such as: Introduzione ai femminismi (Derive Approdi, 2019) and Future. Il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi (Effequ, 2019). She co-translated into Italian: Where We Stand. Class Matters by bell hooks (2022), Plantation Memories. Episodes of everyday racism by Grada Kilomba (2021), and Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis (2018). 



Eric Nicholson

LECTURER, NYU FLORENCE

For over two decades, Eric Nicholson has taught Liberal Studies Core courses and others at NYU Florence, where he has also directed and performed in theatrical productions by The La Pietra Players. One of these was the English-language premiere of “Clorilli, a Pastoral Drama by Leonora Bernardi of Lucca,” staged in the La Pietra Gardens in Spring 2019, and another was last year’s dance- and music-focused performance of Ben Jonson’s “Masque of Queens…The Power of Women.” With Pamela Allen Brown and Julie D. Campbell, he has translated, edited, and recently published Isabella Andreini’s Fragmenti di alcune scritture as Lovers’ Debates for the Stage (University of Toronto ITER Press, 2022).

Eugene Ostashevsky

CLINICAL PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Eugene Ostashevsky is a poet and translator whose writing is described as “translingual” because of its focus on linguistic multiplicity and interference. His Feeling Sonnets examine the effects of speaking a non-native language on emotions, parenting, and identity. An earlier book, The Pirate Who Does Not Know the Value of Pi, discusses communication difficulties between pirates and parrots. As a translator, Ostashevsky is known for his editions of the Russian avant-garde, such as OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern UP, 2006). His more recent translations include F Letter: New Russian Feminist Poetry (with Ainsley Morse and Galina Rymbu; isolarii, 2020) and Lucky Breaks, short stories by the Kyiv fiction writer Yevgenia Belorusets (New Directions, 2022). He has won the National Translation Award, the Best Translated Book Award, and the City of Münster International Poetry Prize.

Mitra Rastegar

CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Mitra Rastegar is a Clinical Associate Professor in Liberal Studies at New York University. Rastegar earned her PhD in sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her book Tolerance and Risk: How US Liberalism Racializes Muslims (University of Minnesota, 2021) examines the circulation of media discourses about Muslims and Muslim Americans as objects of tolerance and sympathy. Her scholarship has also been published in GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, and International Feminist Journal of Politics. Rastegar’s research and teaching interests include race and racialization, care and solidarity, and transnational feminism.

Montana Ray

CLINICAL ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Montana Ray holds an MFA in poetry and translation and a PhD in comparative literature from Columbia University. She teaches writing and translation at NYU. Her first book of concrete poetry, (guns & butter), was described by Cathy Park Hong as a mix of “Apollinaire with Pam Grier.” Her recent translations include Chilean icon Pedro Lemebel’s baroque chronicles of travesti culture in 1970s Santiago and the visual poetry of Brazilian artist Yhuri Cruz. A 2023 NYSCA/NYFA nonfiction finalist, her current work explores connections between the US South and Latin America. https://www.montanaray.com

Tiana Reid

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, YORK UNIVERSITY

Tiana Reid is an assistant professor in the Department of English at York University in Toronto, where she teaches black literature. Her writing has appeared in American Quarterly, Bookforum, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, and elsewhere.



Jennifer Scappettone

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, CREATIVE WRITING, AND ROMANCE LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

Jennifer Scappettone works at the crossroads of the literary, scholarly, visual, and performative arts. She is the author of the cross-genre verse books From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009) and The Republic of Exit 43 (Atelos Press, 2016), and of the critical study Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice (Columbia UP, 2014). Her translations of the polyglot refugee from Fascist Italy Amelia Rosselli were collected in the book Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012) which won the Academy of American Poets’ biennial Raiziss/DePalchi Prize, and she founded PennSound|Italiana. Scappettone has collaborated on site-specific works at locations ranging from a tract of Trajan’s aqueduct below the Janiculum Hill to Fresh Kills Landfill.

Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù

LECTURER, NYU FLORENCE

Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfaù is a postdoctoral researcher at UniPr and adjunct professor at UniPd, Iuav Venice, Stanford Florence, and NYU Florence. In her studies, she focuses on racialization and coloniality from an anti-racist perspective. She co-translated Memories of the Plantation by Grada Kilomba and Undrowned by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Mackda is also one of the creators of the residency and artistic research grant dedicated to Agitu Ideo Gudeta and promoted by Centrale Fies, Razzismo Brutta Storia, and Black History Month Florence.

Jennifer Zoble

CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, LIBERAL STUDIES, NYU

Jennifer Zoble translates Balkan literature into English, teaches writing and translation, and is currently working on multilingual, polyphonic projects that blend literary translation, oral history, and sound art. Her book translations include Sweetlust and Mars by Asja Bakić (Feminist Press, 2023, 2019) and Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujić (Sandorf Passage, 2021). Her translation of Mars was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2019 by Publishers Weekly. Zoble is on the faculty of Liberal Studies at NYU, where in addition to teaching she coordinates the university’s new undergraduate minor in translation studies.