News and Events

Negotiating Meaning: Translating at a War Crimes Tribunal

Featuring Ellen Elias-Bursac, former translator/reviser of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
4:30 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

In war crimes trials, witnesses testify--through an interpreter--about translated documents tendered as evidence; attorneys argue--through an interpreter--about both the translated documents and the interpreting; and judges adjudicate on interpreted testimony and translated evidence. The translators and interpreters are key to the negotiations over meaning in every trial.

Ellen Elias-Bursac has been translating fiction and non-fiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian for thirty years. Her translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer was given the ALTA National Translation Award in 2006. She has taught at the Harvard University Slavic Department and worked for six years as a language reviser at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Her book Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was honored with the Mary Zirin Prize in 2015.

All are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

This event is cosponsored by the Undergraduate Program in Comparative Literature and Culture, the Master of Arts Program in Comparative Humanities (MACH), and the Ethics Center.

RSVP (optional) on Facebook. For more information, please contact

Bursac poster

Thursday, September 3, 2015
GRALL and COML Open House
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium
2 PM
Please join us to learn more about the Comparative Literature and Culture Program and about our courses.Our COML UAH, David Powelstock will be there to answer your questions, and UDR, Breanna Viziakh, will be there for part of the time, too.

Hope to see you there!

GRALL open house poster

October 6, 2014 
Visible Rhymes, Inaudible Echoes
Script and Sound in the Sinitic Poetry of Modern Japan
4:00 PM
Shiffman 202
Presented by Matthew Fraleigh as part of the East Asian Studies Colloquium

Fraleigh event poster