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News and Events

Recent News:

Please join us in congratulating our COML UDR, Talia Franks, who has been accepted to Middlebury's Bread Loaf Translator's Conference in a Translation Manuscript Workshop!

The 3rd annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference is a week-long program based on the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model that is designed to provide training and community to beginning as well as experienced translators in the pursuit of translating literary texts into English.

The conference will take place from June 3 to June 9, 2017 at the Bread Loaf Campus of the Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont. For more information, please see the Conference website.

Upcoming Events:

image of poster for COML/ECS meet the majors sp17

Meet the Majors: COML & ECS

Monday, March 6, 2017
3:30-4:30 PM
Shiffman 121

Refreshments and great (sometimes even multi-lingual!) conversations provided. Come learn about some of the best programs at Brandeis!

image of poster for ECS Chocolate Cake LectureECS Chocolate Cake Lecture: "Kierkegaard's Response to Hegel's Interpretation of Antigone"

Featuring Jon Stewart, Research Fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Thursday, March 30, 2017
4:00 p.m.
DuBois Lounge (Rabb 119)

Both Hegel and Kierkegaard were fascinated by Sophocles' famous tragedy Antigone. Treating this work in the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Lectures on Aesthetics, Hegel sees the play as representing a key moment in the development of history. Kierkegaard, by contrast, examines the work under the guise of a pseudonym in the first volume of Either/Or. He suggests not so much an analysis of Sophocles' work on its own terms as a rewriting of it as a modern tragedy. In his talk, Jon Stewart will try to bring out the defining elements in the interpretations of the two thinkers. He will argue that Kierkegaard's account is more dependent on that of Hegel than is usually recognized.

Jon Stewart is a specialist in the thought of G.W.F. Hegel and Søren Kierkegaard. He is the editor of the series Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources, Texts from Golden Age Denmark, and Danish Golden Age Studies and the coeditor of the Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook and Kierkegaard Studies Monograph Series. He is the author of eight books, including Kierkegaard's Relations to Hegel Reconsidered (Cambridge University Press 2003) and Søren Kierkegaard: Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity (Oxford University Press 2015). In 2013 he produced a popular MOOC on Kierkegaard, which can be seen on the Coursera platform. He has translated six volumes of philosophical texts from the 19th century and is the editor of more than 35 anthologies. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Currently, he is a research fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

This event is presented by the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences and co-sponsored by the Comparative Humanities Program, the Comparative Literature and Culture Program, the European Cultural Studies Program, and the Humanities Fellows Program. Cake, coffee, and tea will be served.

Past Events:

image of poster for COML GRALL ECS meet the majorsMeet the Majors: COML, GRALL, ECS

Wednesday, October 26, 2016
4:30–5:30 p.m.
Shiffman 121
Refreshments and great (sometimes even multi-lingual!) conversations provided. Come learn about some of the best programs at Brandeis!

image of poster for Spect-actors eventSpect-actors Change the Script towards more Equality and Inclusion: A Forum Theater Event with Doris Sommer and Jennifer Cleary

Thursday, September 15, 2016
2:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall (Goldfarb Library,level 1)

Open to the Brandeis community
Light refreshments

More information can be found here. Related readings are available prior to the event. You may access those here.

A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program sponsored by the Dean of Arts and Sciences and Provost. Co-sponsored by all Humanities departments, the Mandel Center for the Humanities.

image of COML meet the majors posterMeet the Majors/Minors: GRALL Programs, COML, ECS & SAS
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Shiffman 216

Stop by to meet faculty, UDRs, and other students from the following majors, minors, and language programs:

  • German Studies
  • Russian Studies
  • Comparative Literature and Culture
  • European Cultural Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Chinese Language
  • Japanese Language
  • Korean Language

Pizza and international treats will be served! All are welcome.
For more information, see the event poster.

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