Dr. Aaron Hostetter, Associate Professor of English, will present “The Queer Life of Everyday Objects: A Translation Reading,” on Wednesday, November 16, at 11:20 a.m. This free event will take place at the Writers House, Room 104. Registration is requested.  

Translation theory has always hinged on a problematic reality: all translations are inherently failures. No idea or word can be rendered over with full accuracy from one language or culture to another. If this axiom is true, and failure our only possibility, then I would like to exult in those failures. The venerable Quentin Crisp, queer icon, once wrote “If at first you don’t succeed, then failure may be your style.” Trans theorist Jack Halberstam argues that courting failure is a productive way of generating truly new knowledge about texts we all think we know, seeking answers in realms thought beneath the sublime objects of our contemplation. He invokes “f*cking around” as a powerful heuristic device, a way to play your way to knowing — and pushing past sedimented critical assumptions that can hold back progress.

Dr. Hostetter has been thinking through new & creative re-translations of Old English poetry, flirting with failure & exulting in excess & camp to discover ideas latent in these 1,000-year-old poems. Please join them for a reading of several of these new versions with discussion afterwards.