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Image of Photo of Nicky Harman
photo by Alex Hofford

A drop in the ocean: The (in)visibility of Chinese literature in translation

30 November 2021 17.00 - 18.30
Add to Calendar30/11/2021 17:0030/11/2021 18:30Europe/LondonA drop in the ocean: The (in)visibility of Chinese literature in translation seminarfalseDD/MM/YYYY15Jesus Collegeevent_11314confirmed
Virtual seminar

Nicky Harman (prize-winning literary translator, Chinese to English, and former co-Chair of the Translators Association, The Society of Authors) will deliver about Chinese literature in translation. The lecture will be followed by a question and answer session. 

Nicky Harman lectured in translation at Imperial College London 2000-2010. She now works as a freelance literary translator from Chinese. When not translating, she works on, a non-profit website promoting Chinese literature in translation, and actively promotes translations through blogs and other social media, talks and author-translator events. She organizes translation-focused events, mentors new translators, teaches translation summer schools and judges translation competitions. She was co-Chair of the Translators Association (Society of Authors, UK) from 2014 to 2017. She is an Advisor to The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, based at the University of Leeds

The literary scene in Chinese is a lively and prolific one, but it is little-known outside the Chinese-speaking world. What status does Chinese contemporary literature have in English translation? What goes down well with readers, and what (having been translated) disappears without a trace? What can translators do to help raise the profile of the works and authors they admire? Nicky addresses all these questions and moves on to consider how literary culture crosses barriers (or does not). She looks at some translations which have won plaudits and examines why, and gives an introduction into the broadly promotional activities that translators find themselves involved in once they have handed over their work to the publisher.

This is one of the lectures in the on-going China Centre Seminar series, hosted by the China Centre, Jesus College. The lectures, given by eminent speakers, cover a broad range of topics and disciplines.


This is a virtual seminar. Attendance is free. Advance booking is required by emailing:  Priority will be given to members of Jesus College and the University of Cambridge. 


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