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Refract Symposium: Questions of Translation

Refract: An Open Access Visual Studies Journal, with support from the Institute of Arts and Sciences, presents "Questions of Translation," a one-night symposium celebrating the publication of the journal’s second issue, "Translation."

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November 19, 2019 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm

The word

Featuring talks and performances by Ronaldo V. Wilson (Creative Writing and Literature), Mayanthi L. Fernando (Anthropology), John Jota Leaños (Film and Digital Media), and Rebekkah Dilts (Literature), “Questions of Translations” brings together people from across UC Santa Cruz to think about the politics of language and the mechanisms of translation as they inflect their diverse methods and  practices, exploring themes such as politics, performance, language, and accessibility.

Questions of Translation
November 19, 2019
7-9 p.m.
Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) 108
This event is FREE and open to the public. Parking is available in the Arts Parking Lot ($5, pay at the onsite pay station).​

The event will have an ASL interpreter. Please contact for any additional accommodation requests.

About the Speakers

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Prize, Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010.  His latest books are Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (Counterpath Press, 2015), finalist for a Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018). Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, dancer and performer. He has performed in multiple venues, including the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, UC Riverside’s Artsblock, Georgetown’s Lannan Center, Dixon Place, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and Lousiana State University’s Digital Media Center Theater.  The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem, the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Ford Foundation, Kundiman, MacDowell, the National Research Council, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the Center for Art and Thought, and Yaddo, Wilson is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at UC Santa Cruz, serving on the core faculty of the Creative Critical PhD Program, and co-directing the Creative Writing Program.

Mayanthi L. Fernando

Mayanthi L. Fernando is Associate Professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz and the director of the Center for Cultural Studies. She works on religion, secularism, and embodiment, and is the author of The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism (Duke University Press, 2014). Fernando is currently working on a second book on the secularity of the post-humanist turn that asks whether “natureculture” – a reversal of the distinction between nature and the human – might be extended to “supernatureculture.” Among many honors, last year Fernando was a Weatherhead Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 

John Jota Leaños

John Jota Leaños is an award-winning Xicano-mestizo new media artist and social-art practitioner focusing on critical convergences of history, memory, social space, and decolonization. Leaños’ animation, installation, public art, and performance fuse traditional art practices and aesthetics with new technologies and contemporary interpretations. Leaños’ animation work has been shown at festivals and museums internationally and he has exhibited in renown museums, such as the 2002 and 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Social Documentation at UC Santa Cruz, in the Department of Film and Digital Media.

Rebekkah Dilts

Rebekkah Dilts is a Ph.D. candidate in the Literature department at UC Santa Cruz. She holds a Master of Arts in Comparative French and Anglo-American Literature from San Francisco State University in addition to a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Literary Studies from UC Santa Cruz. Her work focuses on French and Anglo-American literature from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, specifically the popularity of Sappho in French and Anglo-American literature in the 19th century and the radical approach to translating Sappho’s work taken by Natalie Clifford Barney and Renée Vivien. 


November 19, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
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