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Translations: Ancient and Modern

Posted on Friday, January 26, 2024 at 3:07 pm

Friends of the Library of Sewanee: The University of the South invites you to attend a panel presentation about the work of translations.  Professor Stephanie McCarter from the Classics Department and Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds, a German translator will discuss their most recent works.   The event will be held in the Torian Room, second floor of duPont Library, on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.

Stephanie McCarter is a professor of Classics at Sewanee. Her translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses was published last year by Penguin. She is currently working on a translation of the poetry of Catullus.  Her talk considers how translators’ identities and ideologies inform their work. Dr. McCarter outlines how her own feminist background and goals gave her tools to reassess Ovid and to produce a more accurate translation of the Metamorphoses. She will look especially at her rendering of the Apollo and Daphne episode, particularly words describing the body and sexual violence.

With degrees in art history and historic preservation, Rachel Reynolds, C’98, has worked as a historical consultant and academic editor before transitioning to literary translation. She has published over twenty works of contemporary fiction and nonfiction in translation with publishers in both the US and the UK, including Forty Hours by Kathrin Lange, Love Letters from Montmartre by Nicolas Barreau, and Place of No Return by Andrea Hoffmann and Mihrigul Tursun. Her next translation will be a middle-grade novel, due out in September 2024 through Amazon Crossing.

Rachel will use her latest translation Place of No Return as a case study, discussing how contemporary works “travel” across linguistic borders and how literary translators are critically, though practically invisibly, involved in efforts to fully globalize (in a good sense) the Anglophone publishing world. Non-Anglophone works face numerous challenges within the broader English-speaking publishing industry. Through their efforts to help diversify the body of literature available for Anglophone readers, literary translators serve as pivotal intermediaries in this process, providing essential access to book-related materials critical to the editorial decision-making and the book production processes.

There will be a reception and book sale and signing following the talk.

More information about the Friends of the Library can be found at their website:  If you have questions about the talk or joining the Friends of the Library, please contact Penny Cowan at 931-598-1573 or