Department of Languages and Literatures

Hearst Lecture Series: Spring 2020

The Department of Languages & Literatures Presents
The Meryl Norton Hearst Lecture Series
Spring 2020

Monday, March 9
7:00 p.m. Commons Ballroom

Aron AjiAron Aji​

"The Liberal Arts, Global Humanities and World Languages: Translation for Global Literacy"

Today’s extensive exchange of material and nonmaterial cultures across national borders has made “interconnectedness” a defining feature of globalization.  To brave this vast geography of interconnectedness requires a special reserve of knowledge and skills--i.e. Global Literacy--to support intercultural understanding and communication; critical inquiry and creativity; an ethics of trust and empathy; and global engagement and collaboration. Translation is central to global literacy since practically every form of global exchange depends on translation across languages.   In light of this, critical reflection on and engaged practice of translation present unparalleled opportunities for academic inquiry. 

Aron Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, Latife Tekin, and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: Death in TroyThe Garden of Departed Cats, (2004 National Translation Award); and A Long Day’s Evening, (NEA Literature Fellowship, and short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). He also edited, Milan Kundera and the Art of Fiction. He is also the vice president of The American Literary Translators Association.


Monday, March 23
7:00 p.m. Commons Ballroom

Lluís Maria Todó​ Todo picture

“​Cataluña, un territorio con dos lenguas (o más). ¿Dónde está el problema?" / “Catalonia, a territory with two (or more) languages. What’s the problem?” 


This bilingual lecture (presented in Spanish and English) will address issues of language, culture, and identity in contemporary Spain, focusing on the area of Catalonia, which in recent years has been the site of an impassioned independence movement.

Lluís Maria Todó is a Professor in the Department of Translation and Interpretation at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, as well as a literary critic and a translator of Bossuet, Balzac, Maupassant, and Flaubert. He has written several novels and short story collections in both Catalan and Spanish, often dealing with LGBTQ issues. In 2006, Todó’s novel El mal francés (The Bad Frenchman) won the Josep Pla Prize, the highest literary honor awarded in Catalonia.

The event is funded in part by the UNI Faculty Senate.



Wednesday, April 22
7:00 p.m. Bartlett 1017

Camilo Pérez-Bustillo​​​Camilo Perez-Bustillo

Beyond American Dirt: Witness at the Border

Pérez-Bustillo will speak about his work with "Witness at the Border," an initiative that seeks to draw attention to, and raise public consciousness about, issues related to the conditions asylum seekers face along the U.S./Mexico border. He will contrast his first-hand experience with the recent controversy surrounding the novel, American Dirt

Pérez-Bustillo is a fellow at the Stanford University Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is the former director of research and advocacy at Hope Border Institute and co-author with Karla Hernández Mares of Human Rights, Hegemony and Utopia in Latin America: Poverty, Forced Migration and Resistance in Mexico and Colombia (Brill 2016/Haymarket Books, 2017).
This event is co-sponsored by Imagining America

Click here to learn more about the life of Meryl Norton Hearst.