Interview with Sherry Simon

Siri Nergaard met Sherry Simon in May 2013 at the NSTS - Nida School of Translation Studies - in Misano Adriatico, Italy. As one of the year’s two Nida professors she gave three lectures entitled “Across Troubled Divides: Translation, Gender, Memory”.

In the conversation she tells about the divides of her city Montreal, and of her country Canada which “naturally” made her aware of the political dimensions of translation. Following the chronology of her books, Simon tells how feminist writing and gender became a window through which she saw new aspects and dimensions of translation and then how translation became a “way of looking” at the multilingual city. Her personal experience of the multilingual city of Montreal, starting from her neighbourhood, brings her to the study of other cities of translation, like Barcelona, Trieste or Calcutta, that live in a tension between two languages.

The conversation touches Simon’s interest in the connection between translation and memory, on how language and translation are vectors of memory, and finishes with a consideration on the future of translation studies.

Sherry Simon’s beautiful sunglasses hint that the interview is taking place close to the sea and that the Italian summer is on its way. They also hint at playfulness: Sherry Simon demonstrates that serious conversations on serious topics can also be light and lively. 

Sherry Simon is a Professor in the French Department at Concordia University, Montreal.  Her work in Translation Studies has most recently focused on the cultural history of linguistically divided cities, Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory (2012) and Translating Montreal. Episodes in the Life of a Divided City (2006). Previous publications include critical analyses of translation and gender, (Gender in Translation Routledge, 1996). She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Académie des lettres du Québec. In 2009 she was a Killam Research Fellow and in 2010 she received the Prix André-aurendeau from l’Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS).

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