On Halloween morning, the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Center for Translation Studies and Egypt’s National Center for Translation are set to launch a joint project, a new House of Translation (بيت الترجمة).
The translation center’s Director Samia Mehrez said that they are “very happy to enter into this partnership, of course. As two centers, I think we complement each other in many ways.”
She noted that the National Translation Center’s focus is on the practice of translation, whereas her center concerns itself with theory. The “House of Translation” is the first joint project in what may well grow into a series of such collaborations.
The House of Translation’s initial mandate is to host three translators or translator-scholars each year in three consecutive sessions. Potential visiting scholars will apply to an open, worldwide call.
“Obviously this is multidisciplinary—humanities, social sciences, literature, but also the sciences,” Dr. Mehrez said. “I’m looking forward to seeing applications in the sciences. This is an area that both centers need” to focus on more.
The project must be Egypt-oriented in some way, Mehrez said, so that the visiting translator will benefit from time in the country. The translator or translator-scholar will also have an opportunity to get feedback from Egyptian colleagues. And Egypt will benefit from the translator’s presence, as the House of Translation residents will be asked to give lectures and workshops.
Who can apply for the residency?
“There are translators, people who are working on various texts that have to do with Egypt in particular,” Mehrez said. “But also scholars working on manuscripts in translation studies. And the field is immense. Historians, anthropologists, literary critics…. The field of translation studies is a traveling field.”
Mehrez said that the call for applicants will go up on both centers’ websites. “We would also like to think of our local translators in Egyptand in the region.” But, she added, “it would be wonderful to have scholars from China and Japan, Turkey, Iran.”