Upcoming Events: Wordplay in Arabic Translation, ‘How to End Things in Arabic Literature’ & More

A few upcoming online events:

May 29

Writers Hany Abdel Mourid and Mohamed El-Fakharani will speak about “Fantasy in the Arabic Novel” at ADIBF on May 29 from 5-6am GST. Find out more here.

June 4

Geert Jan van Gelder and Philip Terry will be offering a workshop (places are limited) on “Wordplay: The Paradoxical Freedom of Constraints” in Arabic translation from 3–5pm BST, followed by a public event titled “Ingenuity & Artifice: Arabic Invention, Oulipian Strategies” from 6–7pm BST in the Arabic Stories and Poetry in Translation series. Register here to participate in the workshop and here to attend the event.

June 4-5

The American University of Beirut and the University of Bamberg, Germany, are hosting a conference on “How to End Things in Arabic Literature”, organized by Bilal Orfali and Lale Behzadi. There will be seven panels over two days, bringing together international experts on Arabic Literature. See the program here on Twitter and register by emailing the AUB Arabic department at arabic@aub.edu.lb.

June 5

Join Mikey Muhanna for an afikra Round Table discussing “A Decade of Shubbak: History of the Festival,” featuring Eckhard Thiemann (Shubbak CEO & Festival Artistic Director), Taghrid Choucair Vizoso (Senior Programmer & Festival Producer) & Riwa Saab (member of the Young Shubbak group).

Later in June:

June 8

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for a virtual event with author Mohamed Kheir and translator Robin Moger to discuss Slipping. They will be in conversation with writer Yasmine El Rashidi. The event will begin at 5pm ET; register here.


Join Mikey Muhanna as he interviews poet Hayan Charara for the Afikra Conversations series on June 8. Register here.


The final session in the “Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing” series on Tuesday 8 June at 5pm BST brings together Refqa Abu-Remaileh and Kristine Khouri to speak about their respective archival and curatorial projects under the title “Fragmented archives and histories of solidarity“. Find out more here and register via Zoom.

June 17

Join Zoe Lambert and Lindsey Moore in conversation with Lancaster University alumni, Naji Bakhti on June 17, 5–6:30pm (BST) for a reading from Naji’s novel Between Beirut and the Moon and a chance to ask questions. Find out more and register here.

June 20

The sixth edition of the Shubbak Festival: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture runs from June 20 – July 17, 2021. We will be highlighting some events nearer the time; until then, you can check out their festival guide.

June 22

The Translators Association will be hosting an event on the topic of “How to Edit Award-Winning Translations” as part of their TA@home festival. Join translator Chantal Wright for a conversation with editors Ka Bradley, Bishan Samaddar and Saba Ahmed about editing translations, the impact of the TA Prize, and the role of the editor. More info and registration here.

June 23

Also part of TA@home is a conversation on “What Does a Successful Career in Literary Translation Look Like?” between translators Rosalind Harvey, Jamie Lee Searle, William Gregory, and Vineet Lal. Read more about the event and register here.

June 24

The third installment of TA@home will be a discussion on “Writing as Translation and Translation as Writing” with translators and writers Saskia Vogel, Sabine Huynh, Tiffany Tsao, and Yovanka Perdigão. Find out more and register here.

June 25

Closing out the TA@home series, Christina MacSweeney, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, Bela Shayevich, Natasha Lehrer, and Max Weiss will talk about “Translating Women’s Non-Fiction Narratives,” looking at the specific challenges in translating these works. More information and how to register here.

June 30

The London Book fair will host sessions focussed on writing under the banner “Literary Translation: Making Words Travel”, and the “English PEN Literary Salon”. You can find more details on their website.