Multilinguisme, Traduction, Création / 2020-2021

02/04/2021, ENS, 45 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris. Salle Celan. 16h – 18h

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Ada Prospero (1902-1968) was a language teacher, writer, and translator from English, French and Russian. An anti-fascist militant, she fought as a partisan against the Nazi occupation of Italy. After the end of World War II, she was appointed vice-mayor of Turin, the first woman to hold such a position in Italy, and continued her relentless activity as a women’s rights activist, pedagogue, editor and, above all, translator until her death.

Prospero’s intense engagement with the theory and practice of translation emerges in her correspondence, first with her fiancé and husband, Piero Gobetti (1901-1926), and later with philosopher and mentor Benedetto Croce (1866-1952), together with the notes, diaries and drafts preserved in the Centro studi “Piero Gobetti” in Turin. While Gobetti’s antifascist legend has made the survival and access to this documentation possible, Prospero’s name and translating activity has long been overshadowed by the aura surrounding her husband. Although her letters and diaries rhetorically perpetuate topoi of woman’s modesty and submissiveness to influential male figures, what emerges most powerfully in the archival material is her innovative conception of translation as a means to contest not only patriarchal and fascist structures of power, but also their underlying ideologies of single-handed authorship, authorial intention, and intellectual property.

Rita Filanti holds a PhD in Translation Studies & Anglo-American Literatures from the University of Bari, Italy. Currently an English teacher and literary translator, Rita has been a Lecturer of Italian and taught in Australian and North American universities for many years. She has written several essays on TS in international journals and edited volumes. She has co-translated a number of contemporary American poets, including Philip Levine and Larry Levis, for poetry journals. Her latest publications include the Italian translations from American-English of Maxim D. Shrayer’s memoirs Aspettando America: Storia di una migrazione (Pisa UP: 2017) and Fuga dalla Russia (forthcoming 2021).