Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University—in cooperation with the Rizal Library and the Department of Philosophy—will host a lecture by Vicente L. Rafael titled “Motherless Tongues: The Aporia of Translation.” The lecture will be on Sept. 7, 2015, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at 4/f Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University.

Rafael’s abstract reads: “What is the relationship between language and historical imagination from the perspective of translation? This talk, based on the Introduction of my forthcoming book, seeks to organize this broad theme by situating it in relation to the entwined linguistic histories of the Philippines and United States. Along the way, it draws from Emile Benveniste’s description of personal pronouns, Roman Jakobson’s argument about the linguistic aspects of translation, and the classical idea of translation as aporetic movement. Each suggests ways to think about translation as the on-going and essential supplement to all sorts of exchange and expression in various colonial and post-colonial contexts. Considered in these ways, we can think of translation as an indispensable element in the making of events and their historical understanding.”

Vicente L. Rafael graduated from Ateneo de Manila University, class of 1977. He is professor of history at the University of Washington, Seattle and is the author of the forthcoming bookMotherless Tongues: The Insurgency of Language Amid Wars of Translation (Duke University Press).