Campus News

Translating Chris Ware into Russian

April 23, 2013

Liv Combe

poster displaying information about the Senior Symposium (Class of 2013)

All members of the campus and community are invited to take part in Oberlin’s annual celebration of the academic and artistic accomplishments of members of the graduating class. The 2013 Senior Symposium is set for Friday, April 26, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Science Center.

Oberlin OnCampus is offering a series of sneak peeks of the presentations that will be made during the symposium. Today’s pick:

Translating Chris Ware’s Lint into Russian

As cofounder of the Oberlin Comics Collective and a Russian language and literature major, it made sense for Matthew Davis to combine his interests for his senior project. Davis chose to translate a work of his favorite cartoonist, Chris Ware. “Translating Lint would be an excellent way to both gain a deeper understanding of his definitely complicated work as well as bring it to another country,” says Davis. His project is not a straightforward translation — it deals with issues of translating into a non-native tongue, cultural translation, and placing Ware’s comics in the Russian existentialist tradition. After spending this coming summer working at a camp in Vermont, Davis plans to get involved in the arts, comics, and ’zine scene in Chicago.

Davis will make his presentation during the symposium’s first session (1:30-2:30 p.m.) on the panel Meditations on Text/Image/Translation, moderated by Azita Onsaloo, visiting assistant professor of Creative writing. Download the full 2013 Senior Symposium Schedule.

Doing What Academics and Artists Do

This year, 50 students will present their independent and collaborative work to the Oberlin community. Topics range from the reproductive rights movement at Oberlin in the 1960s to groundwater storage in China and Tibet; the effect of heavy metal ions in Huntington’s Disease to themes of obsessions and incest in Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Participating student majors and concentrations run the gamut from archaeology and geology to ethnomusicology and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies.

Opening remarks by Associate Dean of the College Arts and Sciences Joyce Babyak will take place at 1 p.m., with panels beginning at 1:30, 2:45, and 4 p.m. The symposium is divided into three section, each section consisting of five to six panels. The panels feature three students offering 12-minute presentations, with 15 minutes reserved at the end of each panel for questions. The reception for the event will begin at 5 p.m. in the academic commons of the Science Center.

Babyak sees the senior symposium as an opportunity for graduating students to share their work with their peers, the faculty, and staff who have supported their educations aspirations, and the broader Oberlin community.

“It is a culminating experience in which students do just what academics and artists do:  present their work, whether in the form of a research presentation or a creative performance or show, and engage in open conversation about that work,” says Babyak.

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