Trinity 100/126,Thursdays 4-5:30pm and Fridays 3-5 pm unless otherwise noted 

Director: Sarah Pike
Phone: (530) 898-6341

* The Humanities Center’s theme for this year is “Translations.”

Sep. 12 *Translation Reading Group

Edith Grossman, excerpt from Why Translation Matters (please contact Sarah Pike for a pdf of the chapter from Grossman’s book)
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00 pm.

According to Grossman, “translation matters because it is an expression and an extension of our humanity, the secret metaphor of all literary communication; and because the creation of any literary translation is (or at least must be) an original writing, not a pathetic shadow or tracing of the inaccessible “original” but the creation, indeed…a new work, in another language.”—Richard Howard (New York Times Book Review)

Sep. 19 *Rob Davidson

Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00–6:30 pm.

“Paying Off Debts to Ourselves: Inspiration, Imitation, and the Art of Homage in Picasso, James, and Carver.” Rob Davidson is the author of The Farther Shore: Stories (Bear Star, 2012), The Master and the Dean: The Literary Criticism of Henry James and William Dean Howells (Missouri, 2005), and Field Observations: Stories (Missouri, 2001).

Oct. 02 *Katie Whitlock

Music and Theatre
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00–6:30 pm. 

Dr. Whitlock discusses her adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Renaissance text The Tragic History of the Life and Death of Dr. Faustus, for a contemporary audience. The play runs October 15-20 in Wismer Theatre.

Oct. 09 *Troy Jollimore

Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00–6:30 pm.

“Translating the Alien.” This talk looks at a number of works of fiction in which the attempt to translate messages sent by intelligent extraterrestrials is used as a metaphor for the human endeavor of trying to understand the cosmos and our place in it. Works discussed will include Ratner’s Star by Don DeLillo,Solaris and His Master’s Voice by Stanislaw Lem, and Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

Oct. 17 *Professor Joel Rogers with students from the Department of Music and Theatre discuss “Spring Awakening,”

by Duncan Sheik
Trinity 100, 5:00–6:30 pm.

Based on an 1891 German play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening (running November 13–17 & 19–21 in Wismer Theatre) chronicles the struggles of teenagers coming of age sexually in a repressive society.

Nov. 15 *“Looking Both Ways: Translation in the Literary & Visual Arts”

A panel discussion with Pat Collentine, Peter Jodaitis, Susan Larsen, and Peggy Shumaker. Hosted by Rob Davidson, English.
Trinity 100 from 3–5 pm. Followed by a reception

How does an artist approach the process of making art in response to a primary text or artwork in another form or medium? What aspects of the work are “translated” or reference the original, and how does that affect the artist’s inevitable goal of producing a new and original work of art? The panelists will discuss the topic of translation in the literary and visual arts—specifically, visual artists who have created work in response to literary texts of one sort or another, and writers who’ve written in response to visual art. Our panel consists of painters, conceptual and visual artists, and writers who’ve done extensive work in this area.

Peter Jodaitis has painted a series of canvases in response to Grass’s The Tin Drum and Melville’s Moby-Dick. The Melville series was shown in Colusa, California, in 2011 as part of the Virginia Reads Community Read Project. Jodaitis writes, “I never saw a museum until I was twenty-two years old, living in New York, after college. I 'alway' knew that I loved art, loved to draw. After several misfired careers, I was able to devote myself to art, full-time, in 1970. Lucky me.” Jodaitis has lived in Chico for twenty years, after ten years in the San Jose area.

Peggy Shumaker’s most recent book is Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica. Her lyrical memoir is Just Breathe Normally. In 2005 she collaborated with painter Kesler E. Woodward on a collection of paintings and poems entitled Blaze (Red Hen Press). Her work was honored with a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She served as Alaska State Writer Laureate from 2010–2012. Professor emerita from University of Alaska Fairbanks, she teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA Program. Please visit her website at

Pat Collentine and Susan Larsen hold degrees from CSU Chico in visual art. Longtime active members of the Chico arts community, Pat was an original member of the Chico Arts Commission and Susan was a founder 1078 Gallery. Pat and Susan’s art collaborations include the ongoing photographic series “Kolorbars” and several public artworks. Recently, they collaborated on artistic treatments for the 99 Bikeway, a seven-mile bikeway running north to south through Chico.

Nov. 20 *The Indeterminacy of Translation

Wai-hung Wong, Philosophy
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00–6:30 pm.

W. V. Quine famously argues that there might be two different translations, T1 and T2, of the same sentence P used under the same circumstances, which are equally correct translations even though T1 and T2 do not have the same meaning for the translator. This is the thesis of the indeterminacy of translation. Prof. Wai-hung Wong of the Philosophy Department will explain what the thesis is and Quine’s reasons for upholding it.

Dec. 05 *"'I swim in Homer': Northern Irish writers since 1965 'translate' Ancient Greek"

Laura Nice, Humanities
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00–6:30 pm.

Seamus Heaney once noted that, "stretched between politics and transcendence," the Irish writer finds liberation by "view[ing] the world from a great spatial or temporal distance…from the perspective of mythological or historically remote characters." Dr. Nice will discuss this idea by focusing upon Northern Irish interest in Hellas during the Troubles.

Apr. 03 *The Art and Perils of Translating Culture

Julia Kobrina-Coolidge, Sara E. Cooper, Rony Garrido, Brunella Windsor
Trinity 100, 5–6:30 pm

A panel of faculty from the Department of International Languages, Literatures and Cultures will tackle the intriguing question of whether it is possible to translate culture or cultural identity. In the process, they will offer their perspectives on issues such as: What is culture? How does one define a particular cultural identity? How can translation be a bridge between cultures, between readers and writers? What are the required qualities of a literary translator who wants to faithfully translate culture?”

Apr. 17 *Translating Max Weber’s “Politics as Vocation”

Dagmar Waters (Teaching International Languages) and Tony Waters (Sociology)
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00-6:30.

Dagmar Waters and Tony Waters are translating Max Weber’s classic text from German to English for Palgrave-MacMillan books. Weber’s essay highlights ethical dilemmas in politics, the relationship between government and violence, and why the “heart and the head” are necessary to the practice of politics. They will be using this presentation to test ideas about translation conventions, and would appreciate feedback from an English-speaking audience.

May. 08 *Translating a Translation of the Bible: Emilio Villa’s Genesis

Dominic Siracusa (UCLA)
Tertulia, Trinity 126, 5:00-6:30.

Since its inception as an inorganic collection of myths belonging to a loose network of nomadic tribes that spoke different Semitic dialects roughly between the 12th and 8th centuries BCE, the Bible has been radically altered as it has passed between different cultures, faiths, and languages. This talk will discuss an a-confessional translation of Genesis authored by the Italian poet and philologist Emilio Villa (1914–2003), and how it paints a radically different picture than any other biblical translation currently in existence. Dominic Siracusa recently received his Ph.D in Italian from UCLA. In 2012 he was awarded the Academy of American Poets’ Raiziss/ de Palchi prize for Italian poetry in translation. This spring Contra Mundum Press will publish The Selected Poems of Emilio Villa, a volume he edited and which contains the poet’s most important work in verse, as well as an excerpt from his rendering of the Pentateuch.