Date of Award

2015

First Advisor

Maryann Tebben

Second Advisor

Asma Abbas

Third Advisor

Bernard Rodgers

Abstract

This thesis is a project inspired by the work of Emmanuel Dongala, Professor Emeritus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Throughout the year, I worked intimately with his collection of short stories, Jazz et vin de palme, in order to produce a meaningful French to English translation. After its publication in 1982, the book was subsequently banned by the official Censorship Commission in Brazzaville, Congo; however, it was still widely read by politicians and citizens alike. A translation of the full collection of eight stories has never before been published. The setting of the stories ranges from Pointe-Noire to New York City, and together they open a critique of Congolese governments, post-colonial humanitarian initiatives, and artistic censorship, among many prominent themes. With the translation, I also include reflections on both the work as a piece of literature and as a mechanism that inspires greater conversation about theories of translation. In these discussions, I engage with scholars such as Emily Apter, Walter Benjamin, Barbara Godard, and Jacques Rancière in hopes of forming another connection with the original text and imagining the future of translation.

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