Aron Aji

Aron Aji

Aron Aji, director of MFA in Literary Translation at the University of Iowa, will be the featured speaker Tuesday, Sept. 18, at the annual Michaelson, Briner & Kildahl Literary Symposium at Wartburg College.

Aji will present on “Found in Translation: Listening to the World’s Voices” at 11:30 a.m. in McCaskey Lyceum in the Saemann Student Center. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, Latife Tekin and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: “Death in Troy”; “The Garden of Departed Cats” (2004 National Translation Award); and “A Long Day’s Evening” (NEA Literature Fellowship, and short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). He also edited “Milan Kundera and the Art of Fiction.”

Aji leads the Translation Workshop and teaches courses on retranslation, poetry and translation, theory and contemporary Turkish literature. He is also the president of the American Literary Translators Association.

“We are excited to host Dr. Aji because not only is he an accomplished literary translator, but his work also speaks to the role of translation as a means to communicate powerful lessons within and across cultures, which is something we strive to do at Wartburg,” said Zak Montgomery, associate professor of Spanish who holds the Harry and Polly Slife Professorship in Humanities.

The symposium is presented by the Harry and Polly Slife Professorship in Humanities and co-sponsored by Vogel Library, the Wartburg Scholars Program and the Franklin I. and Irene Saemann Chair in World Communities. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium was created through a leadership gift commitment from alumni Steven and Jane Noah and Dale and Judy Goeke in support of an annual event that would bring an author, poet or other literary figure to campus to engage students, faculty, staff and the broader community in activities to stimulate critical thought. It celebrates the legacy of former Wartburg English professors Sam Michaelson (1966-92), K.D. Briner (1966-76) and Phillip Kildahl (1961-77 and 1980-82).