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'Translating COVID-19': first conversation in new series now online

16 May 2020

Translating Illness is an interdisciplinary research project created by Dr Marta Arnaldi, Laming Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College Oxford. The project consists of a programme of international collaborations and a series of seminars, podcasts and video conversations.

This week, the first in a new series of video conversations – Translating COVID-19 – took place, when Marta spoke to Nicola Gardini, who is Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Oxford, and also an award-winning author, and a painter.

The series, which will be available to watch on the Queen’s College YouTube channel, aims to explore forms, metaphors, and practices of translation in the context of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. What do medicine and translation have in common? Does the 'foreign virus', to use Donald Trump's problematic definition, speak a foreign language? And does translation play a role in fighting illness and death, or is it just a therapeutic form of entertainment in the face of absurdity? In this cutting-edge and thought-provoking series Marta joins in conversation experts in fields as different as translation studies and epidemiology. 

Translating Illness has been inspired by Marta’s academic background in both literature and the medical sciences, and has been awarded funds from the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and the John Fell Fund, Oxford, as well as by The Queen’s College.