The Center for Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS) is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a two day symposium on literature issues that began yesterday and will continue through today.
More than thirty professors are participating in panel discussions about literary translation, textual editing, criticism, poetry, visual studies and other cultural concerns.
President Neil L. Rudenstine opened the symposium before a crowd of 200 yesterday afternoon at Lowell Lecture Hall. Expressing his pride in the Center, the president pledged continued support for literary and cultural studies.
Assistant Professor of English Jeffrey Masten, speaking behind a flowerbedecked dais, brought the otherwise serious audience to laughter with examples on the dangers of textual editing in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
During yesterday's panel discussions, some speakers and spectators raised serious concerns over the translation of foreign literature and recent trends towards reading works solely in translation.
"When I was at college you needed to study literature in its own language," said May A. Cunningham, a financial manager at Environmental Health and Safety who attended the event. "I wonder if translation is going to have an adverse effect on the language of literature."
Lucy Collins, a Fulbright Scholar from Ireland studying with the English Department said the discussions raised interesting and contemporary questions. "Some of them became so diverse and large it becomes difficult to tackle them here," she said.
Ian T. Simmons '98, who plans to attend the event both days, complained that although the panelists brought to light interesting issues, "there should have been more time allowed for discussion."
The symposium will culminate today with the second of two receptions for panelists and audience members.
Time Warner, Inc. a longtime supporter of the CLCS, is underwriting the event.