Visiting Professor, Literary Translation
Overview and research interests
Amanda Hopkinson is Visiting Professor in Literary Translation at City University London. She is also a Visiting Professor at Manchester University. From 2004 until last year she was Professor of Literary Translation and Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. She translates from Spanish, Portuguese and French, focusing mainly on contemporary fiction from Latin America.
Amanda began teaching Latin American culture at the University of East London and literary translation at Westminster University in the 1980s, moving to Cardiff University in the 1990s. Outreach links with cultural and educational institutes resulted in drawing down external funds and brokering joint events.
While at City, Amanda has launched the annual Notes and Letters Festival at King's Place, presenting international live literature and musical events. For the first time this year (2012) postgraduate students drawn from Music, Publishing, Creative Writing and Translation are to showcase their work to the public, and students from the School of Arts will again be offered subsidised seats to see Amit Chaudhuri and his band perform Bangla jazz; Edmund de Waal discuss his musical influences From JS Bach to Steve Reich; Andrei Kurkov and Alan Rusbridger talking and playing their favourite composers on the piano; and a celebration of International Translation Day.
Since researching a PhD on Theatre as Propaganda during the French Revolution, popular culture has been a core area of Amanda's research interests. She joined City at the point where Dr Karen Seago had launched the new Translating Popular Culture MA: children's literature and crime writing being specific areas of common focus that allow for contributions to teaching, outreach and research. Amanda also lectures widely both abroad and at home, at universities, libraries, readers' groups and cultural institutes.
Amanda's involvement in Latin America stems from her work there for Amnesty International in the 1970s. There followed seven years as editor of the human rights magazine Central America Report, with continuing periods of living in the region. As the military dictatorships fell in the 1980s, she found herself still working with authors, photographers and activists who had worked for the magazine but who still wanted their work diffused.
The first translation was Nunca Mas, an account of human rights atrocities under three successive military dictatorships in Argentina that led to the Falklands/Malvinas war. The first major curated exhibition, and accompanying catalogue, was Desires and Disguises, women's photographs from five Latin American countries shown at the Photographers' Gallery in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus' invasion of the region.
In addition to publications on the culture of the region, Amanda has published widely on the theory - and the policies and politics - of both historical and contemporary literary translation. She is a regular contributor and reviewer for both print and broadcast media as well as to relevant academic publications.
Amanda is a board member/trustee of the academic review, Modern Poetry in Translation; of the Welsh Literature Exchange (based at the University of Wales); and of English PEN (where she co-founded the Writers in Translation Committee in 2004).