Translation is a central axis of both colonial and national culture projects. At the same time, translation histories tend to trouble the waters of the dominant discourses produced by these projects. Adaptation in particular represents an unsecured and suspect zone of literary and cultural production that challenges culturalist discourses and the authorizing institutions of the nation-state.
In this talk Samah Selim will explore the tensions between popular practices of literary adaptation in Egypt in the formative early years of the 20th century and the emergent reformist attitudes towards cultural authenticity and sovereign identities that have come to form a cornerstone of today’s postcolonial state.
Samah Selim teaches at the Rutgers University's Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures. She is the author of Popular fiction, Translation and the Nadha in Egypt (2019). In 2005/06, she was a Fellow of EUME's predecessor program and in 2006/07 a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. She is a founding member of EUME.