Every year, Contexts for Classics invites students in all departments and programs (graduate and undergraduate) across the University of Michigan to submit literary translations of texts from Latin, Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek. We know that there are many people inspired by the beauty of these languages who wish to render them more freely and creatively than classwork often involves. This contest is intended to highlight the work of students who are interested in the process of translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful enterprise.
In spite of the difficult circumstances of the 2020 pandemic, the 19th annual contest received an exceptionally rich set of submissions. The panel of judges selected a total of five winning translations: two from graduate students, and three from undergraduates. These translations would normally be recited at the Department of Classical Studies' Phillips Prize ceremony, which unfortunately had to be canceled this year. Still, to celebrate our winners, and to share their creative work with our community, we have made their translations available to download below.
Congratulations to the five students listed below. We now look forward to a special twentieth anniversary translation contest in winter term 2021.
Laurel Fricker, translations from Sappho
Laurel is a first year graduate student in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology. Her interests include the organization of Greek households and the archaeology of childhood as well as reading Sappho! While obtaining her M.A. in Classics from the University of Arizona, she was fortunate to take the class “Literary Translation as Classical Reception” where the idea for her Sappho project was born. Although she attended Michigan for her undergraduate studies, this is her first time submitting a translation for the CfC Classical Translations Contest. view translation
Amanda Kubic, translations from Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, The flesh is a beautiful desert
Amanda is a PhD student in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Amanda graduated with her M.A. in Classics from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018, and her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Classics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. Amanda is interested in the reception of classical Greek and Roman material by 20th century American, British, and Greek women poets and performance artists, as well as in the intersections between classical reception studies and disability/performance/body studies. view translation
Shannon Burton, translation from Euripides, Medea
Shannon is a fourth-year Classical Archaeology major at the University of Michigan, currently finishing off her honors thesis about Roman-Egyptian store buildings and the grain trade. Her research interests include colonial interactions, the archaeology of rural communities, ancient agricultural practices and food production, and archaeobotany.
Vasili Ioannidis, translation from Dimitris Athinakis, Frailty
Vasili is a junior in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts where he is majoring in Economics with minors in Modern Greek Language and Culture, and Business Administration through the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He is a five-term University Honors recipient and a three-term James B. Angell Scholar. Vasili also serves as an undergraduate research assistant for a graduate student in LSA Sociology and was a member of the Public Service Intern Program’s (PSIP) 51st cohort.
Margarita Pipinos, translation from Andreas Frangias, Plague
Margarita is a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, studying Neuroscience and Modern Greek at the University of Michigan. In her future, she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Coming to college, Margarita developed an ever-growing interest in Modern Greek History. As such, she chose to translate Plague, by Andreas Frangias, because of its political, cultural, and historical significance. This excerpt was published in 1972 as an allegory for Makronisos. It was written during the Cold War Era and under the rule and censorship of the Greek Junta.