Every year, Contexts for Classics invites students in all departments and programs (graduate and undergraduate) across the University of Michigan to take part in its Classical Translations Contest. We know that there are many people inspired by the beauty of other 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 recent years, the contest has expanded beyond translations of ancient Greek, modern Greek, and Latin, to include languages taught in the departments of Middle East Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures.
This year, five prizes were awarded by the Department of Classical Studies and the Modern Greek program, and one by the Department of Middle East Studies. Congratulations to the winners listed below, who have kindly agreed their translations to be made available for the community to view or download.
Classical Studies/Modern Greek
Ciara Barrick, 'In Karpasia, 15th August 2009' by Niki Marangou
Ciara Barrick is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature. She received her MA from King's College London, her BA from Stockton University, and received a Fulbright Scholarship in Cyprus. Her academic work focuses on classical reception, queerness, ecology and spectrality in divided landscapes, in particular the island-nation of Cyprus.
Will McClelland, Homer, Iliad 23.15–82
Will McClelland (he/him) is a junior studying Classical Civilization and History. He is particularly interested in Homeric poetry, the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Athenian tragedy, comparative mythology, and modern receptions of the ancient world. After completing his undergraduate degree, he plans to complete a post-bac to improve his Greek & Latin before continuing his study of the ancient Mediterranean in graduate school. Outside of class, he enjoys theater, film analysis, playing guitar, and knitting hats for his friends.
Yule Eve Osband, Horace, Odes 4.12
Yule Eve Osband is a junior majoring in Latin Language & Literature. Her interests include poetry, mathematics, and learning in all its forms. After college, she hopes to work in the field of education.
Melina Varlamos is a junior double majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) and Modern Greek at the University of Michigan. She is planning on pursuing a career in the medical field as a physician. She is very passionate about her Greek culture and language, serving as Vice President of Social Affairs for U of M’s Hellenic Student Association. Accordingly, the piece she chose to translate, on refugee health care in Greece, links together her two passions: medicine, and Greek language and culture. In May, she will be studying abroad in Greece and taking a class that explores Ancient Greek medicine. She will be visiting the island of Kos, which was the birthplace of Hippocrates.
Hussein Alkadhim, Euripides, Medea
Hussein Alkadhim was born in Dearborn, Michigan. His parents come from Iraq and the whole East-West embodiment definitely dictates much of his still morphing identity. He tries to spend most of his time reading literature, history, myth, and so on. He's come to love literary titans like Kafka, David Foster Wallace, James Joyce, Borges, Homer, Shakespeare, Camus, Dostoevsky, as one would expect, really. This is probably what motivated him to study English Literature at U of M. He's also had the great pleasure of stumbling across the Ancient Greek language, a truly life-changing accident. Whether it's the intensity and mind-numbing discipline of studying this ancient language, which really requires one to suffer and toil as like a young training Spartan, or the sheer beauty of reading Euripides or Homer, it's been a wonderfully rich experience. As for what he intends to do after college, he's not yet certain, but it wouldn't be a surprise if his current literary interests and endeavors will probably determine this.
Middle East Studies
Sundus is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in History and Comparative Literature. She is currently writing an honors thesis, focusing on the connections between resistance movements in Latin America and the Middle East. Her love for Classical Arabic poetry is inspired by her grandfather.