Translating Under Pressure: A Roundtable Discussion

In a special session of the OCCT Discussion Group, we are joined by Kateryna Dysa, Hanna Komar and Mujib Mehrdad, for a roundtable discussion with translators working within Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Afghan contexts, respectively. They will speak on the impacts of war and conflict on their work, as well as how we can support them. The roundtable discussion will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
This event requires registration. Please register via Google Forms, here:

Kateryna Dysa is a scholar based at the Faculty of History and All Souls College who is carrying out research in Oxford through the British Academy. She completed her PhD at Central European University in 2004, and she was a Chopivsky Fellow in Ukrainian Studies at Stanford University in 2009. In 2010, Dysa studied the religious history of early modern Eastern Europe as a Research Fellow at L’Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris, and in 2011, she was a Shklar Research Fellow at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. In recent years, Dysa has held an Associate Professorship at National University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’ (NaUKMA), where she has also served as director of the Center for Polish and European Studies. She is also a translator of non-fiction and academic literature from English and Polish into Ukrainian.

Hanna Komar is a poet, translator, and writer. She has published four poetry collections, Страх вышыні [Fear of Heights], a collection of docu poetry Мы вернемся [We’ll Return] and Вызвалі або бяжы [Set Me Free or Run] in Belarusian, as well as a bilingual collection Recycled. Her work has been translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Czech, Lithuanian, Slovenian, Russian and Danish. She translates Belarusian poetry into English for the project #FreeAllWords, among others. Hanna is a member of PEN and a Freedom of Speech 2020 Prize laureate from the Norwegian Authors’ Union. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is undertaking a PhD at the University of Brighton exploring how poetry can support Belarusian women to share experiences of patriarchy, domestic abuse and state violence.

Mujib Mehrdad is a poet, playwright, translator, and journalist from Afghanistan. He is the author of the poetry collections Gladiators Are Still Dying (2007), which won the Afghan Civil Society’s literature contest; The Fishes Have Fled Our Veins (2008); Audience (2009), and Soldiers (2014), as well as of the collection of essays The Rain Passed. He has translated Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Rabindranath Tagore, among others, into Dari. He has been a board member of Kashane Nawesendagan [House of Authors] and has taught Persian literature at Albironi University. He is also a board member of the Afghanistan Pen Association and, in 2010, he represented Afghanistan Pen at the 76th Congress of the International Pen Association in Tokyo. In 2014, he participated in the International Writing Program (IWP), one of the most prestigious cultural programs in the United States, along with 31 other poets and writers. In addition, he has worked with ToloTV and has, for three years, been a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan. From 2020 to 2022, he was editor-in-chief of Hasht-e Subh Daily, the largest newspaper in Afghanistan. From August–December 2022, he was a visiting scholar at Florida Atlantic University. His latest poetry collection, Dolphin’s Alley, won the Ahmad Shamlou Poetry Award for the best collection of the year in 2021 in Iran.