Robert Alters lecture will consider several different challenges to a translator of the bible with illustrations from specific Biblical texts and comments on how the modern English versions have failed to meet these challenges.
4:30 pm Roundtable on Bible Translation featuring Profs. Robert Hass, Ron Hendel, and Jonathan Sheehan
5:30 pm Robert Alter Lecture
6:30 pm Light Refreshments
Robert Alter is Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars at the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-four published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narratives and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses. He has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal, and the self-reflexive tradition in the novel. Books by him have been translated into ten different languages. His completed translation of the Hebrew bible with a commentary has just appeared in a three-volume set. In 2009 he received the Robert Kirsch Aware from the Los Angeles Times for lifetime contribution to American letters and in 2013 the Charles Homer Haskins Prize for career achievement from the American Council of Learned Societies.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Center for the Study of Religion, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Division of Arts and Humanities, Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities.