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Dor: A Mode in Translation

January 22 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Romanians of DC is pleased to partner with the American Romanian Cultural Society from Seattle (ARCS) and also with Arizona American-Romanian Cultural Collaborative (ARCC) and Bucharest Inside the Beltway for a conversation about “dor,” a Romanian word that some find untranslatable, and the complex relationships it acquires in exilic relations. The virtual event will take place on Saturday, January 22 at 1:00 pm EST. You can register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEuc-mpqD0rE9UFvRDLn_cCbcz7g5pbpU1M

What does “dor” carry as baggage? How does “dor” change when looking back towards a homeland in an Ovidian gaze? Is there an intentionality in exilic “dor” that shapes the various Romanian diaspora groups? Why and how do we re-cognize ourselves in longing? How is nostalgia politicized, and how do translators deal with the larger context of so-called untranslatable concepts?

The discussion will draw from Alina Ștefănescu’s book Dor (available here: https://www.alinastefanescuwriter.com/dor) establishing a dialogue between the author and the personal experiences, reflections and writings of the other special guests Adriana Oniță, Cristiana Grigore and Andrew Davidson-Novosivschei. It will be moderated by Otilia Baraboi,  Executive Director and Co-Founder of ARCS Project.

Alina Ștefănescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her partner and several intense mammals. Recent books include a creative nonfiction chapbook, Ribald (Bull City Press Inch Series, Nov. 2020) and Dor, which won the Wandering Aengus Press Prize (September, 2021). Her debut fiction collection, Every Mask I Tried On, won the Brighthorse Books Prize (April 2018). Alina’s poems, essays, and fiction can be found in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, World Literature Today, Pleiades, Poetry, BOMB, Crab Creek Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for several journals, reviewer and critic for others, and Co-Director of PEN America’s Birmingham Chapter. She is currently working on a novel-like creature. More online at www.alinastefanescuwriter.com.

Adriana Oniță is a Romanian Canadian poet, artist, educator and researcher. She is the editorial director of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the founding editor of The Polyglot, a multilingual magazine of poetry and art. She writes poetry in Romanian, English, Spanish, French and Italian and was recently shortlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize with her bilingual (Romanian/English) poems. Adriana holds a Ph.D. in language education from the University of Alberta and divides her time between Edmonton and Italy.

Cristiana Grigore is a writer, research scholar and the founder of the Roma Peoples Project at Columbia University, an initiative that spotlights Roma peoples and expands Roma studies by examining topics such as identity and stigma, mobility and displacement. Upon arriving in the United States in 2006, Cristiana found a more conducive environment in which to express her Roma identity. She is writing a book that explores how her immersion in American culture enabled her to grapple more fully with her Roma/Gypsy ethnicity. Her writing was published by The New York Times and she writes periodic op-eds for Newsweek and other media channels. Her work has been featured by Vogue, CNN, Al Jazeera America, PRI, and Voice of America, among other outlets. A Fulbright Scholar from Romania, Cristiana graduated from Vanderbilt University with an M.A. in International Education Policy and Management in December 2012. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Bucharest in 2007. Most recently she is part of an advisory group for the National Gallery of Art on a topic related to Roma in the Arts. 

Andrew Davidson-Novosivschei (b. 1987) is a teacher, poet, and translator from Arizona, currently based in Bucharest. His Romanian-language poems have appeared in Poesis International, Tribuna, Poetic Stand, and others. His English-language poems have most recently appeared in Apricity Press, and he has been invited to read his poems at festivals such as Poezia e la Bistrița, Bucharest International Poetry Festival (FIPB), Iași International Festival of Literature and Translation (FILIT), and reading groups such as Republica and the Blecher Institute. His translations have appeared in Asymptote Journal, Trafika Europe, and others, and have been awarded grants from the Romanian Cultural Institute and FILIT.

Before coming to Seattle in 2000 from Romania, Otilia Baraboi worked as a literary journalist and published short-fiction, translations and articles. She holds university degrees in French and English literatures from Romania, Switzerland, and the US. She has a Ph.D. on the politics of translation from the University of Washington, where she taught French language and literature for 17 years, and where she is currently co-teaching a course on Romanian literature and film. In 2013, she co-founded ARCS and was President of the Board for five years before accepting the challenge to become ARCS’ first Executive Director. Otilia has been managing the Romanian Film Festival in Seattle and ARCS community-based school for Romanian heritage students, as well as more than 80 cultural and educational events over the past 8 years. She has recently become the President of the Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest where she is looking forward to collaborating with all local community representatives to promote dialogue and mutual understanding across generations, ethnic groups and cultures. 

Organized with the support of Romanians of DC