Japanese scholar compares ghosts from East and West

Ghosts from Japan and England will share the podium at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, in the Benjamin Mays Center, Bates College, when an associate professor of English literature at the University of Kyoto contrasts traditional Japanese ghosts with the spirits in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Professor Toru Sasaki also will participate in a panel discussion titled “Translations East and West” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in Chase Hall Lounge, Campus Avenue, Bates College. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sasaki has published widely, and his works in English include articles about Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and other Victorian authors. He has edited several English-language volumes by 19th-century authors, including Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s John Marchmont’s Legacy.

The Oct. 30 panel presentation,  a conversation among scholars, students and the audience, will look at the process of translating literature and at political and economic factors that influence translation and publication. For the discussion, joining Sasaki will be Jane Costlow, professor of Russian and environmental studies and the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Bates College; Melissa Wender, assistant professor of Japanese, Bates College; and Tamae Prindle, Oak Professor of East Asian Language and Literature, Colby College.

Sasaki is the guest of Bates Professor of English Lillian Nayder, who met the Japanese scholar in his country when she delivered a series of lectures on Catherine Dickens, the harried wife of well-known Victorian author Charles Dickens. While at Bates, Sasaki will work with students in two of  Nayder’s courses, “Dickens Revisited” and “Mary Elizabeth Braddon.”

Sasaki’s Bates visit is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, the Tanaka Memorial Foundation, the Mellon Learning Associates Program in the Humanities and the Department of English.

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