An Original Spanish Translation of Catherine Cusset’s Une éducation catholique

by Natalia Garzón, 20C English/Creative Writing and French Studies

Being a Fox Center Undergraduate Fellow has been an inspiring experience for me this semester. Working on an Honors thesis can at times become a very solitary act for students and a lot of hours are spent doing research at the library or writing chapters and revising drafts. One of the greatest gifts the Fox Center gave me this semester was providing me with a shared office space at the center, where I felt supported and part of a greater community of scholars at Emory. There was nothing more satisfying than knowing your research and your curiosity was valued, encouraged, and echoed by others. Thanks to this fellowship I was able to spend my hours of solitude working amongst incredibly experienced and inspiring scholars who were always willing to talk about their projects and ask the right questions about mine.

In addition to spending time around inspiring scholars, I was encouraged to participate in events held by the center. One of the most enlightening experiences was attending the Faculty Response Forum one evening at the Carlos Museum. I had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions on some of the works-in-progress at the Center and also got to hear some of the innovative and generative questions faculty members are considering in their current research. The Faculty Response Forum not only empowered me as an Undergraduate student in making me feel welcomed and validated as

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El club de Lectura/LAA

a member of a larger community of learners but also inspired me in allowing me to witness what it would be like to do research full-time. It was also at this same event that I heard about the center’s partnership with El club de Lectura in the Latin American Association and soon after, began to work closely with Keith Anthony and Aixa Pascual at the Latin American Association to establish a successful partnership for the future.

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l-r: Natalia Garzón, Catherine Cussett

In terms of my own research, the Fox Center economically supported my travels to New York City earlier this year, where I spent a weekend meeting with Catherine Cusset, the author of the coming of age novel I translated for my thesis. Meeting the author was without a doubt the most fascinating part of my research; asking her specific questions about the novel and her literary ambitions motivated me to continue writing and translating. The opportunity of getting to know her and walk around the city with her confirmed how incredible conducting research can be and corroborated the impact institutional support can have in facilitating important networks within academia.

Overall, this fellowship has empowered me and given me multiple platforms of support in order for me to feel validated, encouraged, and inspired to continue my work as a scholar. I couldn’t be more grateful and honored to belong to the Fox Center and can’t wait to reconnect in the future with the people that have been so special to me this semester.

Natalia Garzón is a senior majoring in English/Creative Writing and French Studies. Her thesis is a Spanish literay translation of Une éducation catholique, a coming-of-age novel written by the french author Catherine Cusset. In addition to her translation of three key excerpts of the novel, as well as their critical analysis, she formulates her own translation theory, drawing from the works of Lawrence Venuti, Carol Maier, and Alison Phipps. Natalia’s thesis explores the ways in which Cusset’s novel in translation will challenge and nuance contemporary conversations of sexuality, female desire, and religion for hispanophone audiences. Her project considers the exigency of this literary translation and most importantly, highlights the need for nuanced female voices in coming-of-age novels. 


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