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Celebrating the publication of Contested Communities: Small, Minority and Minor Literatures in Europe (Legenda, 2023), this event showcases bi- and multilingual literature and theatre from three European locations. A Turkish-German author from Berlin, a poet writing in Scottish Gaelic, and a theatre director from Brittany working across languages will present their work through short readings/presentations. They will be joined by Professors Madelena Gonzalez and Margaret Littler to discuss the cultural impact and significance of small, minor and minority literary and dramatic production. 

Pàdraig MacAoidh/Peter Mackay is an author of poetry in Gaelic and in English translation. His two collections of poems, Gu Leòr/Galore (Acair, 2015) and Nàdur de/Some Kind of (Acair, 2020), were both shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. Mackay is also an expert on Scottish Gaelic literature, working at the University of St Andrews.

Theatre director Thomas Cloarec has a long-standing association with the Breton company Teatr Piba. He has directed bilingual plays in Breton/French (e.g. Al Liorzhour, 2012) as well as a multilingual production of Merc’h an Eog  [The Salmon’s Daughter] (2016) in Breton, Welsh, French, and Gouadeloupian Creole, in collaboration with Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru.

Zafer Şenocak, renowned Turkish-German poet, novelist and essayist, writes in German and Turkish from the perspective of a plural cultural and linguistic heritage. His essays deal critically with issues of German multiculturalism, diaspora and Islamic tradition, while novels such as Gefährliche Verwandtschaft (1998) [Perilous Kinship, 2009] and Eurasia (2023) experiment with the creative potential of fragmentary identities. The reading will include poems from a brand new translation of Şenocak’s recent poetry in Turkish, First Light. [İlk Işık, 2016] (translated by Kristin Dickinson).

All are welcome to attend this in-person event at the University of London Senate House. Refreshments will be available. Advance online registration required. 

This event is supported by the University of London Coffin Trust and the Keith Spalding Trust (Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies).

Image: Current distribution of languages in Europe by Urion Agador, Júlio Reis, Chabacano, Ignacio Icke, Dbachmann (via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5).