Press Releases Archived All Stories

WCSU faculty to discuss ‘Recreating through Interpreting’ at interdisciplinary research presentation

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University office of Academic Affairs will host Scholars in Action, a panel discussion featuring recent interdisciplinary scholarship, on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the WCSU Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. A reception at 4 p.m. in Room 122 of White Hall will precede the discussion. The topic, “Recreating through Interpreting,” will be addressed by Professor of World Languages and Literature Dr. Alba Hawkins, “Performing Translation”; Professor of English Dr. Shouhua Qi, “Reinterpreting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage”; and Professors of Music Dr. Margaret Astrup and Dr. Kerry Walker, “Performer as Interpreter.” Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ann Atkinson will moderate. The discussion is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. To make a reservation, email

Hawkins’s presentation will focus on the performance of bilingual Spanish and English readings of poems from her most recent translations. These include “El País de las Calles sin Nombre” (Where the Streets Have No Name) by María Augusta Montealegre, “Luna Mojada” (Misty Moon) by Francisco de Asís Fernández and “La Invención de las Constelaciones” (The Invention of Constellations) by Francisco de Asís Fernández. Hawkins also will read from her most recent project translating poetry by Nicaraguan author Gioconda Belli. To frame her presentation, she will provide information about the authors and reflections on translation as a transcultural process.

Qi’s presentation will draw from his book project, “Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage.” This is a study of Chinese adaptations of Western classics from the early 20th century such as the play “Black Slave’s Cry to Heaven” based on Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which was staged by a group of young Chinese students studying in Tokyo, all the way to 21st century adaptations. It is a study of a century-worth of translingual and transcultural adaptation endeavors, a history of uneasy fusion of East and West complicated by tensions between divergent sociopolitical forces and cultural proclivities. Qi will make use of three examples, a 1990 adaption of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” a 1998 bilingual adaptation of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” and a 2007 Peking Opera adaptation of Sophocles’ “Oedipus the King” to help illustrate the points.

Astrup and Walker will discuss a performer’s role as interpreter of the composer’s intentions as indicated on a musical score. Within this framework there are still personal choices to be made and inherent qualities that are unique to the performer that will make the performer’s interpretation of a work a “re-creation.” To demonstrate this, they will discuss various musical settings and interpretations of the Irish folk song “Salley Gardens” for voice and flute by John Corigliano, voice and violin by Rebecca Clark, and voice and piano by Benjamin Britten. They will draw personal examples from repertoire that they have performed together and will also use examples from their own recordings and a recording in progress. Astrup and Walker will also discuss widely varied interpretations of the Irish folk song, “She Moved Through the Fair,” as performed in rock, acoustic folk, pop and classical styles, including their own performance accompanied by John Corigliano on flute.

Atkinson, the moderator for the event, said, “This series is an opportunity for our faculty to talk across schools about their research, to highlight the parallels and distinctions and to create a space for collaboration.”

For more information, contact the office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.