Christopher Larkosh is a Professor in the Department of Portuguese at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. A multilingual scholar specializing in theories of literary translation and transculturation, he not only researches Lusophone and Lusodiasporic literary cultures, but also a wide range of others including Quebec, Argentina, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey and India in comparative perspective. His work appears in journals such as Social Dynamics, TOPIA, TTR, The Translator, and Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke University Press), as well as the Taylor & Francis journal Translation Studies, where he subsequently served as Reviews Editor from 2012 to 2014. He completed a two-year term as Director of Tagus Press from 2015 to 2017, and a concurrent three-year term as Editor of the academic journal Portuguese Literary & Cultural Studies, which he contributed as Lead Editor for two recent volumes, one on Lusophone and transnational African visual cultures, and another on Luso-American literatures and cultures today. He continues to serves at Tagus as Editor for the Portuguese in the Americas series, where he has added a collection of new Luso-American writing, Behind the Stars, More Stars (2019) to earlier volumes: Re-Engendering Translation: Transcultural Practice, Gender/Sexuality and the Politics of Alterity (London/New York: St. Jerome/Routledge, 2011) and KulturConfusão: German-Brazilian Interculturalities (DeGruyter, 2015). Current projects include co-editing an issue of the Italian journal Textus on Viral Transcultures, a translation of Brazilian cultural theorist Christine Greiner's The Body in Crisis for University of Michigan Press, and a single-author monograph titled The Queerness of Translation: Interpretation, Transference, Theory (Routledge, 2021).
Statement of Purpose
While my involvement in NeMLA began rather recently, it comes after years at the MLA chairing panels, giving papers, serving on committees in both translation and Lusophone Literatures, and representing Less-Taught Languages and Literatures in the MLA Delegate Assembly. I also have a record of giving papers and chairing seminars at the ACLA; I currently serve as Chair of the Bernheimer Prize Committee, which evaluates and gives recognition to the best recent PhD dissertations each year, thus acknowledging the crucial role early-career comparatists play in generating high-quality, cutting-edge research.
These experiences underscore what I hope to contribute through my greater involvement in NeMLA: not only organizing a seminar on comparative diasporic literatures in March, but also continuing to mentor graduate students on the job market. The commitment and vitality of younger colleagues remind me what is at stake both personally and professionally as we attempt to emphasize to skeptical government administrations, private enterprise, and society as a whole the critical functions and intrinsic value of our profession, be it the teaching and learning of an ever-longer list of global languages in conversation, research on topics of crucial local and national concern, or projects of social activism and civic engagement.
The specific platform I propose is thus surprisingly predictable: webinars on accessible topics to create greater visibility for the profession, through a globalized online comparative literary forum that stresses the fundamental non-negotiable dimensions of public service in academic work as an easily recognizable and relatable social good.