Ann Farnsworth-Alvear

Penn Humanities Forum Faculty Fellow

20162017 Forum on Translation

Ann Farnsworth-Alvear

Associate Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

Ann Farnsworth-Alvear is author of the award-winning book Dulcinea in the Factory: Myths, Morals, Men and Women in Colombia's Industrial Experiment, 1905-1960 (Duke University Press, 2000), which won the Allan Sharlin Prize of the Social Science History Association and and the Bolton-Johnson Prize of the Conference on Latin American History. Her latest book, The Columbia Reader: History, Culture, Politics, co-edited with Marco Palacios and Ana Maria Gómez López, is forthcoming (2016) from Duke University Press. She is currently working on a community-focused economic history of the precious metals that multinational firms extracted from the San Juan River and its tributaries between the 1880s and 1974, and should be of interest to an international audience wanting to understand the creation of wealth and poverty, the human history of tropical environments, and the political economy of Latin America.

Translating Ethical Practices to Unethical Contexts: Intractable Conflicts among IRB Guidelines, Intellectual Property Law, Translation Rights, and Class Inequalities

This book project centers on nine hours of audio interviews I recorded two decades ago with Eduvigis Palacios, an Afro-Colombian subsistence farmer. I will embed digital audio with the text I produce in a rearrangement of the relationship between orality and literacy. I will also translate his voice into English. My ambition extends beyond the interview itself, however. According to both U.S. and Colombian law, my work requires a negotiation with Eduvigis's children and their fellow villagers, who have inherited his property rights. This will be a translation of a text owned by people living in extreme poverty. I will use the Forum Fellowship to work through the ethical problems that attend publishing his memoir and to create a critical guide for scholars doing similar work.