Professor Harley Erdman honored for his translations of early women Spanish playwrights
By Anna-Maria Goossens | Thursday, October 19, 2017
By Anna-Maria Goossens
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Department of Theater Professor of Dramaturgy Harley Erdman has received the the Josephine Roberts Award from of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for his work translating early women playwrights of Spain.
This honor is awarded yearly for "the best scholarly edition published in 2016 in the field of early modern women and gender," and goes to Erdman, who translated the plays, as well as editors Nieves Romero-Diaz and Lisa Vollendorf.
The book includes ten works by three Spanish Golden Age playwrights, Feliciana Enríquez de Guzmán, Ana Caro Mallén, and Sor Marcela de San Félix.
In the letter informing Erdman of the honor, the Society wrote, "The committee underscored in its choice how this skillfully translated edition of ten plays authored by three women playwrights from early modern Spain clearly contextualizes these plays in light of Golden Age Spanish theater, considers the various roles of female playwrights in this tradition, and makes explicit the significance of these playwrights and their works in the broader context of women’s and gender studies. They also commented that, taken together, the plays not only exemplify the diversity of women’s as well as men’s experiences, but also showcase the wide range of literary and creative outputs of the three playwrights in question. Finally, the committee noted that the translation is highly readable and has the potential to reach a broad audience beyond specialists in Spanish theater and scholars of literature, women, and gender. With this award, the committee hopes to encourage additional work in this important area. Congratulations on a wonderful edition!"
Adaptation and translation is one of Erdman's main areas of study, and he particularly focuses on Golden Age works in Spain and the Spanish-speaking worldm, particularly by women. His work on some plays has been the first English-language translation. Erdman is also a writer of opera librettos and musical lyrics, most recently of the opera The Scarlet Professor, and the musical Donny Johns. In addition, he has written on Jewish representation on the American stage.
In addition to the Josephine Roberts Award, Erdman has won the Association for Hispanic Classic Theater's Translation Prize. For his teaching, he was given the Outstanding Teacher Award from the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts. In 2016, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka.