Getting Creative: Translation and Etymology as Cultural Narratives of Sustainability and Resilience

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 5–6:30 p.m.
Dauer 219 (Ruth McQuown Room)
Livestream link:

In this lecture, Simon Richter of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pennsylvania will present several case studies that show how the translation of two terms, sustainability and resilience, can reveal the distinctive cultural and intercultural stakes of communities as they respond to climate change. Since the publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987, all countries (and many languages) have needed to translate these and related terms. How they translate them is revealing. Richter will show how creative etymology has the potential to become cultural narrative. His presentation begins in the German Enlightenment with the story of Nachhaltigkeit and moves on to consider cases in Israel, Indonesia and the Netherlands.

Free and open to the public. For additional information, visit