The Center for Writers & Translators has as its mission the promotion of literary activity, especially where that relates to the practice of translation – translation taken in its broadest sense.
It seeks to welcome writers and translators to Paris; sponsors and hosts readings, lectures, and debates, sometimes in association with the bookshop Shakespeare & Company; and publishes (in association with Sylph Editions, London) the "Cahiers Series", a set of short books which make available new explorations in writing, in translating, and in the areas linking these two activities.
For at least one hundred years Paris has been closely associated in the popular consciousness with writing. It has been home to exiled and expatriate novelists and poets, from Hemingway to Gertrude Stein to Joyce to Beckett to Cortázar to Kundera. The Center serves to galvanize the already active literary culture in Paris and at AUP, and to provide a focus for the many different sorts of creative writing which the university both hosts and sponsors, not least in its Creative Writing major.
Why a Center for Writers and Translators? The specificity of The American University of Paris lies in its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, cross-national mix. AUP is fortunate in having several experienced translators among its faculty. An AUP education has been, and must remain, one that is centered upon the ability to move across cultures, disciplines, epochs, and languages. Translation (in its several senses) may be the activity that AUP does best, and the Center seeks to promote translation and expand its commonly understood domain.