Valerie Henitiuk

Valerie Henitiuk (born 1963 in Manning, Alberta) is a scholar researching aspects of the intersection of translation studies, world literature, Inuit literature,[1] Japanese literature, and women's writing. She is a Canadian citizen, currently Vice-President Academic & Provost at Concordia University of Edmonton.[2] Henitiuk has been a visiting scholar at both Harvard and Columbia Universities in the US and at Kokugakuin University in Japan. She was previously Executive Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence and Professor of English at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, on the faculty of the University of East Anglia (UK) and Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT).

Early yearsEdit

Henitiuk was born in Manning, Alberta in 1963, and grew up in various locations in western and northern Canada. An interest in acting led her to participate in a number of drama workshops while in her teens. Following extensive travels in USA and Central America she completed a BA (French + Latin, 1985) and MA (French Translation, 1988), was then employed by the Alberta Government Translation Bureau, and operated a freelance translation business. Ms. Henitiuk subsequently returned to the University of Alberta, obtaining an MA in Japanese Literature in 2000 and a PhD in Comparative Literature in 2005.

Educational backgroundEdit

Henitiuk has a PhD (Comparative Literature) from the University of Alberta. She also holds a Diplôme d'études linguistiques françaises, Université de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle. Her PhD was supported by Killam Prize and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) fellowships, the Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize, as well as an award allowing her to spend a year at Kokugakuin University in Japan conducting research (2002–03). Upon the completion of the PhD in 2005 Henitiuk was awarded the prestigious Governor General's Gold Medal as the foremost graduate at the University (all faculties).

In September 2005, Henitiuk began a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at The Center (now Institute) for Comparative Literature and Society directed by Gayatri Spivak. Her sponsor was David Damrosch. This research project investigated the process by which national literature becomes world literature. Her fellowship was funded by SSHRC and she was awarded the inaugural SSHRC Postdoctoral Prize.[3]

Professional backgroundEdit

In June 2017 Henitiuk was appointed as Vice-President Academic & Provost at Concordia University of Edmonton, Alberta. From April 2013 to June 2017 Henitiuk was a Professor of English and Executive Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (formerly Faculty Commons) at Grant MacEwan University. From March 2007 to March 2013 she was Senior Lecturer in Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, UK and (from August 2011) Director of the BCLT at UEA. Henitiuk previously held posts as acting Director and Associate Director of the BCLT.[4] From August 2010 to August 2011 she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University funded by a fellowship[5] from the Leverhulme Trust. She specializes in the study of: World Literature, Comparative Literature, Translation Studies, East-West Cultural Exchange, and Women's Writing.

From 2012 to 2017 Valerie Henitiuk was editor of the Routledge journal Translation Studies.[6] From 2007-11, she was editor of In Other Words: the journal for literary translators[7] and served on the editorial board from 2009-2011 for the transdisciplinary journal titled translation. She was also, from 2008–12, on the faculty for the Nida School of Translation Studies, a research symposium held annually in Italy.

Exploratory research funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant in 2016 on English and French translations of Inuit Literature led to a multi-year study of the writings of Markoosie Patsauq (1941-2020).

Published worksEdit

Together with Marc-Antoine Mahieu (INALCO), and in collaboration with the author, Henitiuk in 2021 brought out the first full critical edition of any Indigenous author in Canada, translating Markoosie Patsauq’s 1969-70 Umarjursiutik unaatuinnamut as Hunter with Harpoon/Chasseur au Harpon (2021).[8] Trade editions, featuring a preface by the Inuit leader Mary Simon, have also been released in English as well as in French, for readers in both France[9] and Quebec.[10] Henitiuk and Mahieu have also published on topics such as representing experiential knowledge.[11]

Henitiuk has authored a monograph on liminal imagery in a cross-cultural selection of women's writing[12] and another book, designed to assist in the teaching of translation, looks at some fifty different translations from Japanese of a single passage from The Pillow Book.[13] She has also co-edited two collections of stories by women from India,[14][15] and a collection of critical essays on W. G. Sebald.[16]

Henitiuk has also published scholarly articles on a variety of subjects including the translation of Inuit literature, women's writing, the introduction of classical Japanese literature into the west, and comparisons between eastern and western texts. Her first major, and most frequently cited, article is "Translating Woman", an analysis of gender translation issues which she has continued to explore during her research.[17] She has also discussed feminist aspects of literature in the context of magic realism.[18] Recent scholarship has concentrated on examinations of the way translations of 10th-century Japanese women's writing has entered the western consciousness[19][20][21] and the political/cultural dimensions of translation of such work.[22] Book chapters have analyzed boundary metaphors in Elizabeth Inchbald[23] and rape as a motif in literature.[24] Other chapters discuss gender aspects in The Tale of Genji,[25] The Kagerô Nikki[26] and The Pillow Book of Sei Shônagon.[27]

Public serviceEdit

Besides her academic work, Henitiuk has been deeply involved in the promotion of literary translation as a professional discipline through a variety of organizations,[28] serving on national and international committees. As well she has been quoted regarding funding cuts to the arts[29] in the UK and Canada, and has made pedagogical contributions.[30]


  1. ^ Weber, Bob (November 13, 2016). "'Challenging language:' Edmonton academic studies versions of 1st Inuit novel". CBC News.
  2. ^ "CUE's New Vice President Academic & Provost, Dr. Valerie Henitiuk". Concordia University of Edmonton. 10 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Article about Valerie Henitiuk winning post-doctoral award".[dead link]
  4. ^ "Valerie Henitiuk elected as the new Acting Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation – Interlitq blog".
  5. ^ "Leverhulme fellowship announcement" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  6. ^ "Translation Studies".
  7. ^ "In Other Words".
  8. ^ "Hunter with Harpoon".
  9. ^ "Kamik".
  10. ^ "Markoosie Patsauq".
  11. ^ "Response by Henitiuk and Mahieu".
  12. ^ "Embodied Boundaries: Images of Liminality in a Selection of Woman-Authored Courtship Narratives". Studies in Liminality and Literature Vol. 7. Madrid: Gateway Press/ Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. 2007. ISBN 978-84-931843-5-3.
  13. ^ Worlding Sei Shônagon: The Pillow Book in Translation. University of Ottawa Press. 2012. ISBN 978-0-7766-0728-3.
  14. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie; Kar, Supriya, eds. (2016). Spark of Light: Short Stories by Women Writers of Odisha. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press. ISBN 9781771991674.
  15. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie; Kar, Supriya, eds. (2010). One Step towards the Sun: Short Stories by Women from Orissa. Bhubaneswar: Rupantar. ISBN 978-81-906729-1-7.
  16. ^ Baxter, Jeannette; Henitiuk, Valerie; Hutchinson, Ben, eds. (2013). A Literature of Restitution: Critical Essays on W. G. Sebald. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-8852-0.
  17. ^ "Seeking Refuge in Prepubescent Space: The Strategy of Resistance Employed by The Tale of Genji's Third Princess". Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. 28 (2–3): 193–217. June 2001.
  18. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie (June 2003). "Step into my Parlour: Magic Realism and the Creation of a Feminist Space". Canadian Review of Comparative Literature. Vol. 30 no. 2. pp. 410–27.
  19. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie (January 2008). ""Easyfree translation?" How the modern West knows Sei Shônagon's". Translation Studies. 1 (1): 2–17. doi:10.1080/14781700701706377.
  20. ^ St. André, James, ed. (2010). "Squeezing the Jellyfish: Early Western Attempts to Characterize Translation from the Japanese". Thinking through Translation with Metaphors. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 144–60. ISBN 9781905763221.
  21. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie (2008). "Going to Bed with Waley: How Murasaki Shikibu Does and Does Not Become World Literature". Comparative Literature Studies. 45 (1): 40–61. doi:10.1353/cls.0.0010. JSTOR 25659632.
  22. ^ Henitiuk, Valerie (2010). "A Creditable Performance under the Circumstances? Suematsu Kenchô and the Pre-Waley Tale of Genji". Translation Terminology Writing. 23 (1): 41–70. doi:10.7202/044928ar.
  23. ^ Cass, Jeffrey; Peer, Larry, eds. (2008). "To Be and Not To Be: The Bounded Body and Embodied Boundary in Inchbald's A Simple Story". Romantic Border Crossings. Aldershot, Hampshire and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 41–52. ISBN 978-0-7546-6051-4.
  24. ^ Chilewska, Anna; Wilson, Sheena, eds. (2007). "The Innovation of Rape? The Motif of Bodily Integrity Functioning as a Feminine Discourse System". Writing after the Gaze: the Rupture of the Historical. Edmonton: M.V. Dimic Research Institute. pp. 49–68. OCLC 164938479.
  25. ^ Bomarito, J.; Hunter, J.W., eds. (2005). "Virgin Territory: Murasaki Shikibu's Ôigimi Resists the Male". Feminism in Literature: A Gale Critical Companion. Vol. 1 [of 6]: Antiquity-18th Century. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale. pp. 90–96. ISBN 978-0-7876-7574-5.
  26. ^ Lloyd, F.; O'Brien, C., eds. (2000). "Walls, Curtains and Screens: Spatio-Sexual Metaphor in the Kagerô Nikki". Secret Spaces, Forbidden Places: Rethinking Culture. Polygons: Cultural Diversities and Intersections. 4. NY and Oxford: Berghahn Books. pp. 3–16. ISBN 978-1-57181-788-4.
  27. ^ von Flotow, L., ed. (2010). "Prefacing Gender: Framing Sei Shônagon for a Western Audience, 1875-2006". Translating Women. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. pp. 247–69. ISBN 978-0-7766-0727-6.
  28. ^ "Anketnik ZRC SAZU".
  29. ^ Dennis, Emily (1 July 2010). "Grant reprieve for region's arts groups". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2019-01-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Damrosch, D., ed. (2009). "Resources". Teaching World Literature. Options for Teaching series. NY: Modern Language Association. pp. 401–16. ISBN 978-1-60329-034-0.

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