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CCU professor to delve into politics and translation

March 7, 2011

Richard Oliver Collin, distinguished professor emeritus of political science at Coastal Carolina University, will give a talk on Politics and Multilingual Mind at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in room 245 of the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will question whether political meaning is lost in translation. When Libyans call out for democracy, does it have the same meaning in Arabic as in English? How do powerfully emotive words mutate as they travel from language to language? Collin will discuss how political thought can be difficult to translate when phrases are framed in one tongue and not another.

Collin earned a bachelor's degree in classical languages and history from Canisius College, a masters degree in political science from Kansas University and a D. Phil. in political science from Oxford University. He is the author of three political novels Imbroglio, Contessa and The Man With Many Names, all published by St. Martin's Press as well as many other books and articles on international affairs.

He served in the U.S. Army, training in intelligence and reconnaissance work. Collin also spent two years in the Pentagon on the staff of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he served as an analyst and briefing officer for Middle Eastern and North African affairs, rising to the rank of captain. He became a civilian official for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 1967, and was stationed in Rome for five years as chief of the Intelligence Collection Branch of the DIA station in Italy.

Politics and Multilingual Mind is sponsored by the Southern Language and Society Project of the Waccamaw Center. For more information, contact Sara Sanders at or Judy Dow at 843-349-6423.