Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. George Leiner will be going on sabbatical next semester and will return from his studies in the spring semester of 2014. Leiner is taking a year-long hiatus from his work as an Associate Profess of Philosophy to help Stanford University Press translate a portion of 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s complete works.
Beyond being an Associate Professor of Philosophy, Leiner is also heavily involved in the Nietzsche Society, of which he is an original founder. According to Leiner, the Nietzsche Society “supports research into the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche, serves to organize a professional meeting once a year and provides a place for scholars in the field to exchange ideas with each other.” Along with being a founding member of the Nietzsche Society, Leiner has also been elected to the Executive Committee of the society and was the Meeting Chair of three meets (2000, 2001 and 2006). He was scheduled to chair the 2012 meeting, but Hurricane Sandy forced it to be rescheduled. In addition to being involved with the meetings themselves, Leiner also currently serves as Book Review Editor to the Nietzsche Society’s publication, New Nietzsche Studies.
The Stanford University Press chose Leiner, partially because of these credentials, to translate a portion of Nietzsche’s untranslated works. Leiner strongly believes in the translation of Nietzsche so that Nietzsche’s influence may be experienced, by not solely German speakers, but English speakers as well. Leiner attributes the foundations of important elements of the thought of such great minds like Heidegger, Freud and Derrida directly to Nietzsche. The sad status of Nietzsche’s work being untranslated “is being remedied,” says Leiner. The Stanford University Press’ efforts to construct a fully-translated complete works of Friedrich Nietzsche is well under way, with Leiner himself translating volume twelve of the German Collected Works: Critical Study Edition in 15 Volumes, into the English volume nineteen of The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. An afterward written by Leiner will also be included in his finished translated volume. Leiner happily explained he would be doing the majority of his translating work at Saint Vincent College. The college, added Leiner, has been engaged in an ongoing acquisition of the Kritische Gesamtausgabe of Nietzsche’s work.
Leiner refers to the particular chunk of Nietzsche’s work that he is translating as “a particularly crucial period in the development of Nietzsche’s thoughts. [During this time, Nietzsche brought] together a central set of insights around the term of ‘nihilism.’” This particular work is derived from Nietzsche’s manuscripts and notebooks prepared during the summer of 1886 and the autumn of 1887. Textual fidelity is the primary focus of the translation. Particular issues with translation include Nietzsche’s use of “puns and figures of speech [that may be] difficult to render from the German [version of the text].” According to Leiner, the reader of the translated text should expect a “focused, collaborative work among multiple translators and an editorial staff of the highest scholarly credential.” The Stanford University Press’ The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche will ideally be completed in 2014, with Leiner’s contribution being completed by December 2013—just in time for him to return to his duties as Associate Professor of Philosophy for SVC’s Spring 2014 semester.
Leiner will have his hands full with his translation of Nietzsche’s works. While he is busy with his scholarly work, the teaching of philosophy courses must continue at SVC. Dr. Michael Krom, the Chair of the Philosophy Department at Saint Vincent College, is already taking measures to ensure the pursuit of philosophy is not hindered and the classes taught by Leiner continue to be taught during his sabbatical. Krom explained that Leiner was given an entire year for his translating work because “large blocks of time” are required to adequately focus the large amounts of concentration needed to accurately translate a work.
In order to fill the position created by Leiner’s absence, two adjunct professors, Dr. Michael Evans and Dr. Jan Marczuk, were hired. Each adjunct will teach two courses, half of Leiner’s normal four-course teaching schedule. Ivans graduated with his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2008 from Duquesne University and will teach Theories of Knowledge and First Philosophy. Marczuk was partially educated in his homeland of Poland and received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Claremont Graduate University in California. Marczuk will teach Logic and Ethics during his stay at SVC.
Krom explained that he had to search in the local area for potential professors. Local professors are needed as it is impractical for those qualified for the position to relocate for a temporary adjunct teaching position. Luckily, both Ivans and Marczuk were in the western Pennsylvania area and were selected after a consensus of SVC’s Philosophy department.
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