Ryan Bloom, English, receives 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship for translation

Published: May 7, 2024

A writer sits at their desk Guggenheim
Ryan Bloom. (Elizabeth Haynes)

Ryan Bloom, senior lecturer in English, has received the 2024 Guggenheim Fellowship for translation to work on the first complete edition of the French-Algerian author Albert Camus’s notebooks, journals, and other works. This year, 188 grants were awarded from more than 3,000 applicants from over 52 academic disciplines across the U.S. and Canada. Fellows are provided funding to freely pursue their creative projects through their unique process without any special conditions. 

“In many ways, the situation Camus experienced in post-World War II Paris bears similarities to our own times here in the States. To give just one example, one of Camus’s great fears was a world where, in support of ideology, people were willing to excuse, if not actively cheer, the murder of other human beings,” says Bloom. “We need only turn on the news or scroll through our social media feeds to understand how some might feel that same fear today.”

Bloom has been translating Camus’s work for more than a decade. Most recently, he completed translations of Camus’s North and South American journals, Travels in the Americas: Notes and Impressions of a New World (Chicago University Press, 2023) as well as Camus’s Caligula and Three Other Plays (Penguin Random House, 2023). His translation of Albert Camus’ Notebooks 1951 – 1959, (Ivan R. Dee Publishing, 2008) was a finalist for the French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation’s Translation Prize for outstanding published English translations of prose originally written in French; his translation of Travels in the Americas is again a finalist for this year’s prize, to be awarded in June. Bloom notes that his drive to translate Camus’s work stems from the relevance the author’s work still has today, more than 65 years after Camus received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957.

“Humanity faces some profound existential challenges,” said Edward Hirsch, award-winning poet and president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. “The Guggenheim Fellowship is a life-changing recognition. It’s a celebrated investment into the lives and careers of distinguished artists, scholars, scientists, writers, and other cultural visionaries who are meeting these challenges head-on and generating new possibilities and pathways across the broader culture as they do so.”

In 2017, Deborah Rudacille, professor of the practice in English, was the first UMBC faculty to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. Rudacille received it for science writing.

“Ryan Bloom’s Guggenheim shows the wide range of research and teaching that takes place in the English department,” says Jessica Berman, professor of English and director of the Dresher Center for the Humanities. “That students have access to a translator of Ryan’s caliber when they sign up for his composition or creative writing classes and have the opportunity to learn from his careful approach to language adds immeasurably to their experience. UMBC is very lucky to have him in our midst.”

Learn more about UMBC’s English department.

Tags: , , , , ,

Scroll to Top