6, 10, 12 and 13 November 2020: National Humanities Conference (virtual)

Poised at the Crossroads: Preservation and Public Access to Humanites Research – The Letters of Samuel Beckett. Presentation of the Location Register and the linked Data Project of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, with Emory Digital Scholarship partners Sara Palmer and Jay Varner,

Large, long-term humanities projects leave a wake of research that may become inaccessible or lost when publication is complete. Following publication of final volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge University Press, 2009-2016), came the big question: How can thirty years of essential primary research be preserved for future scholarship? Metadata provided a methodology: while respecting literary rights, it could describe and index the letters, integrate decades of interviews and research, and model humanities methods for new and public inquiry.
By making both the platforms and the data open access, the discovery of these intersections between the humanities and digital methodologies offers a model for other projects in the Humanities - opening research to new questions and new evidence.”


April 2020: Journal of Beckett Studies

Lois More Overbeck, "Samuel Beckett's Responses to Pedagogy," The Journal of Beckett Studies 29.1 (2020) 3-26.


3 March 2020: Atlanta Francophonie Festival 2020

The Consulate General of Ireland presented a film screening in French and English of Samuel Beckett’s play Krapp’s Last tape with Rick Cluchey and La Dernière Bande with Roland Bertin. Lois Overbeck led the post-screening discussion.


4, 11, 18 and 15 February 2020: Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Great Works Seminar

Reading Samuel Beckett, The Shorter Plays, Moderator: Lois More Overbeck
Samuel Beckett’s full-length plays, especially Waiting for Godot, Endgame, and Happy Days, are fairly well-known, but his shorter plays are less frequently produced. Lois Overbeck, an editor of The Letters of Samuel Beckett (Cambridge University Press, 2009-2016), offers a series of discussions based on the shorter plays. She will introduce these intriguing dramas with close reading and open discussion of the texts, as well as share background about them from the Letters of Samuel Beckett. Discussions take place in The Luce Center so that materials held in the edition’s offices are at hand. Performances of the plays will be discussed and links to video materials will be available.


7-8 November 2019: What is the Word: Celebrating Beckett, Washington University St. Louis

Presentation: Bo Cao, “The History of Beckett translations in China

Presentation: Lois Overbeck, “Archival Re-membering: The Letters of Samuel Beckett”
Seminar Session: Lois Overbeck “The End is in the Beginning, and yet you go on”: A
     Digital Post-script to The Letters of Samuel Beckett
Seminar Session: Bo Cao, “The Intricacies and Challenges of Translating Beckett’s

What is the Word: Celebrating Samuel Beckett—Day 1 - University Libraries | Washington University in St. Louis (wustl.edu) 

What is the Word: Celebrating Samuel Beckett—Day 2 - University Libraries | Washington University in St. Louis (wustl.edu) 


24 October 2019: Wesleyan University Olin Library, Middletown, Connecticut Homage to Samuel Beckett, a Symposium in honor of the Jay Levy Beckett Collection

A symposium, “Homage to Samuel Beckett,” highlighted books, letters, and memorabilia gifted by noted AIDS researcher Jay Levy ’60, Hon. ’96, and his wife, Sharon, from their decades-long friendship with the playwright, which began when Jay was living in Paris after his graduation from Wesleyan. 

Presentation: Lois Overbeck, “A Journey of Letters” 

Gift of Beckett Letters by Levy ’60 Inspires Homage Symposium


21 October 2019 - 4 March 2019: The Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Emory University, Public Scholarship Forum

Translation in Word and Image: Assumptions and Implications

Walter S. Melion, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History and Director, FCHI
Lois Overbeck, Director, The Letters of Samuel Beckett Project, Department of English

The Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry and The Letters of Samuel Beckett co-organized a series of four afternoon colloquia, one in Fall 2019 and three in Spring 2020, on the comparative topic of literary and pictorial translation. They examined four types of translation:

  • translation of literary texts from one language to another, one culture to another, one medium to another;
  • translation of ancient, medieval, or early modern texts into a modern vernacular language and, connected to this, of prosody into prose;
  • translation of visual images across media, e.g., of a painting into a reproductive print;
  • the translational dynamics of the emblem, a composite literary genre that brings words and images into mutual relation, jointly translating text into image, image into text.
21 October 2019 - Language and Culture in Translation: The Letters and Works of Samuel Beckett from English to Chinese. Presented by Dr. Bo Cao, Professor of English language and literature, College of Foreign Studies, Hunan Normal University, China.

Bo Cao translations

4 March 2020 - Texts of Translation – Issues of Re-translation and Adaptation. Presented by Breon Mitchell, Professor Emeritus of Germanic Studies and Comparative Literature, Indiana University, Director Emeritus of the Lilly Library.

Without literary translation many authors would simply be lost to the vast majority of readers. That's one reason why the nature and role of literature translation in culture has become, in the last decade or so, one of the liveliest new topics in academic research and our university classrooms. Literary translations are akin to musical performances—they represent attempts to convey the sense and sound of an original text or score for a public audience. Of course, no one would dream of suggesting that a single performance of a Verdi opera or Beethoven quartet would suffice for the world at large. Yet there are scores of important literary works in foreign languages for which there is only a single translation into English. The issues raised by the appearance of new versions of Franz Kafka's The Trial and Günter Grass's The Tin Drum serve as a basis for a wider discussion of the place of retranslation in international culture.

17-18 October 2019, National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) and Digital Preservation Conference, Tampa, Florida

Preserving Research and Making it Accessible: The Letters of Samuel Beckett
A panel presented by Lois More Overbeck, Director of The Beckett Letters Project, Emory University, with Sara Palmer and Jay Varner, the Emory Center for Digital Research

Large, long-term projects generate research that can be lost after publication is complete. At this critical juncture, the end may be a beginning. The Location Register and Linked Data Project created at Emory University seeks to preserve the research of The Letters of Samuel Beckett for future scholarship. Developing the electronic tools for access was a journey of discovery and experiment.
     The Samuel Beckett archives are exceptional and deep. They offer traces of the living record of the writing (drafts, revisions, translations, publication) and performance (photos, reviews, recordings, interviews with actors, designers, and directors). Just as each performance finds its own measure, so archival research is constantly reflexive. The nuance that Beckett’s letters provides is an essential entry point to such archives.
     Although the Linked Data Project of The Letters of Samuel Beckett is built empirically, its intent is to stimulate, and not replace, reading of the letters in context. The projects offer curated data to open fields of inquiry organically from his letters.

23 September 2019: Launch of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Location Register

The Location Register has been developed in collaboration with literary archives in the US, Canada, Ireland, and the UK. Continental and non-western archival holdings will be the next phase of the project. The website has been made possible through a grant by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and gifts from Christopher Herbert and Nancy Welch, as well as from the College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University, Emory Libraries and Information Technology Services (LITS), and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS).

The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett is the first step to preserve the cumulative knowledge of this unique archive. Also in development is a Linked Data Project of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in Public Archives.

Visit the Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett

20-22 June 2019: Association for Documentary Editing Annual Meeting, Princeton University

Presentation and Demonstration of the Linked Data Project of the Letters of Samuel Beckett
Lois Overbeck, “A Digital Post-script to The Letters of Samuel Beckett

In Memory of George Craig


In Memory of George Craig

George Craig, Editor and French Translator of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, died on 6 March 2019.

He tackled the arduous task of translating into English Samuel Beckett’s letters written in French with courage and a delight that befitted his own passion for language, and generously gave his “retirement” years to this effort. His translations were exemplary, as readers and reviewers have appreciated.

George was in the thrall of words and the music of languages. He found in Beckett’s writings a special home. George was a man of immense learning whose editorial eye was frighteningly insistent; he missed nothing. By nature, he was a patient, humble, and kind man. His passion was felt in every nuance of what he did.

George Craig brought unique personal credentials to his role as French translator: born and educated in Ireland, he followed in Beckett’s own academic pathway from Trinity College Dublin to the Ecole normale supérieure in Paris. He loved the challenges of crosswords, he was at times infuriated by the untranslatable jokes of Beckett’s wordplay, and he knew the Oxford English Dictionary as life experience – knew when a word entered the English language and so when it could be used in a translation.

An Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, and, formerly, Reader in French, The School of European Studies, University of Sussex, he educated leaders in literature and critical writing. His distinguished scholarship includes a critical edition of Marguerite Duras, Des journées entières dans les arbres (1972), and with co-editor Margaret McGowan, Moy qui me voy: the Writer and the Self from Montaigne to Leiris (1989), together with essays on Hugo, Mallarmé, and Proust -- and on reading. He was for many years a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.

It is with great sadness that we have lost a dear friend, It is with great joy that we celebrate his continued presence with us.



January - December 2019: Leading Chinese Translator of The Letters of Samuel Beckett at Emory

Dr. Bo Cao, professor of English Language and Literature at College of Foreign Studies, Hunan Normal University, Hunan Province, China, will be in residence at Emory University for 2019. He is the Chinese translator of the first volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett to be published Hunan Literature and Art Press. He is working with Lois More Overbeck, one of the editors of the original edition of The Letters of Samuel Beckett published in four volumes by Cambridge University Press (2009-2016). The Beckett Letters Project is based in the English Department of Emory University. The Letters of Samuel Beckett has been translated into German (Suhrkamp Verlag), French (Editions Gallimard), and Italian (Adelphi Edizioni).

While at Emory, Dr. Cao will complete his translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1929-1940. He will also familiarize himself with the research for all four volumes of Beckett’s letters, so that he can guide colleagues who are translating the other three volumes. The full Chinese edition of The Letters will be available by the end of 2021. “The publication of The Letters in Chinese will be monumental, marking the completion of the Beckett translation project and rewriting the reception of Beckett in China,” said Bo Cao. To him, The Letters, a biography with “no commentary,” is as significant as Beckett’s works themselves.

In 2016 Hunan Literature and Art Press published The Complete Collection of Samuel Beckett in Chinese. In that series are Dr. Cao’s translations of Beckett’s novels Murphy, Watt (first edition in 2012), and More Pricks Than Kicks (2016), as well as his collection of occasional pieces edited by Beckett scholar Ruby Cohn: Disjecta (2016).

According to Dr. Cao, critical Chinese playwrights and novelists are curious about Beckett’s avant-garde works, and foreign literature scholars now find Beckett so fascinating and consider it their mission to remove political mis-readings of the previous decades. This renewed interest reflects changes in China. As to the difficulties of translation, Dr. Cao says that Beckett alludes to much classical European philosophy and arts, which are not widely known by Chinese readers. Beckett uses many invented terms and plays many word games for which it is difficult to find exact equivalents in Chinese. The translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett is a great intellectual challenge.

Dr. Cao is Director of Center for British and Irish Literature at College of Foreign Studies, Hunan Normal University, where he also directs Department of Translation Studies. Since getting a Ph.D. degree in 2005 at Shanghai International Studies University, he has written on Irish and British authors and English-Chinese translation. Among his monographs are A Study of Samuel Beckett’s Novels of Failure (Beijing: Commercial Press, 2015) and Humanity Exploration: A Study of 18th Century British Novels (Beijing: Guangming Daily Press, 2009). Among his translations is also the Irish national epic The Tain (Changsha: Hunan Education Press, 2008). He is Secretary General of China British Literature Association.

The Beckett Letters project at Emory welcomes Dr. Bo Cao, and looks forward to arranging discussions within the Emory community about issues of translation as well as explorations of the cultural interactions invited by the study of literature. His presence at Emory offers a rich opportunity to share ideas.



Locate Samuel Beckett letters online in over 25 American literary archives


22-24 June, Association for Documentary Editing Annual Conference, Buffalo, New York

Available or Understandable?, Annotation as the User’s Best Friend (Roundtable)
Sherry Darling, Editor, The Mary Baker Eddy Papers
David Nolen, Associate Editor, Ulysses S. Grant Papers
Lois Overbeck, Managing Editor, Letters of Samuel Beckett Project
Lynn Price, MA, Assistant Editor, Washington Family Papers
Victoria Sciancalepore, Assistant Editor, The Jane Addams Papers Project

19 April, “Film (1965) and NOTFILM (2015), plus a Q & A with Ross Lipman”

The Department of Film and Media Studies and the Samuel Beckett Project; Emory University, White Hall 208

Beckett’s first venture in film was his 1964 production entitled FILM starring Buster Keaton and directed by Alan Schneider. Beckett was on-location during the filming in New York, his only visit to the United States; he also participated actively in the filming and editing process with Academy Award-winning cinematographer Boris Kaufman and film editor Sidney Meyers.

Archivist/filmmaker Ross Lipman offers a sneak preview of his work-in-progress, NOTFILM, slated for international release by Milestone in 2015. NOTFILM is a feature-length experimental essay on FILM’s production and its philosophical implications, utilizing additional outtakes, never before heard audio recordings of the production meetings, and other rare archival elements.


December 12 - New York

The Letters of Samuel Beckett, a words and usic evening to mark the publication of the fourth and final volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1966-1989, which shows the author struggling with ever-growing international fame, producing some of his finest stage, TV and prose works, and turning his attention to his legacy.

  • With Annabel Davis-Goff, Nick Laird, Colum McCann, Colm Toíbín and the Tesla Quartet.
  • The Unterberg Poetry Center, 92nd  Street Y, New York

Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck, “The Letters of Samuel Beckett,” a pre-program talk

7 December - Paris

25 November - University of Cambridge

George Craig and Dan Gunn, presentation with George Craig of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume IV, 1966-1989 at a symposium devoted to the volume at King’s College, University of Cambridge, November 2016.

Dan Gunn, "Samuel Beckett's Letters". A reading and discussion at a symposium dedicated to Volume IV of the Beckett Letters at King's College, Cambridge.

22 November 2016, DublinBarry McGovern, Edward Beckett, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Lois More Overbeck, and Minister Charles Flanagan taken at Iveagh House, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin

22 November - Dublin

Launch of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, IV (1966-1989), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

  • Welcome, Mr. Charles Flanagan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
  • The Publisher’s Perspective, Linda Bree, Senior Editor, Cambridge University Press, and
  • Appreciations, Lois More Overbeck, Editor.
  • Readings from The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1966-1989 by Barry McGovern.

15 November - London

George Craig and Dan Gunn, presentation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume IV, 1966-1989 at the London Review of Books bookshop.

10 November - Bath, Maine

Martha Fehsenfeld, “An Evening with Martha Dow Fehsenfeld,” The Mustard Seed Bookstore, Bath, Maine.

Performers in Words fail so simply much lovePerformers in Words fail so simply much love, a chamber reading from The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume 4 1966-1989 And the Emory Chamber Players
Left to right, back row: Don Saliers, Richard Patterson, Barry McGovern
Left to right, front row: Robert Shaw-Smith, Cynthia Patterson , Alan Mandell, Brenda Bynum

3-5 November - Emory University, Atlanta

  • 5 November Words fail so simply much love, a chamber reading with musical interludes from Schubert, played by Don Saliers. Featuring readings from The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume IV (1966-1989) by Alan Mandell, Barry McGovern, Robert Shaw-Smith and Brenda Bynum
  • 3 November - January 18, 2017 Connecting Contexts: The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929-1989 (Exhibition), curated by Lois Overbeck, Rose Manuscript and Rare Books Library - Emory University
  • 3 November Engagement in the Arts: Samuel Beckett in Prison (Waiting for Godot in San Quentin and The San Quentin Drama Workshop), a conversation with Alan Mandell and Lois Overbeck

31 October - 5 November - Emory University, Atlanta

Samuel Beckett's Life and Work: An Exhibition, courtesy of Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

October, Fifteeneightyfour

Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, “Letters editor Martha Dow Fehsenfeld remembers Samuel Beckett”

24 October 2016 - Emory University, Atlanta

Mary Hutchinson Observed: From Bloomsbury to Beckett, a one-woman performance by Brenda Bynum (sponsored by The Emeritus College)

20 October, Emory Report: Last Volume of Samuel Beckett's letters celebrated at Emory


Dan Gunn, Video interview with editor Dan Gunn in Fifteeneightyfour (Academic Perspectives from Cambridge University Press). Discussion of the Letters of Samuel Beckett and the future of Beckett Scholarship.

George Craig, Dan Gunn, and Cirán HindsGeorge Craig, Dan Gunn, and Cirán Hinds
Ecole Normal Supérieure, Paris

29 September 2016 - Paris

Launch of Fourth Volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, hosted jointly by the American University of Paris, Ecole Normal Supérieure and the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

At the Ecole Normal Supérieure
Welcome by Marc Mézarad, ENS.
• Marc Porée, Director of LILA at the ENS, “Samuel Beckett and the ENS”
• George Craig, Editor and Translator, “Traduire Beckett / Translating Beckett”
• Dan Gunn, Editor, “The End of the Road”
• Ciarán Hinds and George Craig, “A Selection of Letters from Volume IV” 

George Craig, Dan Gunn, and Cirán HindsSinéad Mac Aodha, Director, George Craig, Editor, Linda Bree, Cambridge University Presss

At the Centre Culturel Irlandais
Welcome, Sinéad Mac Aodha, Director
Linda Bree, “The Publisher’s Perspective”
Edward Beckett, “My Uncle’s Letters”


Dan Gunn, “An Interview with Dan Gunn on The Letters of Samuel Beckett” (in two parts), in Fifteeneightyfour (Academic Perspectives from Cambridge University Press), September 2016. Part 1 and Part 2.

August 2016 - Edinburgh

Editor Dan Gunn, participated in a workshop on Beckett’s “First Love” at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

8 July 2016

Dan Gunn, “More Vim than Spunk”: on Jo Baker, A Country Road, A Tree, The Times Literary Supplement.

June 2016 - London

Editor Dan Gunn, and Conor Carville presented a talk “Beckett and the Visual” as part of the Beckett In London festival, Criterion Theatre.

May 2016 - American University of Paris

Dan Gunn, Interview on the Beckett Letters Project

George Craig: “Aging: an Insider’s Look" in Raritan.

22-26 February - University of Aberdeen

Dan Gunn, Three plenary lectures ("Scholarly Editing as Translation", "Samuel Beckett Across the Arts", and "Boundary Crossings: Creative Practices, Critical Paradigms and The Worlds Between".) by invitation of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies and the Sir Herbert Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism and Comparative Literary History, at King’s College, University of Aberdeen.



Dan Gunn, “Samuel Beckett Through his Letters, 1957-1964”. A reading and lecture at Harvard University.

Dan Gunn and George Craig, “Translating Samuel Beckett,” Trinity College, Dublin.


Dan Gunn, “Editing as Translation”. A lecture at New York University.

Dan Gunn and Joseph O’Neill, “Samuel Beckett’s Letters,” Albertine Books, New York.


Dan Gunn, “Samuel Beckett Through his Letters, 1957-1964,” The Beckett International Foundation, University of Reading.
Dan Gunn, “Samuel Beckett,” Round-table, Cheltenham Literary Festival.


Emory Report: Beckett Letters Second Volume Debuts in America at Emory

Emory Report: Beckett letters illuminate reclusive writer's creative process