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Sept. 29, 2010

Second Look at the Second Sex: A Panel Discussion

1NORTHAMPTON, Mass – Since 1953, when Simone de Beauvoir’s historic “Le Deuxième Sexe” was first translated from French into English by Smith College Professor of Zoology H.M. Parshley, some criticism of the “The Second Sex” has cited the fact it was completed by a male.

Now readers of the book, an iconic work of feminist literature, have another option – a translation by two women. The translators, Constance Borde and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier, will visit Smith on Monday, Oct. 4, to discuss their translation and how it differs from the original version.

At 4:15 p.m. in Neilson Library Browsing Room, President Carol T. Christ will introduce Borde and Malovany-Chevallier for a discussion titled “Simone de Beauvoir: Translating ‘The Second Sex’ for the Twenty-first Century,” an event that is free and open to the public.

“Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘Le Deuxième Sexe’ has influenced thinking and political action about women and gender for more than 60 years,” said Christ. “The new translation has new relevance today.”

Since it was published in 2009, the translation by Borde and Malovany-Chevalier has met with generally positive reviews from literary critics. The pair is often credited with having restored the sections of the text missing from the Parshley edition, as well as correcting errors.

The talk will be followed by a discussion with Smith faculty members, students and alumnae across disciplines. The event is sponsored by the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty.

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. One of the largest women’s colleges in the United States, Smith enrolls 2,800 students from nearly every state and 62 other countries.

For information about disability access or to request accommodations, call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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