Daniel Simeoni, Associate Professor in the School of Translation, Glendon College, Director of the Master’s Program in Translation and member of the graduate program in the Humanities.
Daniel Simeoni died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack on the weekend of Nov. 3. He was 58 years old. He had devoted the summer months to developing a proposal for a doctoral program in translation, was actively contributing to Glendon’s Centre for Research on Language Contact, and was currently working with researchers in a number of universities on aspects of translation and culture.
Born in France, Professor Simeoni received his training in theoretical and formal linguistics at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. His interest in the practices and concept of translation gradually began to shift from the structural and normative aspects of translation to the sociology of translators, and he is known for first introducing the notion of habitus to the field.
Since coming to York in 1999, his influence and accomplishments have been major. He was passionate about his work which he described as an interdisciplinary exploration of the specific types of knowledge that translation vehicles and transforms. In 2005 he was honoured by the community of translation scholars who chose him as the CETRA Chair to give the series of seminars based in San Pellegrino, Italy. CETRA, the Research Centre for Translation, Communication and Cultures, is a forum where nearly 200 participants from five continents, mostly at the doctoral level, come together to study both the cultural and communicational aspects of translation. His latest work, co-edited with Anthony Pym and Miriam Shlesinger, Beyond Descriptive Translation Studies. Investigations in homage to Gideon Toury, will be published by John Benjamins later this year.
His dedication to his students was remarkable. In the words of Lyse Hébert, a recent graduate of the MA in Translation who was also working on her doctorate at York under his supervision, “Daniel’s unfailing enthusiasm for my research and that of other students was inspiring. He was a gentle critic, and innovative teacher, a supportive and imaginative advisor. He taught me what it is to be a dedicated member of the university community.”
In the short time that Daniel was at York, and it was remarkably short, Daniel won the friendship and admiration of the colleagues in all the programs he worked with. He was a fixture in the College: in-depth discussions in the corridor as the day began, personal visits to problem-solve, and always a smile (and sometimes a glass of wine) over lunch.
He leaves a wife, Professor Adrienne Chambon.
The funeral service will be held this Tuesday at 4 pm at the Morley Bedford Funeral Services, 159 Eglinton West (near Yonge). In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up to reflect Daniel’s concern for graduate students in translation at York in financial need. It will be called the Daniel Simeoni Fund at the York University Foundation. Donations can be made online at http://www.yorku.ca/foundatn or by cheque, made out to the York University Foundation, indicating the Daniel Simeoni Fund, and sent to the Y.U.F., West Office Building, 4700 Keele St., Toronto ON M3J 1P3, Canada.