Simona Delić, PhD

I am a reasercher in Humanities (fields of Ethnology and Anthropology) and a literary translator that lives and works in Zagreb, in Croatia. I was born on February 8th 1971 in Tuzla, in Bosnia and Hercegovina. I finished my elementary and secondary school education in Zagreb (Obrazovni centar za jezike in Zagreb) where my family moved from Tuzla in 1980. I finished secondary music school in teaching and playing classsical guitar in 1988.

I have studied Spanish Language and Literature and Comparative Literature in the Faculty of Filosophy in Zagreb, University of Zagreb, where I graduated in 1994.  I have attented for few years also a course in Portuguese Language and Literature, as well as a Library Sciences Course. During my university studies I started a collaboration with Croatian Radio and Television translating Portuguese writers accompanning these translations with essays.

At the same University of Zagreb, Faculty of Philosophy I have started to attend a postgraduate course in Literature finishing it with a lecture of my M.A. work entitled “The Family Theme in Croatian Traditional Ballad” in 1999. The work was later published as a book “Between the Slander and a Course. A Family Theme in Croatian Traditional Ballad, Hrvatska sveučilišna naklada, 2001) and was given a prestigious national award in 2002 by the Croatian Society of University Professors and Other Scientists.

I am employed as a researcher in Humanities (Ethnology and Anthropology) at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research in Zagreb, actually entitled as Senior Research Associate.  I did a reasearch on Croatian ballad tradition in the context of European balladry, and I am actually interested in the intertwining of the artistic and traditional poetry and literature (See here the paragraph on Current Research Projects). Till now, I have published three books in these topics: “Između klevete i kletve: tema obitelji u hrvatskoj tradicijskoj baladi, 2001 [“Between the Slander and the Course: Family Theme in Croatian Traditional Ballad”; Zagreb: Hrvatska sveučilišna naklada]. Recently I published a book that stressed the importance of Sephardic ballad tradition in the context of international ballad research “Silva Hispanica. Komparativna studija o žanru balade u modernoj hrvatskoj i španjolskoj usmenoj tradiciji” [“Silva Hispanica. A Comparative Study on Ballad Genre in Modern Croatian and Spanish Tradition”, Zagreb: Institut za etnologiju i folkloristiku, 2011]. Another book “Silva Hispanica II” is in progress that evolves some of the above mentioned issues in international ballad types, balladry, as well as in typologically similar ballads in Hispanic and Croatian and South Slavic tradition in general. This book would also include some of the manuscript Judeo-Spanish ballad tradition from Zagreb (Croatia). In 2012 my PhD in Spanish was published in Germany by Editorial Académica Española from Saarbrücken: “Barca Bela. El Género de la Balada en el Mediterráneo. Los Aspectos Teórico-literarios y Literario-antropológicos de la Tradición Oral Croata e Hispánica del Siglo XX”.

Since 1997 I have spent temporarily research time in Spanish Archives or Universities (Archivo Ramón Menéndez Pidal, Universidad Complutense de Madrid), pursuing my projects as a scholarship grantee of different institutions (Ministario de Asuntos Exteriores, IX-XII. 1997.; ACI today MAEC AECI and the Open Society Institute, Complutense University Grantee; 2000-2004. I spent two months as a DAAD Grantee in Deutsches Volksliedarchiv in Freiburg (2001). During all these time I have spent some of the crucial research seasons collaborating with some of the researchers of the highest international esteem in my professional field of Research (Ethnology and Anthropology, Ballad Studies), such as Prof. Dr. Diego Catalán (Archivo Ramón Menéndez Pidal, 2000-2004), Prof. dr. Samuel G. Armistead (2000-2001), Dr. Jürgen Dittmar (2001). I have also succeded to finish my M.A. in Translation (German-Spanish) at the Complutense University in Madrid as a Grantee of Complutense University (2002-2003).

I am translating Spanish and Latin-American writers for Croatian publishers. I translated into Croatian some of the greatest names of contemporary fiction writing in Spanish language thanks to the iniciative of Croatian publishers – translating writers of such an esteem as it is Carlos Fuentes (“Diana o la cazadora solitaria”, “Instinto de Inez”) or Javier Marías (“Corazón tan blanco”, “Tu rostro mañana. Fiebre y lanza”)… 

Recently I started to publish essayistic and faction narrative in Croatian reviews. My book of essays on Hispanoamerican writers was published in 2010 (“Hispanoamerička bilježnica”, Hrvatska sveučilišna naklada, 2010). My short story “My grandmother’s things” was published in this book as a narrative. An autobiographic travelogue “Putopisne crtice” was published this year in a literary review “Književna republika”.

I am a member of Ballad Commission since 1997. I am also a member of some other prestigious international groupings such as S.E.L.G.yC. (Sociedad Española de Literatura General y Comparada). I am a member of some distinguished national societies, too (Society of Croatian Literary Translators, Croatian Ethnological Society). All these memberships profiled my scientific interests and permitted me to advance in my professional interests (Ballad Studies, Iberic Studies of the XXth century, Translation, Cultural Studies). Especially, it permitted me to extend my knowledge on Sephardic balladry and Judeo-Spanish culture that I iniciated as an undergraduate student (1992-1994) with the interviews with some of the last fluent Judeo-Spanish speakers in the Jewish community in Zagreb.