Each semester, Translation offers a variety of TRA-headed courses, as well as cross-listing courses with departments across campus. Certificate students can take elective courses cross-listed with departments such as linguistics, psychology, philosophy, anthropology and comparative literature.

Fall 2024

Introduction to African Literature and Film
Subject associations
AAS 239 / COM 239 / AFS 239 / HUM 239 / TRA 239

African literature and films have been a vital (but often unacknowledged) stream in and stimulant to the global traffic in invention. Nigerian literature is one of the great literatures of the twentieth century. Ethiopian literature is one of the oldest literatures in the world. Senegalese films include some of the finest films ever made. In this course, we will study the richness and diversity of foundational African texts (some in translation), while foregrounding questions of aesthetics, style, humor, epistemology.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
What is a Classic?
Subject associations
CLA 203 / COM 217 / HLS 201 / TRA 203

"What is a Classic?" asks what goes into the making of a classic text. It focuses on four, monumental poems from the ancient Mediterranean and Near East: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, and Gilgamesh, which are discussed through comparison across traditions, ranging as far as Chinese poetry. Students will consider possible definitions and constituents of a classic, while also reflecting on the processes of chance, valorization, and exclusion that go into the formation of a canon. Topics will include transmission, commentary, translation, religion, race, colonization, empire, and world literature.

Instructors
Johannes Haubold
Great Books from Little Languages
Subject associations
COM 351 / TRA 351

For historical reasons most books that come into English are translated from just a few languages, creating a misleading impression of the spread of literature itself. This course provides an opportunity to discover literary works from languages with small reading populations which rarely attract academic attention in the USA. It also offers tools to reflect critically on the networks of selection that determine which books reach English-language readers; the role of literature in the maintenance of national identities; the role of translation; and the concept of "world literature" in Comparative Literary Studies.

Instructors
David M. Bellos
Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Subject associations
CWR 205 / COM 249 / TRA 204

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 10-15 page sample, with commentary, of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and practice of literary translation.

Instructors
Jenny McPhee
Advanced Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Subject associations
CWR 305 / COM 355 / TRA 305

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 15-20 page sample, with commentary, of the author's work. All work will be translated into English and discussed in a workshop format. Weekly readings will focus on the comparison of pre-existing translations as well as commentaries on the art and practice of literary translation.

Instructors
Jenny McPhee
Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication
Subject associations
TRA 200 / COM 209 / HUM 209

Translation is at the heart of the humanities, and it arises in every discipline in the social sciences and beyond, but it is not easy to say what it is. This course looks at the role of translation in the past and in the world of today, in fields as varied as anthropology, the media, law, international relations and the circulation and study of literature. It aims to help students grasp the basic intellectual and philosophical problems raised by the transfer of meanings from one language to another (including in machine translation) and to acquaint them with the functions, structures and effects of translation in intercultural communication.

Instructors
David M. Bellos
Translating East Asia
Subject associations
TRA 304 / EAS 304 / HUM 333 / COM 373

Translation is at the core of our encounters with East Asia. From translations of the literary classics to contemporary novels and poetry, from the formation of modern East Asian cultural discourses to national identities to East-West travels of works in theater and film, the seminar poses fundamental questions to our encounters with East Asian cultural artifacts, reflecting on the classical principles of translation and problematizing what the "translation" of "original works" even means anymore in our globalized world. Open to students with or without knowledge of an East Asian language.

Instructors
Martin Kern
Translation, Migration, Culture
Subject associations
TRA 400 / COM 409 / HUM 400

This course will explore the crucial connections between migration, language, and translation. Drawing on texts from a range of genres and disciplines - from memoir and fiction to scholarly work in translation studies, migration studies, political science, anthropology, and sociology - we will focus on how language and translation affect the lives of those who move through and settle in other cultures, and how, in turn, human mobility affects language and modes of belonging.

Instructors
Sandra L. Bermann