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.

Spring 2023

Language, Expressivity, and Power
Subject associations
ANT 357 / HUM 354 / TRA 356

This course explores what we do with language and other modes of expression and how these modes shape our communicative capacities. Why do we gossip? How do we decide what communication is appropriate face-to-face or via text or email? What informs our beliefs about civility and obscenity? How do we decide what credible speech is? What happens when a culturally rooted expressive form (say, a dance) is taken up by people elsewhere for other aesthetic and political ends? We will explore such questions by studying theories and ethnographies of a range of phenomena: love-letters, gossip, poetry, asylum appeals, spoken word, and more.

Instructors
Aniruddhan Vasudevan
Theory and Practice of Arabic to English Translation
Subject associations
ARA 308 / TRA 309

This course trains students in the practice of translating Arabic texts from a wide variety of genres into English. Attention will be given to both theoretical and practical problems of translation for research and professional ends.

Instructors
Gregory J. Bell
Who Owns This Sentence? Copyright Culture from the Romantic Era to the Age of the Internet
Subject associations
COM 332 / HUM 332 / TRA 332

Copyright arose in 18C London to regulate the book trade. It now covers almost all creative activities, from visual arts to music, movies, computer code, video games and business methods. How and why did it spread so far, and for whose benefit? Is it the right framework for a large part of modern economies, or is it time for a rethink? This course studies the history of copyright and its philosophical and social justification from Diderot and Dickens to Google and Meta. It returns at each stage to ask how the arts were supported, and how they should be supported now in a world dominated by copyright corporations.

Instructors
David M. Bellos
Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Subject associations
CWR 206 / TRA 206 / COM 215

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample 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 306 / COM 356 / TRA 314

Students will choose, early in the semester, one author to focus on in fiction, poetry, or drama, with the goal of arriving at a 20-25 page sample 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
Poetry and War: Translating the Untranslatable
Subject associations
HUM 423 / COM 465 / TRA 423 / FRE 423

Focusing on René Char's wartime "notebook" of prose poetry from the French Resistance, Feuillets d'Hypnos (Leaves of Hypnos), this course joins a study of the Resistance to a poet's literary creation and its ongoing "afterlife" in translations around the globe. History, archival research (traditional and digital), the practice of literary translation, and a trip to France that follows in Char's footsteps as poet and Resistance leader will all be part of our exploration. We will conclude with a dramatic performance of the "notebook" in multiple languages, as created by seminar participants.

Instructors
Sandra L. Bermann
A Survey of American Sign Language
Subject associations
LIN 205 / TRA 205

This course introduces DEAF+WORLD, a world where people speak with their hands and hear with their eyes. It is for students who are interested in learning basic American Sign Language (ASL). Students will acquire basic vocabulary and grammar through interactive activities in order to develop conversational skills in ASL. Students also will practice using body language to communicate in order to effectively communicate with Deaf people while having minimal signing skills. In addition, the basics of Deaf culture and Deaf American history will be discussed.

Instructors
Noah A. Buchholz
Bilingualism
Subject associations
LIN 308 / TRA 303

The course covers the linguistic, psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, and sociolinguistic aspects of bilingualism. We examine language acquisition in monolingual and bilingual children, the notion of "critical age" for language acquisition, definitions and measurements of bilingualism, and the verbal behavior of bilinguals such as code-switching. We consider the effects of bilingualism on other cognitive domains, including memory, and examine neurolinguistic evidence comparing the brains of monolinguals and bilinguals. Societal and governmental attitudes toward bilingualism in countries like India and the U.S. are contrasted.

Instructors
Christiane D. Fellbaum
Translation Workshop: Spanish to English
Subject associations
SPA 380 / TRA 380

This course is an introduction to the practice of literary translation from Spanish to English, with a focus on fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. After a series of translation exercises, each student will select an author and work to be translated as the central project for the class, and will embark on the process of revising successive drafts. Close reading of the Spanish texts is required, as is a deep engagement with the translations of fellow students. Subjects of discussion will include style, context, the conventions of contemporary translation, and the re translation of classics.

Instructors
Natasha Wimmer
Introduction to Machine Translation
Subject associations
TRA 301 / COS 401 / LIN 304

This course will provide an in-depth study of Machine Translation paradigms used in state-of-the-art speech-to-speech and text-based MT systems, from computational and linguistic perspectives. We will discuss techniques for processing human languages (morphological analysis, tagging, syntactic and semantic parsing, and language generation) with hands-on, in-class exercises. Linguistic variation and its impact on computational models will be presented. Term projects will involve implementing components of speech/text technologies, identifying their limitations, and suggesting improvements, or any topic relevant to language processing.

Instructors
Srinivas Bangalore
Translating East Asia
Subject associations
TRA 304 / EAS 304

Translation is at the core of our engagement with China, Japan, and Korea. From translations of the classics to contemporary literature, from the formation of modern East Asian cultural discourses to cross-cultural references in theater and film, the seminar poses fundamental questions to our encounters with East Asian cultural artifacts, reflecting on what "translation" of "original works" means in our globalized world. Open to students with or without knowledge of an East Asian language.

Instructors
Martin Kern