Optional Translation Studies PhD Emphasis

Comparative Literature is the home Program for the Graduate Emphasis in Translation Studies. The Director of the TS Emphasis is Professor Jill Levine (Spanish and Portuguese).
Visit our web site for Translation Studies!

Courses in Translation Studies engage the theoretical questions that are germane to a philosophy of translation and that inform the practice of translation.

Any enrolled graduate student in good academic standing and pursuing a PhD in Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French, German, Religious Studies or Spanish  with an interest in literary translation, competency in more than one language and a willingness to complete the required coursework/research project may take part in the emphasis. Following a successful year of masters and/or doctoral study in one of the participating departments, students may petition to add the Translation Studies Emphasis, which in addition to PhD requirements of the home department, requires the following:

1) Completion of 16 units, to include Comparative Literature 170/260: Literary Translation: Theory and Practice, which is offered at least every other year, or an equivalent course covering some aspect of translation theory and practice approved by the Translation Studies faculty advisor in consultation with the advisory committee.

The four courses (16 units) may be fulfilled in a number of ways:

  • Students must take at least two courses which cover some aspect of critical, theoretical and/or historical approaches to translation.
  • At least one of the four courses should be taken outside the student’s home department.
  • At least four of the 16 units can be taken as an independent study/practicum, in the event a course listed on the TranslationStudies Emphasis (below) does not have a sister graduate-level course.

Students may take any two 4-unit courses in their department in which a translation component can be integrated into the course material—e.g.. any literature course in the various language and literature departments; any catalogue or approved independent study course in Religious Studies, Classics, etc. involving close textual reading, linguistic analysis, cultural study/ interpretation—and work with the faculty/supervisor on a translation-related final project aside from doing all the course work. These units would be part of the basic 16 unit-requirement.

2) Completion of a final project (approximately 30 pages), approved by the Translation Studies advisor in consultation with an advisory committee made up of two additional affiliated faculty (the affiliated faculty list can be found in the TS addendum in the download area below), which, based on the translation(s) of a particular text, examines the relationships between textual practice and theoretical perspectives, thus addressing some relevant aspect of translation theory, criticism, or history. PhD students have the option of doing the creatitve and analytical project OR of including Translation Studies as a significant research topic or methodology in their doctoral dissertation. For the 30-page project, the student may include his/her own translation as part of the project. The final project must be unanimously passed (B or higher) by the three-member project committee, made up of affiliated faculty. The project with comments and grade will then be seen by the advisory committee to maintain consistency among the projects.

To officially add the emphasis, please complete a form for change of degre status (see below in the download area) and return to the Graduate Division after securing all the signatures.

1. Download the "Change of Degree Status Petition" from the Graduate Division's website or from the download area below.
2. Under "ADD the following Credential, Emphasis, or Certificate," list "Doctoral Emphasis in Translation Studies." Complete all required fields and sign form.
3. Take completed change of status petition to your home department chair or faculty graduate advisor (not the GPA staff advisor) for approval and signature.
4. Email Professor Suzanne Jill Levine to setup a time to meet with her. She will then approve/deny and sign the petition as the Interdisciplinary Emphasis Advisor.
5. International Students using a non-immigrant visa also need approval and a signature from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) representative.
6. Scan/copy the original approved, signed, and completed change of status petition, then bring (Phelps 4212) or email a copy to the Comparative Literature Graduate Program Advisor, Jack Bailey for filing in Comparative Literature.
7. Take the completed change of status petition to the Cashier's Office (1212 SAASB), pay the $20 petition fee, and save the receipt.
8. Take cashier's receipt and completed change of status petition to the Graduate Division for the final approval and signature, to officially add the Translation Studies Emphasis.

See the Downloads area below for a listing of courses and affiliated faculty mentioned above.

Current Advisory Board:

Yunte Huang (English)
Dominique Jullien (French & Italian)
Suzanne Jill Levine, Director (Spanish & Portuguese)
Viola Miglio (Spanish & Portuguese)
John Nathan (East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies}
Elide Oliver (Spanish & Portuguese)
Jon Snyder (French & Italian)
Sara P. Weld (Germanic & Slavic Studies)

& Catherine Nesci, Chair, Comparative Literature (ex-officio)