Optional Translation Studies PhD Emphasis

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. Ph.D. students have the option of doing the field 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 (click here) and return to the Graduate Division.

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

The Director of the Translation Studies Emphasis is Professor Jill Levine (Spanish and Portuguese).

Current Advisory Board:

Yunte Huang (English)
Dominique Jullien (French & Italian)
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)

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PDF icon TS_Emphasis-Overview.pdf178.48 KB
PDF icon Past Course Offerings8.37 KB