The PhD Emphasis

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

How can you take part in the Emphasis?

You need to be an 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, and have an interest in literary translation as well as competency in more than one language. Following a successful year of master's and/or doctoral study in one of the participating departments, you will be able to add officially the Translation Studies Emphasis, which, in addition to the PhD requirements of the home department, requires the following:

Course Work

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 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.

Final Project

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 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.