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 2021

ARA 308/TRA 309
Theory and Practice of Arabic to English Translation
Gregory J. Bell
T/Th, 11 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.

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.

CLA 203/COM 217/HLS 201/TRA 203
What is a Classic?
Barbara Graziosi, Joshua H. Billings
T/Th, 3 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

"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.

COM 450/TRA 450
Global Publishing: Translation, Media, Migration
Sandra L. Bermann
T, 1:30 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

Global publishing today - both book and digital - remains one of the major ways that ideas and culture, hegemony and resistance all cross borders. Essential to its effects are translation, media, and migration. How has the publishing industry in fact contributed to our ability to "think globally" and led to cultural transformations? In what ways and to what extent has it remained national or regional, focusing largely on the US and Europe? What, if anything, might allow for a more wide-ranging dissemination of texts, culture, ideas? How are current crises around race, economics, and global health affecting the industry today?

COM 579/TRA 502
Translation and World Literature
Karen R. Emmerich, Lital Levy
Th, 1 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

This course probes the intersection of world literature and translation, in relation to conditions of multilingualism, processes of cultural transfer, and the consolidation/contestation of national literary traditions. In reading key texts from the debates around the concept and practice of world literature, we will ask whether its universalizing drive can be reconciled with literary/scholarly investments in inaccessibility, locality, and specificity, and what role translation plays in these formations. Throughout, we will consider the implications of these debates for our own work as scholars.

CWR 206/TRA 206/COM 215
Creative Writing (Literary Translation)
Jhumpa Lahiri
T, 1:30 p.m. -3:20 p.m.

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.

LIN 206/TRA 207
Beginning American Sign Language II
Noah A. Buchholz
MW, 12:30 p.m. -1:20 p.m.

This course aims to improve conversation skills in ASL, review and refine knowledge of basic grammar, broaden vocabulary, develop ASL-English translation skills, and increase awareness of Deaf culture. Students will develop their ASL skills through interactive activities in class and interacting with Deaf people out of class.

LIN 214/TRA 214
Advanced American Sign Language
Noah A. Buchholz
T/Th, 8:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

This course offers intensive practice in American Sign Langauge (ASL) through learning specialized vocabulary, analyzing grammar, developing ASL-English translation skills, and discussing ASL literary works and Deaf culture.

LIN 308/TRA 303
Christiane D. Fellbaum
T/Th, 3 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.

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.

TRA 301/COS 401/LIN 304
Machine Translation
Srinivas Bangalore
F, 1:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.

This course will provide an in-depth study of the Machine Translation paradigms (direct, transfer, statistical/example, interlingua and neural network) used in state-of-the-art speech-to-speech and text-based MT systems, from computational and linguistic perspectives.  Techniques for processing human languages (morphological analysis, tagging, syntactic and semantic parsing, and language generation) will be discussed. Linguistic variation across languages and its impact on computational models will be presented. Projects will involve implementing speech/text translation components, identifying their limitations and suggesting improvements.

TRA 501/COM 501
Practicing Translation
Karen R. Emmerich, Matthew Reeck
M, 1:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Academic work in disciplines across the humanities and humanistic social sciences are fueled in part by practices of translation, and many disciplines are moving toward a consideration of translation as scholarship in its own right. Yet few graduate students are trained practices of translation, either within their discipline or as an interdisciplinary node of intellectual engagement. This graduate translation workshop aims to help students from various departments hone a practice of translation that can stand on its own as a scholarly endeavor, while also deepening and enriching the other forms of research and writing in which they engage.