Undergraduate major: translation (B.A.)
Undergraduate minor: translation for global literacy
Graduate degree: M.F.A. in literary translation
Graduate certificate: literary translation
Faculty: https://translation.uiowa.edu/people
Website: https://translation.uiowa.edu/

Literally every form of global exchange—from material goods and natural resources to knowledge, values, ideologies, and cultures—depends on translation across languages. Aided by the range of human migration, globalization has led to rich syntheses between and among cultures, languages, and sensibilities. Borders between countries have become tenuous in relation to transnational, multicultural, and multilingual realities.

The undergraduate major in translation enables students to become learned users of translation and critically reflective participants in the global circulation of information, people, and cultures. The undergraduate minor in translation for global literacy introduces students to the exploration of translation both as a practical application and as a tool for global literacy. The graduate Certificate in Literary Translation offers students the opportunity to develop stronger competencies in translation as a method of scholarly inquiry and pedagogy, and the advantage of the ongoing synergy between creative writing and literary translation. The M.F.A. in literary translation program focuses on creating works that can convey the distinctness of the original languages and the immediacy of contemporary languages.

These programs of study are administered by the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Shelf of books.

The Center for Language and Culture Learning provides a wide variety of facilities and services to the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures (DWLLC), including a 24-computer Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and five All-In-One Studios/small group study rooms equipped with video production and editing software, a Computer Assisted Language Learning Lab with 25 computers integrated with Sanako software for language practice, a SignAll lab for American Sign Language learning and practice, and virtual reality hardware and development space.

The center provides spaces for quiet study as well as for group meetings. Departments, programs, and student organizations are welcome to host conversation hours, film nights, study groups, workshops, and more. The center supports a robust peer tutoring program in many of the languages taught in DWLLC, with both in-person and online availability, as well as Directed Independent Language Study, through which faculty, staff, or students can be paired with a tutor to learn a language not taught in the DWLLC.

Translation Courses

TRNS:1000 First-Year Seminar 1 s.h.

Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings, visits to research facilities, field trips). Requirements: first-semester standing.

TRNS:1240 World Literature in Translation I 3 s.h.

Reading and analysis of major literary texts from writing's origins to 1700 in the Mediterranean, Asia, and Africa; interrelationship of literature and history. Taught in English. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts. Same as CL:1240, CLSA:1040.

TRNS:1241 World Literature: 1700 to Present 3 s.h.

Reading and analysis of major literary texts from 18th century to present in chronological sequence; emphasis on interrelationship of literature and history. Requirements: completion of GE CLAS Core Rhetoric. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts. Same as CL:1241.

TRNS:2000 Translation and Global Society 3 s.h.

Contexts and functions of translation in the age of globalization; how translations are produced, received, and utilized in various contexts; effects of globalization on ethics, aesthetics, and politics of translation; how we understand cultures when they are received or transmitted through translation; effects of these exchanges on the English language. GE: Diversity and Inclusion.

TRNS:2001 Global Science Fiction 3 s.h.

Science fiction from around the world; spanning poetry, fiction, drama, film, television, comics, mobile phone games, and music; produced on six continents. Taught in English. GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as ASIA:2001, FREN:2010, RUSS:2001, SPAN:2001, WLLC:2001.

TRNS:2248 The Invention of Writing: From Cuneiform to Computers 3 s.h.

Invention of writing as one of the most momentous events in the history of human civilizations; how the use of written sign systems, notations, maps, graphs, encryptions, and most recently, computer programs have consequences that reach deeply into all aspects of people's lives; how writing fascinates and delights, fosters reflexive thinking and facilitates development of complex societies, and gives rise to institutions of social power and control; students explore the invention of writing and its consequences in broad international and interdisciplinary context. Taught in English. Same as ANTH:2248, ASIA:2248, CL:2248, CLSA:2048, COMM:2248, GRMN:2248, HIST:2148, IS:2248, LING:2248, WLLC:2248.

TRNS:2473 Cinderella 3 s.h.

Comparative analysis of Cinderella stories from around the world including Asia, Europe, Africa, South America; readings, discussion, workshops, and writing; consideration of visual and material presentation of Cinderella stories in physical books. Taught in English. Same as FREN:2473, WLLC:2473.

TRNS:2578 Translation in the Humanities: Modes and Approaches 3 s.h.

Introduction to translation in several humanistic modes including philosophy, poetry, fiction, biography, memoir, history, oral history, popular science, literary correspondence, public essays, and the retranslation of classical works; overview of translation history and theory; ethical, practical, technological, and commercial approaches to translation; language background or prior exposure to translation not required.

TRNS:3001 Reading for Translation: Text Analysis 3 s.h.

Required skills and vocabulary to identify and discuss elements of literary texts; formal and genre distinctions, historical and theoretical approaches to analyzing literature, and comparative methods.

TRNS:3122 Tolstoy and Dostoevsky 3-4 s.h.

Tolstoy's War and Peace and Anna Karenina; Dostoevsky's Crime and PunishmentThe Demons, and short stories. Taught in English. Same as RUSS:3122, WLLC:3122.

TRNS:3179 Undergraduate Translation Workshop 3 s.h.

Translation exercises, discussion of translation works in progress; alternative strategies for translation projects. Same as CLSA:3979, ENGL:3850.

TRNS:3189 Undergraduate Translation Workshop II 3 s.h.

Continued training through translation exercises, discussion of translation works in progress; alternative strategies for translation projects. Prerequisites: TRNS:3179.

TRNS:3191 International Literature Today 1,3 s.h.

English majors and English and Creative Writing majors may apply this course to the following area and/or period requirement. AREA: Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies. PERIOD: 20th/21st-Century Literature. Same as ENGL:3595, IWP:3191, WLLC:3191.

TRNS:3200 Literary Translation from German 3 s.h.

Workshop and seminar on translating from German to English; emphasis on literary translations and studying existing translations; special issues of German as a source language for translation into English. Taught in English and German. Requirements: prior completion of two German courses at the 3000 level or above. Same as GRMN:3200.

TRNS:3201 Workshop in Japanese Literary Translation 3 s.h.

Workshop in translation from Japanese to English, with emphasis on literary translation; issues in theory and practice of translation; special features of Japanese as a source language for translation. Taught in Japanese. Corequisites: JPNS:3001, if not taken as a prerequisite. Same as JPNS:3201.

TRNS:3202 Workshop in Chinese Literary Translation 3 s.h.

Translation from Chinese to English with emphasis on literary translation; issues in theory and practice of translation; special features of Chinese as a source language for translation. Prerequisites: CHIN:3102. Same as CHIN:3201.

TRNS:3203 Russian Literature in Translation 1860-1917 3 s.h.

Survey of major works, figures, and trends of 19th- and early 20th-century Russian literature; age of the Russian novel; works of Turgenev (Fathers and Sons), Tolstoy (Confession), Dostoevsky (The IdiotThe Brothers Karamazov), and Chekhov (plays). Taught in English. Same as HIST:3492, RUSS:3202, WLLC:3202.

TRNS:3205 Literary Translation Workshop in Ancient Greek and Latin 3 s.h.

Translation from Greek/Latin to English with emphasis on literary translation; issues in theory and practice of translation in the discipline; special features of ancient languages as a source language for translation. Taught in English. Same as CLSG:3200, CLSL:3200.

TRNS:3208 Classical Chinese Literature Through Translation 3 s.h.

Reading of English translations of classical Chinese literature; discussion of special features of classical Chinese as a source language for translation; issues in translation practice and theory with focus on trends in translation of Classical Chinese literary works to English. Taught in English. Recommendations: completion of required ESL courses. Same as ASIA:3208, WLLC:3208.

TRNS:3232 French Literary Translation Workshop 3 s.h.

Workshop in literary translation from French to English; practical, ethical, and theoretical questions about translation; focus on specific complication of French-English language pair; mapping style, genre, and literary influences of French authors for purpose of translation. Taught in French. Requirements: prior or concurrent enrollment in FREN:3060 or FREN:3300. Same as FREN:3232.

TRNS:3491 Translation Internship 1-3 s.h.

Translation internship. Requirements: permission of the program coordinator of the undergraduate minor in translation for global literacy in consultation with the student's advisor.

TRNS:3498 Translate Iowa Project arr.

Internship with the Translate Iowa Project. Taught in English. Requirements: TRNS:2000 or TRNS:3179 or TRNS:3202 or ENGL:3724 or JPNS:3201 or SPAN:3030 or SPAN:3050 or SPAN:4980. Same as ARAB:3498.

TRNS:3700 Topics in Global Cinema 3 s.h.

Identification of new models and methods to investigate cinema's relationship to current global issues beyond traditional scholarly focus in Western Europe and the United States; exploration of an emerging field, moving away from the paradigm of national cinema and bringing together shared theoretical frameworks while acknowledging different historical and cultural contexts. Taught in English. Same as ASIA:3700, JPNS:3700, WLLC:3700.

TRNS:4040 Topics in Translation 3-4 s.h.

Examination of special issues related to craft, context, and practice of translation.

TRNS:4050 Independent Study 1-3 s.h.

Focused study on topic of student's choosing under direction of faculty member. Requirements: permission of the student's academic advisor or the program coordinator of the undergraduate minor in translation for global literacy.

TRNS:4131 Critical Reading 3 s.h.

Analysis of different types of texts—theoretical, cultural, political, philosophical, literary, poetic—and exploration of varying ways to frame and read them. Same as WLLC:4131.

TRNS:4470 Translating Style 3 s.h.

How do translators carry style over from one language and cultural milieu to another? To what extent does style structure storytelling? Exploration of these questions through a variety of readings by modern and contemporary stylists who either write in English or translate into English; special attention to what stylistic devices are at work and what their implications are for narration, characterization, and world building.

TRNS:4480 Literature and Translation 3 s.h.

Translation in the broadest sense; originality, authority, authorship, accuracy, ownership, audience; issues problematizing differences between medium and message.

TRNS:4500 Undergraduate Capstone Project 0-3 s.h.

Culmination of undergraduate minor in translation for global literacy; translation manuscript or a scholarly/research thesis on topics relevant to scope of minor. Requirements: approval of the program coordinator of the undergraduate minor in translation for global literacy; consent of a faculty member willing to serve as director of the capstone project.

TRNS:4660 Transcultural Texts and Translations 3 s.h.

Exploration of transcultural texts and films that have contributed to reshape the Italian cultural landscape; analysis and discussion of topics including migration and diaspora, belonging and exclusion, memory and nostalgia, prejudices and other obstacles to integration, use of language as a means of rejection and connection, struggles of new generations, hybrid identities, and imagined transformations that foster constructive interactions between cultures, histories, and languages; reflection and engagement in the practice of translation as a way of honing linguistic and cultural competency. Taught in Italian. Recommendations: at least one course taught in Italian at the 2000 level or above. Same as ITAL:4660.

TRNS:4800 Seminar in Comparative Literature 3 s.h.

Focus on comparative, interdisciplinary, theoretical, and/or inter-arts topic; topics vary; required for comparative literature major. Taught in English. Same as CL:4800, GRMN:4800, GWSS:4800, WLLC:4801.

TRNS:5210 International Translation Workshop 1,3 s.h.

International writers pair with University of Iowa translators to write new works of poetry and fiction in English; second-language fluency not required for international writers. Same as IWP:5205.

TRNS:5491 Translation Internship arr.

TRNS:5500 Advanced Translation Practice 1-3 s.h.

Substantial translation project guided by a faculty advisor; readings and assignments designed to help translator with particular tasks and challenges presented by the project; translation and critical/reflective writing. Prerequisites: TRNS:6459 and TRNS:7460. Requirements: advanced-level translator in literary translation M.F.A. program.

TRNS:5999 Publishing, Prizes, and Prestige 3 s.h.

Introduction to contemporary world literature and its producers, circulation, and gatekeepers; students award the annual Translator's Choice Award for a literary translation published in the previous calendar year. Taught in English.

TRNS:6000 The Craft and Contexts of Translation 1,3 s.h.

Focus on craft and contexts of translation practice; provides students with information and experience regarding the profession and practice of translation; readings, reflective writing, and participation at guest events that focus on topics and practices relevant to the craft and professional contexts of translation.

TRNS:6050 Independent Study arr.

TRNS:6400 Thesis arr.

Translation thesis with critical introduction.

TRNS:6444 Thesis Workshop 3 s.h.

Intensive multi-language workshop; focus on M.F.A. thesis manuscript and critical paratext; translations from various languages into English. Prerequisites: TRNS:7460. Requirements: second-year standing in M.F.A. literary translation.

TRNS:6459 Issues in Translation 3 s.h.

Contemporary and historical theories.

TRNS:6555 Translator-in-Residence Workshop 3 s.h.

Translation workshop facilitated by the translator-in-residence; focus on review and revision of student manuscripts; readings on technique and theories, translation practice, and manuscript review.

TRNS:7460 Translation Workshop 3 s.h.

Requirements: at least one foreign language. Same as IWP:7460.