Public Engagement

Literary Translation Minor

  • American publishers often complain that it is difficult to find qualified translators for foreign-language literary works. Beyond literary translation, there is significant demand in the international cultural industries — television, film, medicine, law, NGOs, new media, etc. — for skilled translators. A minor in literary translation serves as a practice-based supplement to a BA, BS, or BFA degree and may also be of interest to students with a passion for languages and the humanities, whether or not they plan to pursue a degree in literature or creative writing.

    The workshop that forms the heart of the minor exposes students to the art of literary translation and gives them the opportunity to workshop their own projects. It is open to graduate and undergraduate students working in any literary genre, so long as they have advanced reading proficiency in their source language and fluency in the target language (English). The minor explores the craft of translation as a way of understanding what makes a text literary. Students take a total of five courses, at least two of which must be the Literary Translation Workshop. The other courses may include an additional workshop; electives in literature, advanced foreign language courses, or project-relevant liberal arts courses; an internship; and an optional capstone independent study.

    Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.

    Eligibility

    This minor is open to all students in any major. The Literary Translation minor may also form the basis of a self-designed liberal arts BA. Students must have advanced proficiency in the source language and fluency in the target language (English).

    Learning Outcomes

    A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate:

    • Basic competence in the analysis of a published translation and its underlying rationale that can inform decisions and strategies in the student's own translations
    • Skills that can be applied toward the creation of a literary translation and critical introduction of a high standard in terms of form, structure, style, and presentation
    • Editorial skills acquired through collaborative analysis of texts and effective self-criticism
    • The ability to construct a persuasive proposal arguing for the need to translate and publish a foreign-language work of literature
    • Research skills that can be applied to relevant cultural, literary, historical, and linguistic contexts
    • Some of the skills necessary to design a professional literary translation project proposal for submission to a publisher or an agent

    Curriculum

    Subject Area Sample Courses Credits
    Core Courses

    NWRG 5951 Literary Translation Workshop
    LLSL 4421 Literary Translation Workshop
    NLIT 4051 Literary Translation Workshop

    8-12 credits
    Elective Courses LLSL 2419 Create/Destroy a Book
    LLSL 3208 Found in Translation
    LLST 3025A Reading for Writers/Poetry and Translation
    NFRN 3742 French Business Translation
    NFRN 3750 Introduction to French Translation
    NFRN 3101 Advanced: French Films and Hollywood
    ULEC 2560: Fiction: An Introduction
    9-12 credits

    Students must earn a grade of C or higher in all courses taken for the minor.

    For questions regarding this minor's curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Val Vinokur, at vinokurv@newschool.edu.

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