Who is a translator and what comprises a translation? As the practice of translation gains more and more visibility and the demand for qualified translators grows worldwide, understanding a diverse range of possible answers to these questions becomes even more critical. In response to the increasing visibility of and demand for translation, this course looks closely at definitions of the translator and the translated, focusing on how translation has been practiced and theorized, as well as how these practices and theories have played a part in shaping colonial and postcolonial world history. The course is divided into four segments. The first segment, "Practices: Strategies and Their Consequences" examines some recent approaches to translation practice. The second segment, "Poetics: Theories of Infidelity," focuses on formulations of the task of the translator and how the relationship between translated and original texts informs translating practice. The next segment, "Politics: Ideology and Resistance," seeks to understand the relationship between translator, translation, and politics. And finally, "Histories: Translation in Context" explores the role of translation in shaping particular instances of colonial and postcolonial power dynamics in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
By the end of the semester, students should be able to:
• discuss and write intelligibly about translation practice and theory.
• identify different figures and trends in translation studies, associate them with their historical contexts, and critically evaluate them.
• articulate how theory specifically relates to and impacts translation practice.
• express a sense of an ethics of translation while, at the same time, developing the ability to critique traditional notions of translation ethics that ignore the complexities of this process.
This course is required for the AMESALL Translation Certificate.