Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Module Outline

LN301 – 15 CATS

Term 2

Wednesdays, 11-1pm in H4.03


Week 1: Introduction: Translation in Theory and Practice
The lecture and seminar will introduce students to the theory and practice of translation, offering a historical perspective on translation studies. It will help students to reflect on their multiple encounters with translation and on the acquired notions of what translation is and does.

Week 2: How to read a Translation
The session will discuss the act of reading a translation and the different forms that reading a translation may take (from comparative analysis of multiple re-translations to the direct contrast of source text and translation). Students will reflect on the practice of reading a translation as a text on its own right (whether we are dealing with a literary text, a journalistic piece or a technical document).

Week 3: Translation, Practices and (Para)Textuality
The lecture and seminar will examine the practice of translation. They will look closely at issues of register and linguistic variation, and will explore them in relation to cultural and sociological factors. It will also discuss the concept of visibility and invisibility of translation in relation to contemporary practices.

Week 4: Agency of Translation and the Role of Translators
The lecture and seminar will invite students to reflect on the role of translators as cultural producers and agents, also from a historical perspective.

Week 5: Publishing and Translation
In this session, students will be introduced to the sociological theory of translation in relation to the publishing market. The lecture and seminars will prompt students to shift their focus from the concept of translation as a text to that of translation as a cultural product and process. The analysis of the publishing field at a national level will pave the way to a deeper understanding of cultural exchanges on a translational level after Reading week.

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Translation, National Canons and World Literature
This session will introduce students to systemic models of culture and of translation (from polysystem theory to the recent developments of a sociology of translation). It will analyse the relationship between translation, national canons and world literature, examining the role of translation in the production, distribution and reception of cultural artefacts. The seminar will discuss in more detail translation in relation to postcolonial literature.

Week 8: Translation and Sociological Narratives
This session will draw on the concept of narrative and look at the intersection between translation and sociological narratives (e.g. Baker) in the formation of identity and in the reception of authors and translators, as well as in contexts of trauma and conflict.

Week 9: Translation, Globalisation and the Media
The lecture and seminar will focus on how translation is used in the media, including news agencies, advertising and films, in a globalised context. The session will invite students to reflect upon the cultural, sociological, and aesthetic reasons behind the cultural transfer.

Week 10: Final Session
In this final session, the main themes explored in the module will be recapped and students will have the chance to further explore and discuss research methods in the sociology of translation and professional translation tools in preparation for their assessments.