The Course

The Theory and Practice of Literary Translation (XL540) is a 500-level course open both to graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. Its intent is to appeal to a range of students whose interest in literary translation may be scholarly, literary or creative. The course will combine regular exercises in translation and workshop discussion of student translations from various source languages into English with discussion of syllabus reading that explores both the theory (e.g. Benjamin, Jakobson, Nida, Steiner, Schleiermacher, Venuti) and practical experience of the translation of poetry, literary fiction and nonfiction, and drama. Each student completes the course with a substantial translation project.

Please note that competence in a non-English world language is required for this course. The BU Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature suggests that “competence” means having completed a third year college course or beyond in a given world language. There may be cases, however, in which other experience, including less formal academic experience, still qualifies a student to take this course. Interested students who are unsure about their language qualifications are invited to contact the instructor (Spring 2016: kirchwey@bu.edu) before enrolling in the course.

For Spring 2017, the course will meet on Mondays 1-4pm for a translation workshop/seminar, as well as on Fridays 1-3pm for lectures by guest speakers in the Boston University Lecture Series in Literary Translation, followed by discussion. All class meetings and guest lectures will be held in STH 625, at 745 Commonwealth Avenue.