MFA in Literary Translation

The Master of Fine Arts in Literary Translation is designed to provide students with the necessary foundation for a career in the field of literary translation, as professional translators, teachers, or scholars. In addition to developing their skills as translators from various source languages, students will acquire the methods and strategies needed to read translations critically. Students will also become familiar with the history of translation and with the evolution of the field of Translation Studies in recent decades, including its theoretical elaboration. Finally, students can expect that their reading and comprehension proficiencies in the source language(s) will improve, along with their writing ability in English.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the program will:

  • Demonstrate advanced ability to translate texts of different genres and levels of difficulty.
  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the history of translation and Translation Studies as a discipline, and of the main ideas and debates in the field, from antiquity to the present.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate translations critically and to pinpoint the methods and strategies used by a translator in order to achieve different effects (e.g., domestication, foreignization, rusticization, archaism, etc.).

The program requirements consist of 32 credit hours, including 8 one-semester courses, and completion of a substantial final translation project with a translator’s preface.

Required Courses (5)

  • CAS TL 500 History and Theory of Translation (fall, 4 cr)
  • CAS TL 505 Literary Style Workshop (fall, 4 cr)
  • CAS TL 540 Translation Seminar (spring, 4 cr)
  • CAS TL 541 Translation Today (spring, 4 cr) (designed around lectures by renowned translators)
  • CAS TL 551 Topics in Translation (spring, 4 cr)

Elective Courses (3)

Two literature 500- or 600-level courses A and B (one per semester) to be chosen from a list of offerings in WLL, Romance Studies, Classics, or English with the approval of the Program Director (4 credits each).

A language-specific translation workshop in the language in which the student plans to work, to either be chosen from existing graduate courses, or graduate-level courses building on existing undergraduate courses in Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Persian, Spanish, or Turkish (fall, 4 credits).

Final Translation Project

Students must complete a capstone project, a 50-page polished translation of approximately 50 pages of prose or around 400 lines of poetry, accompanied by a 15-page translator’s preface (spring, noncredit requirement). The capstone project is evaluated at a formal defense before a committee of two faculty members.