• Thinking Translation: Language Transfer and Cultural Communication

    What is translation? What is a language? So essential and widespread is translation today that it has become a central analytic term for the contact of cultures, and a paradigm for studying many different aspects of our multilingual world. This course will consider translation as it appeared in the past, but especially as it constructs everyday life in the contemporary world. It will look at issues of anthropology, artificial intelligence, diplomacy, film, law and literature that involve interlingual and intercultural communication.
  • Senior Seminar in Translation and Intercultural Communication

    A required course for students taking the certificate in Translation and Intercultural Communication but open to all who are interested in translation or any of its aspects, that is in movements between languages of any sort. Readings will focus on recent contributions to the emerging disciplines of translation studies across a wide spectrum of thematic fields (science, law, anthropology, literature, etc.). The seminar will incorporate the individual experiences of the students in their contact with different disciplines and idioms and, where relevant, in developing their senior theses.
  • East African Drama in Kiswahili

    This course examines the genre of drama and performance in the literary tradition of the Swahili speaking communities of East Africa. It will focus on modern dramatic texts written in Kiswahili and the theatrical, critical, and socio-political contexts that inform the main trends of contemporary theatre and performance arts in Kiswahili.
  • Sisters' Voices: African Women Writers

    In this class, we study the richness and diversity of poetry, novels, and memoirs written by African women. The course expands students' understanding of the long history of women's writing across Africa and a range of languages. It focuses on their achievements while foregrounding questions of aesthetics and style. As an antidote to misconceptions of African women as silent, students analyze African women's self-representations and how they theorize social relations within and across ethnic groups, generations, classes, and genders.
  • Masterworks of European Literature

    In this course we will examine the major forms and themes of European literature since the Renaissance, concentrating on drama, prose fiction and lyric poetry. Significant works originally written in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish will be read (in English) for their intrinsic interest as well as for what they tell us about what a masterwork might be, and how the concept may change over time.
  • Traditions, Tales, and Tunes: Slavic and East European Folklore

    This course explores oral traditions and oral literary genres (in English translation) of the Slavic and East European world, both past and present, including traditions that draw from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish East European communities. Topics include traditional rituals (life-cycle and seasonal) and folklore associated with them, sung and spoken oral traditional narrative: poetry (epic and ballad) and prose (folktale and legend), and contemporary forms of traditional and popular culture.
  • Theory and Methods of Comparative Literature: Critical and Literary Theory

    A course in the foundational texts of contemporary critical theory. The relationships among literature, philosophy, aesthetics, and linguistics will be investigated as they come to the fore in the intellectual development of the following, among others: modern philology, New Criticism, hermeneutics, structuralism, speech act theory, Marxist and cultural criticism, historical-epistemological aesthetics, rhetorical criticism, and poststructuralism.
  • Gendered Fictions of Translation

    Translation is a marginalized literary activity; the work of female translators, and of international female writers, is underrepresented in the current publishing market. At the same time, fictive representations of translators, and particularly female translators, abound. This course examines the gendered politics of invisibility that informs popular discourse surrounding translation. We will read primarily works of fiction by women, translated by women, and/or about a female translator.
  • Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present)

    This course explores the question of liberation in writings by women philosophers and poets whose work helped to create cultural and political movements in the U.S. and Latin America. Starting in the 60s, we will study a poetics and politics of liberation, paying special attention to the role played by language and imagination when ideas translate onto social movements related to abolition, education, care, and the commons. Readings include Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldúa, Silvia Federici, Diamela Eltit, Audre Lorde, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Gayatri Spivak, Zapatistas, among others.
  • Sex, Violence, Sacrilege in Enlightenment Fiction

    In this seminar we will explore the dark side of the Enlightenment, sometimes also called, The Age of Reason. The English, German, French and American fictions we will read are shockingly willing to challenge all our pieties and inhibitions, particular with respect to the most intimate and the most sacred relations of our lives. How it is possible, we will ask, that the age that brought us liberty, equality, and fraternity also brought us such gleefully conspicuous cruelty, terror, and vice? How is it possible that philosophical texts both expose and indulge such qualities?


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