2019 - 2020

  Translation and the Literary Imagination  
Maya KleinRosenberg - Jewish Studies106 Tue1200-1400 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

Translation and the Literary Imagination

BA Advanced Course

Instructor: Maya Klein

Fall 2019-20


Class will be held on Tuesdays 12-14

Office Hour: Tuesday 11-12 (by appointment)

Email: mayalesmail@gmail.com


Course Description


This course aims to familiarize students with major theoretical texts in the field of translation and their relevance for literary studies. We will address the various theoretical frameworks and map out key concepts in the discourse of translation such as “fidelity” “invisibility” “domesticating” “foreignizing” “untranslatability” and the hierarchy of source and translated texts.

In addition to our theoretical readings, we will be examining 20-21st century literature and film that takes up translation and translators as a theme and/or demonstrates a performance of translation. Our class discussions will address the politics and ethics of translation and issues such as intertextuality, gender, cultural assimilation, the body and pain.

We will read two works by writers who are also translators: Cynthia Ozick’s “Envy: Or Yiddish in America” (1969) and J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians (1980).



Waiting for the Barbarians will not be available on moodle. Copies of the book can be found in the library on limited loan. Students who plan to order the book online must do so in advance.



Attendance and participation is required.

Students are expected to read the material before class and must be prepared to engage thoughtfully with the texts in our class discussions. 


Written response

During the course of the semester students will have one writing assignment, comprised of a short response (1-2 pages) to a theoretical text or one of the literary works we will be reading. All written responses must be completed in the course of the semester. Short written responses will not be accepted after the last class. In addition, we will be doing several in-class writing assignments.



Attendance and participation 20%

Written Response 10 %

Midterm Exam 30%

Final Paper 40 %

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