Sophomore Seminars

Texts and Contexts: Spanish/English Literary Translation Workshop


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This course has space available. An application is not required for this seminar.

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Please note: Updated weekly schedule - Monday Wednesday, 11:30am-12:30pm, remote synchronous. Newly cross-listed with Comparative Literature (look for COMPLIT 111Q)!
SPAN 102 or permission of instructor.

The linguist and literary theorist, Roman Jakobson, famously stated, “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey, not in what they may convey.” This course introduces students to some of the theories and practical skills necessary to translate texts from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. What must each of these languages convey? Are there limits to what they may convey? Topics include comparative syntaxes, morphologies, and semantic systems; register and tone; audience; the role of translation in the development of languages and cultures; and the ideological and socio-cultural forces that shape translations. Students will begin, workshop, and revise a translation project of their own choosing throughout the quarter. 

This course will meet for one-hour synchronous sessions twice a week. These sessions will include breakout rooms to discuss translation challenges. We will also build community by participating in self-scheduled synchronous sessions in which students are paired up with different peers each week to carry out translation assignments and the critiques of these.

Prereq: SPAN 102 or permission of instructor.

Please note that this course is taught in Spanish and is a core course for the Translation Studies minor. 

Meet the Instructor(s)

Cintia Santana

Cintia Santana

"I’m a Senior Lecturer who teaches in the Comparative Literature, English, and Iberian and Latin American departments. As a Spanish-English bilingual I grew up fascinated by the different possibilities that languages afford speakers, as well as the constraints they impose. My doctoral studies focused on 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literature, particularly in the cultural relationships between Spain and the United States. My interests include poetry, transatlantic and translation studies, and interdisciplinary arts. I’m passionate about teaching students to think critically and creatively about language usage and translation. As a recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, I like to think that this passion translates to my students. I’m the author of Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and The Spanish Novel, 1975-1995 (Bucknell UP, 2013). My short stories, poems, and translations have appeared in the Kenyon Review, The Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Missouri Review, Narrative, Pleiades, The Threepenny Review, and other journals. In recent years I’ve developed a visual arts practice which includes poetry-based installations."