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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The Argentinian writer and translator, Jorge Luis Borges, once said, “Cada idioma es un modo de sentir el universo.” How are modes of feeling and perception translated across languages? How does the historical context of a work condition its translation into and out of a language? In this course, you will translate from a variety of genres that will teach you the practical skills necessary to translate literary texts from Spanish to English and English to Spanish. By the end of the term, you will have translated and received feedback on a project of your own choosing. Discussion topics may include: the importance of register, tone, and audience; the gains, in addition to the losses, that translations may introduce; the role of ideological, social-political, and aesthetic factors on the production of translations; and comparative syntaxes, morphologies, and semantic systems. Preference will be given to sophomores but first-year students through seniors have enjoyed this course in the past.

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. My book, Forth and Back: Translation, Dirty Realism, and The Spanish Novel, 1975-1995 (Bucknell UP, 2013) investigates the literary, economic, and socio-political factors that conditioned a translation boom in Spain of U.S. literature after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco. 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."