World-wide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE 394

This course considers the crucial role played by translation across the world today: from new technologies and digital media, to the global demands of professionals working in fields as diverse as literature, law, business, anthropology, and health care. We will begin our exploration of the concept of translation as a key mechanism of transmission between different languages by looking at works of literature, and film. Students will then examine how different cultures have historically required translation in their encounter with each other, studying how translation constitutes a necessary transcultural bridge both from a colonial and postcolonial point of view in different historical moments and parts of the world. The course also analyzes from practical and real-world perspectives whether concepts such as war, human rights, democracy or various illnesses have the same meaning in different societies by considering the diverse frames of reference used by linguists, lawyers, anthropologists, and medical doctors across the world. Finally, we will focus on translation from a technological perspective by examining various modes of transfer of information required for the functioning of digital tools such as Google Translate, Twitter, Duolingo, or various Iphone applications. Throughout the semester we will also examine a range of creative artworks, and various forms of digital technology and computing (AI, machine translation) related to the theory and practice of translation. Readings will include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Walter Benjamin, Gayatri Spivak, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Susan Basnett, Lawrence Venuti, Emily Apter, Gideon Lewis-Krauss, and Karen Emmerich among others. Prerequisite: None.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM

Section 01

World-wide Translation: Language, Culture, Technology
INSTRUCTOR: Infante
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