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The Capstone Project may consist of one of the following:
- A work in translation (e.g. a literary or scholarly translation, an artistic creation or performance engaged with translation, the subtitling of a film, a collaborative translation across disciplines or media).
- A professional practicum related to translation (e.g. editorial work for a translation journal or online publication, development and teaching of an undergraduate translation course, engagement in community service translation projects; internship in a medical, legal, business, or other professional setting).
- An applied project that takes up a concept or problem in the field of Translation Studies.
- A significantly redeveloped/expanded/revised dissertation chapter, master’s thesis, or independent study focused on some aspect of the history, theory or practice Translation.
Proposing the Capstone Project consists of the following steps:
- Review the capstone project checklist
- Submit the preliminary proposal form for Translation Advisor approval
To complete and submit the final Capstone Project, the student should also include:
- A 250-word abstract of the project.
- Do you have advice to pass along to other students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Critical Translation Studies?
- Do you have any other comments about the Graduate Certificate Program in Critical Translation Studies?
Past Capstone Projects
As a Master of Social Work student, Tariq pursued his interest in translations of Arabic poetry within the context of a supervised internship at Khalil Center, a faith based clinic in Chicago. Working with a group of Muslim young adults, none of whom spoke Arabic, he introduced his theory of Poetic Psychotherapy by leading a workshop on the creative process of translating and intepreting an Arabic lyric. The goal of this presentation was to convey the importance of poetry within spaces of healing and connecting with deeper parts of ourselves, as well as experimenting with audio and visual translation exercises that stimulate emotions for further self-discovery.
A PhD student in Comparative Literature, Graham Liddell translated two stories from Emile Habiby’s collection Sextet of the Six-Day War. The stories depict bittersweet reunions in the aftermath of the 1967 conflict that ended in Israel’s capture and occupation of Palestinian (along with Syrian and Egyptian) territory. Now, at a terrible cost, Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza, and Israeli territory were able to visit each other for the first time since the Nakba of 1948, a situation Habiby likens to that of a family being reunited in a prison cell. The most challenging part of this translation project was imitating Habiby’s distinct tone and style — sometimes jocular, sometimes deeply poetic, and often infused with irony — while balancing foreignization and domestication of the text. The stories were published, along with a translator’s introduction, in Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature.
A PhD student in Comparative Literature, Berkay Uluç’s project consisted of modern Turkish transliteration and English translation of an 1898 Ottoman Turkish treatise by Veled Çelebi, an Ottoman philologist and translator. In this text, the author discusses the significance of translation in restoring Turkish interest in the Arab scholarly tradition, prompting a fierce debate on “the Arab sciences.” Despite its historical significance, only a few sentences from this text were available in modern Turkish until now, with no English translation. In his English translation, Berkay attempted to recreate Veled Çelebi’s dense discussion in accessible prose while also paying attention to the author’s rhetoric. The translation also included in-text hyperlinks and a glossary of terms to make it easier to follow the author’s scholarly references efficiently.
Ivan Parra Garcia
A PhD Student in Comparative Literature, Ivan created a website that displays his contributions to three initiatives related to the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series on Sites of Translation in the Multilingual: 1) Visualizing Translation: Homeland and Heimat in Detroit and Dortmund; 2) Translation for the Community; 3) a collaborative and a public-facing format website “Translating Michigan” that collects stories of translation and migration in Michigan. All are public-facing projects that reach a broad audience within and beyond academia and specifically engage multilingual communities in the Midwest.
A Ph.D. student in Germanic Languages and Literatures, Elizabeth translated the first three sections of Carmen Stephan’s 2006 German-language novel Mal Aria, with the goal of producing a polished excerpt to share with the author and, hopefully, as a result, to collaborate with her in bringing this outstanding work to an English-speaking audience.
A Ph.D. student in English Language and Literature, Megan expanded a dissertation chapter on Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, by attending to its aesthetic theory and practice of translation. This capstone project drew on critical perspectives in translation studies to expand notions of what counts as Middle English scriptural translation after its ostensible prohibition by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1409.
A Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, Jamie translated Mujarem Buzdulj’s story, Black Widow, White Russian from the Serbian for an anthology of Serbian literary fiction, Belgrade Noir. The most difficult problems Jamie encountered emerged from the text’s limited vocabulary and absence of punctuation. She eventually developed a rhythm that matched the casual, stream-of-consciousness pace of the original.
McKenna Marko, Slavic Languages and Literatures doctoral student
A Ph.D. student in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Marko translated “The Case of Clerk Hinko, A Noose and Luminal” by Miljenko Jergović, for an anthology of Serbian literary fiction, Belgrade Noir. McKenna's task was not only to unravel intricate syntax Jergović employs into a readable, English translation, but to also to gesture as much as possible to the original style.
A Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, Genta translated “Undermarket” by Mirjana Đurđević for an anthology of Serbian literary fiction, Belgrade Noir. In the translation process, Genta paid close attention to Đurđević’s style and attempted to recreate the general feeling of the story, instead of taking a more “faithful” approach.
A Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature, Will did a pedagogical project as his capstone. He submitted critical reflections on the experience of teaching COMPLIT 322: Translating World Literatures, an upper-level writing course that builds on skills in reading a foreign language by translating literary texts into English and integrating broad theoretical concepts about translation into the textual practice of translating.