The Department of Comparative Literature coordinates a wide-range of translation initiatives across campus and at all levels of the curriculum.
We offer an undergraduate minor in Translation Studies open to students in all departments and programs at the University of Michigan. We also support various ways for students to engage in translation through coursework and community projects. We host the Senior Prize in Literary Translation, an annual translation contest for graduating seniors. This prize is intended to encourage undergraduate students to develop translation projects through translating into English a literary text originally written in another language. Students also work on Canon Translation Review which features literary translations by undergraduate students.
At the graduate level, we offer a certificate in Critical Translation Studies, and support students to explore professional experiences related to translation. The department supports literary editorial work through our student-led journal, Absinthe: World Literature in Translation, and our graduate students run a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop in literary translation.
Interested in graduate work in Translation Studies?
The Graduate Certificate in Critical Translation Studies is open to graduate students across departments. Requirements are designed to provide students an introduction to various modes of translation, historical and contemporary ones, and to explore disciplinary, institutional, cultural, and historical frameworks for shifting concepts and practices. More broadly, the program affords future practitioners and scholars of translation a critical and theoretical understanding of the variety of principles and traditions from which various theories and practices of translation emerge.
We are excited to welcome Marlon James Sales to the Department of Comparative Literature as Postdoctoral Fellow in Critical Translation Studies for 2019-2020.
Marlon received his PhD in Translation Studies from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He holds an honorary research affiliation at the Center of Historiography of Linguistics of the University of Leuven in Belgium, where he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a database project that maps out the circulation of linguistic knowledge in the early modern period. His research interests include translation practice, theory and history, missionary linguistics, Hispanic Filipino studies, and literary multilingualism. He is currently working on a scholarly monograph about the uses of translation in the Spanish-language grammars of Tagalog, the basis of the national language of the Philippines called Filipino. He is also preparing the groundwork for a translated anthology of Filipino literature in Spanish. At the University of Michigan he will be working with materials from the Worcester Philippine History Collection at the UM Library.
The Postdoctoral Fellowship in Critical Translation Studies is funded by the College of Literature, Science and the Arts to provide the fellow with the opportunity to pursue independent scholarship related to translation, gain teaching experience, and engage with interdisciplinary translation initiatives across the university. The fellowship aims to encourage interdisciplinary projects in translation studies that develop innovative methods in dialogue with other fields.