Methods of Literary Study:

The Theory and Practice of Literary Translation


Fall 2017
Monday, 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Location:  Eads Hall, Room 210

Office Hours
Monday, 3:00 - 4:00 PM (North Brookings, Room 155)
Wednesday, 2:00 - 3:00  PM (Ridgley, Room 319)
Or by appointment

This course combines a review of translation theories with a study of translation practices.  We will investigate how translations reflect changing literary and cultural values. In addition, we will examine how the nuances of language and culture (source and target) influence the translator's choice of whom and what kind of text to translate.  Guest translators will occasionally discuss their work.

Required Texts:
Lawrence Venuti. The Translation Reader. Second Edition. Ny/London: Routledge, 2012  ISBN  978-0-415-61348-4  (pbk) TSR

Jeremy Munday. Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications. New York: Routledge,  2016  ISBN 978-1-138-91255-7 (pbk)

Recommended Texts:
Andre Lefevere. Translating Literature: Practice and Theory in a Comparative Literture Context. MLA 1992 (second printing 1994). ISBN 0-87352-394-6  (pbk).

In addition to the required texts, the following articles/chapters will be available on E-Reserve*
Mustapha Ettobi, “Cultural Representation in Literary Translation: Translation as Mediators/Creators.” Journal of Arabic Literature, 37.2 (2006): 206-229 
Alberto Mira, “Pushing the Limits of Faithfulness: A Case for Gay Translation,” in The Practices of Literary Translation (1998), 109-123.  
W. Weaver, “The Process of Translation,” in The Craft of Translation (1989), 117-124. 
Victor Ginsburgh,, The economics of literary translation: Some theory and evidence,” Poetics 39 (2011): 228-246.
M. Cronin, "History, Translation, Postcolonialism," in Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era (2000), 33-53.
Lawrence Venuti, “The difference that translation makes,” 32-56
“Translation Studies and World Literature,” 193-208
“Towards a Translation Culture,” 231-248.
In: Translation Changes Everything: Theory and Practice (2013)

Passwords are no longer needed for courses. Students who are enrolled will automatically see the course when they log into Ares. If you register late there might be a delay in the registrar passing that information on to the library systems. The library can manually add you to the class. Just ask them to contact and  they will take care of it. Readings will become active on 8/21/17.


  • Class presentation of a literary translation of your choice; to be turned into a paper.  You must choose a text that has at least two previous translations, which you will evaluate and critique as you work on your own translation and which will be part of your paper. Poetry is preferable; should you choose prose, you must select a challenging text.  The paper must include an outline/brief discussion of your methodological assumptions.
  • Participation in discussion groups.
  • Topics/brief Bibliography due October 9.
  • Paper due:  Monday, Dec. 15, 12:00 NOON, Hard Copy GSW’s mailbox, Ridgley 321

Additional Notes

Do not do it! If you are borrowing other people's words or thoughts without admitting your indebtedness to them, you are plagiarizing. You have your own worthwhile ideas; you do not need to steal from others. When in doubt, cite!

Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices, including personal computers, must be turned off during class times, except in special circumstances approved by the professor.

Important information on the following issues can be found here:

  • Academic Integrity
  • Accommodations based upon sexual assault
  • Bias Reporting
  • Mental Health
  • Students with Disabilities


Download Syllabus

Aug. 28:  TSR History 1-20; Jerome 21-31
Munday, "Main Issues," 7-24

Sept. 11:  TSR Dryden, Schleiermacher
Munday, "Translation Theory before...". 29-57

Sept. 18:  TSR Jacobson
E-copy:  Weaver, "The Process of Translation" (1989), 117-124
Venuti, "The difference...." 32-56

Sept. 25: TSR: Nida
J. Munday, "Nida and the 'science of translation," 58-77
Rebecca Copeland

Oct. 2:  TSR Pound/Benjamin
J. Munday, "Philosophical Theories of Translation," 249-262

Oct. 9:  TSR Steiner
Topics/Biblio due

Oct. 14 - Oct. 17

Oct. 23:  TSR  Even-Zohar; Toury
J. Munday, "System Thecories," 169-188
Kurt Beals

Oct. 30:  TSR  Harvey
E-copy: A. Mira, "The Case of Gay Translation," 109-125

Nov. 6:  TSR Chamberlain.
E-copy: Ginsburgh, “The economics of literary translation,” (2011), 228-245.
J. Munday, "Cultural and ideological turns," 197-212

Nov. 13: TSR Spivak; Munday, “Cultural and Ideological Turns,” 213-222
E-Copy: Ettobi, “Cultural Representation” (2006), 206-229

Nov. 20 :  TSR  Appiah
M. Cronin, “History, Translation, Postcolonialims,” (2000), 33-53

Nov. 27:  TSR  Venuti
J. Munday, "The role of the translator: ethics and sociology", 222-249

Dec. 4:  L. Venuti, “Translation Studies and World Literature,” 193-208;
“Towards a Translation Culture, 231-248,  in Venuti, Translation Changes Everything (2013)


Contact Information
for Professor Gerhild Williams:

German Department
One Brookings Drive
Ridgley 325
Campus Box 1104
St. Louis, MO   63130

Office of the Vice Provost
One Brookings Drive
North Brookings 155
Campus Box 1080
St. Louis, MO   63130
314-935-5188 (Fax)