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Teaching Texts in Translation: Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices

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Organizer: Michelle Woods

Co-Organizer: Brian Baer

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Teaching Texts in Translation: Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices
As universities seek to globalize their curricula, not only has the teaching of texts – literary, historical, sociological, philosophical, technical – in translation become an increasingly common practice, but so too has the teaching of texts from languages and cultures with which the instructor may have little or no familiarity. Although many instructors may wish to address what David Damrosch refers to as “the problematics of translation,” the fact is there are still few materials available on how to integrate such discussions into the curriculum in a productive way. There is a general lack of understanding among non-translators of what constitutes the act of translation between natural languages, or what we might refer to as translation literacy. How might we address the specific ontological status of translated texts in the classroom? How might we address the translator as a exegetical figure? How might we foster critical reading practices that focus on translations as translations? How do these issues differ in a variety of courses (for instance, in survey courses, world literature courses, single author or single text courses, postcolonial, feminist or translation theory courses)? How can we integrate contemporary work in translation theory and translation studies into the literature classroom? How can we use translation as an exegetical tool?
Papers might focus on:
Translated texts in postcolonial or transnational courses
Translingual texts in the classroom
Teaching the translator’s canon
Translation and the theoretical text (translations of philosophy, theory, sociology, etc)
Translation and the single-author/single-work text
What is an original text and how can it change how we read a text?
National literature? Translation as a counter-reading

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