GERMAN 762 - Critical Theory and Philosophy
Section: 001 Ethics of Translation
Term: WN 2019
Subject: German (GERMAN)
Department: LSA Germanic Languages & Literatures
Waitlist Capacity:
May be elected four times for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Scholarship in the field of postcolonial studies has shown how acts of translation are both enmeshed in fields of power (Asad, “On the Concept of Cultural Translation”), and constitute a field of power in their own right (Spivak, “More Thoughts”). In this course, we will take up these issues from a German perspective, to ask how translations have both been used historically to produce knowledge of the Other, and to circumscribe presumed “others” in contemporary German society within a dominant understanding of Germanness. At the same time, we will examine translation as a force of disruption, or a challenge to dominant discursive frameworks such as nationalism, monolingualism, and ethnic definitions of Germanness. Through our course readings, we will explore this ethical dimension of translation as a process of unsettling and deauthorizing established modes of knowledge (Butler, Parting Ways).

Central course topics include: the nexus of Weltliteratur, German scholarly orientalism, and British colonialism; the relationship of cultural translation to exile and migration in postwar Germany; translation as a mode of critical performance; and recent translation initiatives that have emerged in response to the “refugee crisis.”

As a final project, students are asked to bring course readings to bear on their own translation practice via the translation of a literary text and an accompanying critical introduction.

Course Requirements:

Knowledge of at least one language other than English.

GERMAN 762 - Critical Theory and Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
Th 2:00PM - 5:00PM
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