COMPLIT 322 - Translating World Literatures
Spring 2022, Section 101 - Writing And/As Translation
Instruction Mode: Section 101 is   Hybrid (see other Sections below)
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 5/3/22 - 6/20/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Since time immemorial, the idea of translation, its possibility, potential and drawback, and its social implications, have sparked multifaceted contemplations from theoreticians, critics, and practitioners alike. Keeping in mind both translation’s fundamental importance to people’s accessibility to a wider repertoire of world literature, and its ambivalent relationship with the different languages and forms of expressions in question, in this class, we think about the intricate relationships between reading, writing, and translation by examining the extent to which translation can be viewed as a form of writing from different angles, and contemplating on the significance of the conclusions we may reach. 

To help us better answer this question, we will read and discuss both theoretical inquiries on the possibilities and the politics of translation, written by scholars with varied disciplinary backgrounds, as well as literary pieces from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds that reflect on the nuanced working of languages in translation. We will also have different types of writing and translation assignments intended to help us achieve a more thorough understanding of the subtlety in our use of language. In addition, through engaged dialogues on literatures from across the world in different genres and the agency of a writer and a translator, this class also invites us to think deeper about our own places and positions in the world, understand better our potentials as writers and translators, and explore further the space of intervention we have to make an impact in our writing through adept deployment of our linguistic, rhetorical and argumentative skills. 

In this class, students will learn more about the art of writing and translation, both academic and beyond, familiarize themselves with a wider range of literary and cultural expressions across the globe, engage in critical dialogue with their classmates about a related topic of their interests, and carry out an original final project (that is both research-based and creative) that encourages them to make an intervention on a subject of their concern through their work as a writer and translator.

Course Requirements:

The course requires faithful attendance and regular participation in class, timely completion of reading and writing assignments, and active involvement in peer-review workshops. Writing assignments include two short translation-and-essay projects, and one final project that consists of a substantial piece of translation and an introductory argumentative essay. No mid-term or final exams.

Intended Audience:

The course is intended for students who have successfully taken a first-year writing class interested in further developing their writing skills, as well as for all undergraduate students who are interested in learning about World Literature and Translation. Knowledge of another language besides English is welcome, but not a requirement.

Class Format:

Class time will be evenly distributed between lectures, discussions, in-class writing exercises, and peer-review workshops. The class is hybrid and is designed to accommodate the needs of both residential and remote students. If you would like to register but have accessibility concerns, please reach out and we can discuss possibilities for accommodation.


COMPLIT 322 - Translating World Literatures
Schedule Listing
101 (SEM)
TuTh 9:00AM - 12:00PM
5/3/22 - 6/20/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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