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Graduate Certificate in Critical Translation Studies

In the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, we are interested in both the practice and the critical reflection on translation, a term we construe broadly. We believe that translation is

  • an ancient liberal art
  • a set of practices with complex aesthetic, historical, economic, ethical, and philosophical dimensions all worthy of in-depth critical exploration
  • a core concept underlying the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, across disciplines within and beyond the humanities
  • a vital skill for professional development of graduate students
  • indispensable to the future of community and communities, academic and beyond.

We invite graduate students from a wide array of disciplines to contribute to this shared project.

Course Requirements

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.

12 credit hours required for the graduate certificate are distributed as follows:

  • At least one graduate course (3 credits) in translation studies regularly offered by Comparative Literature (COMPLIT 580: Translation Workshop and/or COMPLIT 780: Seminar in Translation).
  • Other graduate courses (adding up to 6 credits) in any department, contributing to the student’s critical understanding of translation and/or culminating in a seminar paper specifically exploring a question in translation studies; please consult with the Translation Advisor in Comparative Literature for pre-approval of courses for the Certificate.
  • Capstone Project (3 credits) taken as an Independent Study (COMPLIT 680), with a supervising faculty member.

This program does not certify students as practitioners of textual translation or real-time interpreting. Such credentialing is governed by specific professional organizations, depending on the field and the kind(s) of translation involved. We can, however, advise students interested in such credentials, and we may be able in the future to contribute funding to certificate graduates who want to pursue certification.