1st Edition

Teaching Literature in Translation Pedagogical Contexts and Reading Practices

Edited By Brian James Baer, Michelle Woods Copyright 2023
    292 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The teaching of texts in translation has 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. The authors in this volume present a variety of pedagogical approaches to promote translation literacy and to address the distinct phenomenology of translated texts. The approaches set forward in this volume address the nature of the translator’s task and how texts travel across linguistic and cultural boundaries in translation, including how they are packaged for new audiences, with the aim of fostering critical reading practices that focus on translations as translations.

    The organizing principle of the book is the specific pedagogical contexts in which translated texts are being used, such as courses on a single work, survey courses on a single national literature or a single author, and courses on world literature. Examples are provided from the widest possible variety of world languages and literary traditions, as well as modes of writing (prose, poetry, drama, film, and religious and historical texts) with the aim that many of the pedagogical approaches and strategies can be easily adapted for use with other works and traditions. An introductory section by the editors, Brian James Baer and Michelle Woods, sets the theoretical stage for the volume.

    Written and edited by authorities in the field of literature and translation, this book is an essential manual for all instructors and lecturers in world and comparative literature and literary translation.

    List of Contributors


    Introductory Section

    Is There a Translation in This Class?: A Crash Course in Translation Literacy, Brian James Baer

    Bringing the Translator into the Classroom, or the Translator as Exegete, Michelle Woods

    How to Use This Volume, Brian James Baer and Michelle Woods

    Section I: Interrogating Key Cultural Texts: Cultural Dissonance and Stereoscopic Reading

    Chapter 1: How to Make the Best of a Bad Translation: The Case of René Marqués’s The Oxcart, J. Bret Maney

    Chapter 2: Reading Nearby: Teaching Sa’adat Hasan Manto’s "Toba Tek Singh," Akshya Saxena

    Chapter 3: The Knots in the Tapestry: Teaching Translation through Don Quijote, Teaching Don Quijote through Translation, Reyes Lázaro

    Chapter 4: A "Love Trap" and a Confucian Gentleman, Aili Mu

    Chapter 5: “Roman, Remember”: Translating Epic and Empire in Virgil's Aeneid, Neil W. Bernstein

    Chapter 6: Oral Literature from an Indian Vernacular: Translating Chouboli and the Cross-dressed Storyteller from Rajasthani, Christi A. Merrill

    Chapter 7: A Stereoscopic Reading of Celan’s "Death Fugue," Sarah Painitz

    Section II: Interrogating the Nation: Translation and/in National Languages and Literatures

    Chapter 8: Translation as Bridge or Border? An Intersectional Approach to National Belonging in Kate Chopin’s "La Belle Zoraïde," Javier de la Moreno-Corrales and Brian James Baer

    Chapter 9: In English Translation: Teaching a Latin American Literature, Denise Kripper

    Chapter 10: Reading Arabic Texts in English Translation: Lifting the "Veil," Mohammed Alzahrani

    Chapter 11: Border Crossings in Graciela Limon's Translingual In Search of Bernabé, Elena Foulis

    Chapter 12: Reading African Francophone Literature in Translation: Linguistic Innovation in an African Context, Kathryn Batchelor

    Chapter 13: Packaging Mexico: Azuela’s Los de abajo in English Translation, Daryl R. Hague

    Section III: Interrogating the World: Transnational Reading and Translingual Writing

    Chapter 14: Toward a Transterritorial Pedagogy: Deliberative Inquiry into Language, Identity and Difference, Oana Popescu-Sandu and Sukanya Gupta

    Chapter 15: Translation and Close Reading in the General Education Seminar, Cassio de Oliveira

    Chapter 16: "Every Film Is a Foreign Film:" Teaching Multilingual Cinema through Translation, Richard Watts

    Chapter 17: Lost and Found in Translation: Grounding Comparative Cultural Studies, Alan Reid

    Chapter 18: World Drama in Translation: In the Classroom and on the Stage, Richard Jones

    Chapter 19: Coping with Misinterpretation in the World Literature Classroom, Anastasia Lakhtikova

    Chapter 20 Race in Translation: An Intersectional Reading of the 1001 Nights in the World Literature Classroom, Corine Tachtiris

    Chapter 21: Framed: Queer Life Writing in Translation, Brian James Baer

    Section IV: Teaching Literature and Culture Through Translation

    Chapter 22: Slow Reading and Empathy: Accessing Early America through Transcription and Translation, Julie A. Fisher

    Chapter 23: Translating the Survey of Medieval and Renaissance French Literature, Gina L. Greco

    Chapter 24: Introducing French Literature through Translation, Jena Whitaker

    Chapter 25: Localizing Theory in a Spanish-Language Translation Program, María Luisa Pérez Bernardo



    Brian James Baer is Professor of Russian and Translation Studies at Kent State University and Leading Research Fellow at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. His publications include the monographs Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature and Queer Theory and Translation Studies: Language, Politics, Desire.

    Michelle Woods is Professor of English at SUNY New Paltz. She is the author of Kafka Translated: How Translators Have Shaped Our Reading of Kafka, Censoring Translation: Censorship, Theatre and the Politics of Translation, and Translating Milan Kundera, and she is the editor of Authorizing Translation.

    This is a tremendously useful addition to the bookshelf and toolkit of literature professors who teach in a global perspective—and for those who do not, it offers an excellent account of why they should. Dealing with texts from a wide variety of cultures, contributors show how attending to translation can enhance educational experience in real classroom settings.

    David Bellos, Princeton University, USA