Posted on

Katherine Silver interviewed in the Believer

Katherine Silver’s translation of Juan Carlos Onetti’s short stories came out in November of this year.

“An elusive puppeteer, a wizard behind a curtain, someone heard but not seen.” Katherine Silver thus describes her work as a translator in a recent interview with The Believer. Silver translated Juan Carlos Onetti’s A Dream Come True which Archipelago published this fall.

“Language-based artistic activity is not self-expression, even if it does start with that as a spark, an initial impulse, but…it then must dive deeply into the only true commons we have, language, and from there craft something beyond the self.” Read more at the link below!

An Interview with Katherine Silver

Posted on

Post-Undergraduate Literary Translation Studies Programs in the US and Abroad

We, the wide-eyed and over-eager interns at Archipelago, are about to enter our senior years of college, and inevitably the question arises: when you’re interested in translation, where do you go from here? We wanted to look at literary translation studies options, but couldn’t manage to find a single comprehensive list on the Internet. So we made one ourselves.

US programs for literary translation studies (loosely listed in order of commitment to literary translation as opposed to business translation or interpretation programs)

Queens College CUNY MFA in Creative Writing and TranslationHere’s an article written by Susan Bernofsky (who was a visiting faculty member at Queens College in 2010) on why it’s important that a translation program be an MFA and not a track of Comparative Literature, and why it’s good to be in NYC.

University of Rochester Master of Arts in Literary Translation or Graduate Certificate in Literary Translation. These programs also give students a taste of the professional side of translation publishing through working with partnering organizations Open Letter and Three Percent.

University of Texas, Dallas Master of Arts in the Humanities or Doctor of Philosophy. To get a better idea they also provide a general degree plan. There also happen to be three different translation-related publications on campus.

University of Arkansas MFA in Translation. Like the Queens College program, this program is closely aligned with creative writing, as opposed to comp lit, and thus Susan Bernofsky is a fan! The website gives painfully little information about the program except that it’s 3 years long. University of Arkansas Press seems to publish a lot of their students’ stuff.

UMass Amherst Masters in Translation Studies. A separate track of the Masters in Comp Lit,  you choose to specialize in either literature, business, or technical translation. Most students take more than a year to finish it.

Indiana University Bloomington Certificate in Literary Translation or a graduate specialization under the Comp Lit track. Plus our beloved translator Bill Johnston teaches there.

University of California Irvine Comparative Literature PhD Emphasis in Translation Studies. Opportunity to work with the International Center for Writing and Translation which is located at UCI.

Washington University in St. Louis Graduate Certificate in Translation Studies. Part of the comp lit department and for PhD candidates only.  You can also look at course offerings here.

University of Illinois Online Certificate in Applied Literary Translation, which entails intensive literary translation tutoring via e-mail, ending with Dalkey Archive publishing the student’s first book, “designed to help translators at any point in their early careers.” There’s also the Certificate in Translation Studies, which is not online, and seems to be a mix of literary and business translation studies, maybe with an emphasis on business translation but with literary translation courses offered.

University of Massachusetts Amherst Master of Arts in Translation Studies, which is a separate track of the MA in comp lit. Students choose one of the following specialties: literature, business, or technical translation.

Binghamton University State University of New York Doctoral Program or Graduate Certificate in Translation or Master of Arts in Translation Studies. All three are a part of the comp lit program, but seem to have some non-literary translation requirements thrown in. The MA also has a teaching requirement, which is “normally fulfilled by teaching an undergraduate comparative literature course or a series of such courses.”

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Graduate Certificate in Translation or Master of Arts degree in Language, Literature, and Translation: Translation Concentration, both of which seem to include some non-literary translation requirements.

Columbia University LTAC’s joint concentration program, “which offers MFA students the opportunity to pursue a joint course of study in both writing and translation, and to complete a thesis that includes both original writing and translations. The evolving curriculum for the joint concentration includes translation workshops, seminars, and master classes that explore the creative act of literary translation and its connection to creative writing.” Circumference is based out of the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia.

NYU Master of Arts in Literary Translation. This program is French to English only, one year with six weeks spent abroad in the summer at the NYU Paris center “to meet with contemporary French writers, publishers, and foreign rights managers.”

Non-US programs for literary translation studies

Trinity College Dublin Master of Philosophy. Students work closely with Dalkey Archive Press, and one lucky student gets chosen for an internship with them that leads to a publication.

University of East Anglia (in Norwich, UK) MA in Literary Translation (MALT). Based in the School of Literature, which is home to the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) and the international John Dryden Translation Competition. Opportunity to intern with BCLT, other perks like reduced rates for language classes and summer programs.

The University of Edinburgh- 1 year MSc/Dip in Literary Translation as Creative Practice

The American University of Paris Master of Arts in Cultural Translation. This program includes literary translation and can be mostly that if you want it to, but also expands the definition of translation to be so much more. Students work with the Center for Writers and Translators.

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Master in Translation Studies. Spanish or Catalan only, has a slight business-y feel to it.

Oxford Brookes University MA in Publishing and Language. Not so much literary translation based, but I wanted to add this to the list because of its focus on translation within the publishing world, which might be worthwhile to anyone interested in literary translation but also trying to make money (weird).

We hope to keep improving this list so if we left somewhere out, made a mistake, etc, please let us know! E-mail