The PhD Emphasis

Comparative Literature is the home Program for the Graduate Emphasis in Translation Studies. The current Advisor for the TS Emphasis is Professor Dominique Jullien (Chair, Comparative Literature).

Courses in Translation Studies engage the theoretical questions that are germane to a philosophy of translation and that inform the practice of translation.

How can you take part in the Emphasis?
You need to be an enrolled graduate student in good academic standing and pursuing a PhD in Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English, French, German, Religious Studies or Spanish, and have an interest in literary translation as well as competency in more than one language. Following a successful year of master's and/or doctoral study in one of the participating departments, you will be able to add officially the Translation Studies Emphasis, which, in addition to the PhD requirements of the home department, requires the following:

Course Work
Completion of 16 units, to include Comparative Literature 260: Literary Translation: Theory and Practice, which is offered at least every other year, or an equivalent course covering some aspect of translation theory and practice approved by the Translation Studies faculty advisor in consultation with the advisory committee.

The four courses (16 units) may be fulfilled in a number of ways:

  • Students must take at least two courses which cover some aspect of critical, theoretical and/or historical approaches to translation.
  • At least one of the four courses should be taken outside the student’s home department.
  • At least four of the 16 units can be taken as an independent study/practicum, in the event a course does not have a sister graduate-level course.

Students may take any two 4-unit courses in their department in which a translation component can be integrated into the course material—e.g.. any literature course in the various language and literature departments; any catalogue or approved independent study course in Religious Studies, Classics, etc. involving close textual reading, linguistic analysis, cultural study/ interpretation—and work with the faculty/supervisor on a translation-related final project aside from doing all the course work. These units would be part of the basic 16 unit-requirement.

Final Project
Completion of a final capstone project (approximately 30 pages), approved by the Translation Studies advisor in consultation with an advisory committee made up of two additional affiliated faculty (see below), which, based on the translation(s) of a particular text, examines the relationships between textual practice and theoretical perspectives, thus addressing some relevant aspect of translation theory, criticism, or history. Students may include their own translation as part of the project. The final project must be unanimously passed (B or higher) by the three-member project committee, made up of affiliated faculty. The project with comments and grade will then be sent to the advisory committee and the Translation Studies advisor for viewing and filing.

How do you add the Emphasis?

1. Download the "Change of Degree Status Petition" from the Graduate Division's website (first form):
2. Under "ADD the following Credential, Emphasis, or Certificate," list "Doctoral Emphasis in Translation Studies." Complete all required fields and sign form.
3. Take completed change of status petition to your home department chair or faculty graduate advisor (not the GPA staff advisor) for approval and signature.
4. Email Professor Jullien to setup a time to meet with her. She will then approve/deny and sign the petition as the Interdisciplinary Emphasis Advisor.
5. International Students using a non-immigrant visa also need approval and a signature from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) representative.
6. Scan/copy the original approved, signed, and completed change of status petition, then bring (Phelps 4212) or email a copy to the Comparative Literature Graduate Program Coordinator for filing in Comparative Literature.
7. Take the completed change of status petition to the Cashier's Office (1212 SAASB), pay the $20 petition fee, and save the receipt.
8. Take cashier's receipt and completed change of status petition to the Graduate Division for the final approval and signature, to officially add the Translation Studies Emphasis.