FIS Faculty Receive Funding for Course Development

Submitted by Amanda Demeter on
Go Nagai - La Divina Commedia (J-POP, 2019).

The UW Translation Studies Hub has made their 2022-2023 academic year goal to increase translation literacy across the course offerings at the university, making translation literacy a priority in the undergraduate curriculum. Two French & Italian Studies faculty were granted $250 in research funding via the Simpson Center for the Humanities to develop translation-focused modules for existing courses.

For the course “Sex, Commerce, and the Making of Modern Paris" (FRENCH 223), taught next in Winter 2023, French Professor Hannah Frydman will create a new course module which introduces students to analyzing primary sources (in English translation) and integrating them into historical writing. The new module will ask students to think critically about what sources have been translated for their use, what kinds of sources have been left untranslated, why this might be, and how this impacts what those who do not read French are able to know about the past. Students in the course will also consider how machine translation might offer access to sources that human translators have not yet chosen to translate for the classroom.

Italian Professor and FIS Chair Beatrice Arduini will create a new course module for her course "Dante's Divine Comedy" (ITAL 262), to be offered next in Autumn 2023. The module discusses if and how translations aim to establish a conclusive authority for a medieval poem with a complex textual history such as Dante's Comedy. The very title "Divine Comedy" appeared for the first time in a 1555 printed edition, and the modern standard critical edition on which all modern English translations are based was adopted in Italy only in the 1960s. This course module will pose the question: What do we translate when we translate Dante, and what do the translations reflect?