We take it as axiomatic in our research that a text cannot be fully understood when read in translation. But outside of dedicated language departments, instructors of undergraduate courses can rarely expect their students to have reading facility in languages other than English. So how do we navigate the fact that the texts which our students encounter are necessarily read through the interpreting lens of a translator? This workshop discusses the ways that histories and politics of translation can color the ways we and our students view our texts, and it examines strategies for addressing the complexities inherent in using texts in translation. We will also talk about the ways that our own language facility may help and hinder our teaching of texts in translation, as well as ways to navigate a classroom in which some students have familiarity with the original languages of the texts but others do not. Although there may be some discussion about the particular nuances of reading in translation texts from specific religious or linguistic backgrounds, this workshop is targeted at any student who is expected to teach texts in translation.
This teaching workshop is part of a year-long series organized by CTL Fellow Jeremy Steinberg.