Revisiting Literature (SMLM147)

StaffDr Richard Mansell - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15.00
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module focuses on the theory and practice of retranslation, that is where a translation of a text is carried out in full knowledge of another translation of the same text. Students will explore the reasons for this activity, and how it can further our knowledge of the original text through translation as interpretation, and enlarge our horizons of what the activity of translation can include. Through the creation of their own retranslations, students will have an opportunity to question how theory relates to practice and better their own understanding of the mechanics of (re)translation across various literary genres.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Analyse and compare existing translations to better understand the relationship between a translation and its locale.
  • 2. Engage critically with translators' own comments on work and compare it with strategies evidenced by the translation.
  • 3. Show creativity in written English.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Take into account past translations and the source itself to create a new translation, and justify their choices both ethically and linguistically, to explore the possibilities offered by translation.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Demonstrate the ability to produce, to deadline, a substantial translation (written text) of a complex nature and present it to the required professional standards and with a commentary justifying their decisions. The expertise acquired in translating a range of text types will be extendible to specific domains for the purposes of further professional development.
  • 6. Demonstrate presentation skills, including the ability to explain problem-solving processes and complex arguments to peers.

Syllabus plan

Week 1: Introduction to retranslation as a practice
Part I: Improving translations: In search of the perfect translation
Week 2: Retranslating the classics I: The Quijote.
Week 3: Retranslating the classics II: Newman vs. Arnold
Week 4: Modern classics.
Week 5: Translation in a modern style: Workshop.
Part II: Improving translating: Pushing the boundaries of translation
Week 6: Translation as response
Week 7: Translation as play
Week 8: Translation as appropriation
Week 9: Interpreting works, defining translation: Workshop
Weeks 10-11: Student presentations, taking the form of a pitch to a publisher for a text and approach

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22Seminars

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Two retranslation tasks for weeks 5 and 9About 300 wordsMS 1,2,3; DS 4; PS 5,6Oral from peers. One will receive written feedback from tutor by week 8.
Two presentations in class justifying the student's approach to the translation task.15 minutesMS 1,2,3; DS 4; PS 5,6Oral from peers, written (on proforma) from tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation taking the form of a pitch to a publisher for a retranslation of a particular text2520 minutes, plus up to 10 minutes of questions from peers.MS 1,2,3; DS 4; PS 5,6Written from tutor (on pro forma)
One retranslation with commentary.755,750 wordsMS 1,2,3; DS 4; PS 5,6Written, on standard feedback form

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Hermans, Theo (2007). The Conference of the Tongues (Manchester: St. Jerome)

Weissbort, Daniel (ed.). 1989. Translating Poetry: The Double Labyrinth (Iowa: University of Iowa Press)

Venuti, Lawrence (ed.). 2012. The Translation Studies Reader, 3rd edition (London: Routledge)

Venuti, Lawrence (2008). The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation, 2nd edition (London: Routledge)

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?