University of Rochester

The MALTS Program is comprised of three components:

  1. Core Components—12 credits
  2. Elective Components—12 credits
  3. Thesis Component—6 credits

I. Core Components—12 credits

ELEMENT 1 (REQUIRED)
LTS 400: STUDIES IN TRANSLATION (4 CREDITS)
This course introduces students to the theoretical backgrounds, practical challenges, and creative activity of literary translation. It surveys appropriate theories of language and communication including semiotics, post-structuralism, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and cognitive linguistics. This course considers varied and conflicting descriptions by translators of what it is they believe they are doing and what they hope to accomplish by doing it. Further, students study specific translations into English from a variety of sources in order to investigate the strategies and choices translators make and the implication of those choices for developing a sense of the kinds of texts translations actually are. Finally, students undertake, in consultation with the instructor or with another qualified faculty member, exercises in translation of their own. By the end of this class each student will have a working knowledge of both the critical backgrounds and the artistic potentials of translation.
ELEMENT 2 (REQUIRED)
LTS 401: INDEPENDENT PROJECT AND TRANSLATION PORTFOLIO (4 CREDITS)
Under the direction of an advisor, students complete an independent translation project—a group of poems or stories, a novella, or an excerpt from a novel or play—that will be the centerpiece of the student’s translation portfolio. The translation portfolio also includes other translations done independently as well as those done for other components of the program.
ELEMENT 3 (REQUIRED)
LTS 402 (FICTION) OR LTS 403 (POETRY): WRITING AND TRANSLATION WORKSHOP (4 CREDITS)
To capture the subtleties of the original literary work and communicate its unique aspects in English, a translator must be a skilled and versatile writer in control of style and structure. Component 3 in the MALTS program is designed to provide students with opportunities to share and critique works-in-progress with other MALTS students and creative writers.

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II. Elective Components—12 credits

ELEMENT 4
LTS 4XX: STUDIES IN INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE (4 OR 8 CREDITS)
Focusing on literary works from a number of different national cultures, these courses, which are offered through several departments and change from semester to semester, explore the interactions of literatures from different national contexts. By definition, International Literature treats more than one culture and involves the study of thematic and stylistic differences, as well as connections between and among cultures. Special attention is paid to the critical issues of intercultural influence and transmission. Courses in International Literature analyze how one culture understands another through literary representation. To that end these courses explore topics related to the movements of people and cultures within the context of globalization, and they do so by focusing specifically on the literary text.
Issues for discussion may include the way different national literatures influence each other, how ideas of the literary transform and are transformed by their travel into different cultures, how literature circulates in an international context, and how international culture makes and breaks literary reputations. Students will be invited to investigate why the category of International Literature exists in the first place, its ramifications for individual cultures and for the world, and the problems and possibilities such a category poses.
ELEMENT 5
LTS 4XX: ADVANCED LITERARY STUDIES (4 OR 8 CREDITS)
To gain more in-depth knowledge of a specific area of literature, students may choose to focus their studies with graduate literature courses. In consultation with an advisor, students may choose appropriate courses at the 400 level or higher from Modern Languages and Cultures, English, and/or Religion and Classics.
For current representative courses, please see listings in the Departments of English, Modern Languages and Cultures, and Religion and Classics.
ELEMENT 6
LTS 410: PUBLISHING INTERNSHIPS (4 CREDITS)
MALTS students interested in pursuing a career in translating or publishing are encouraged to participate in one of the following internship programs.
Editorial Internships with UR’s Open Letter press—Editorial interns will have the opportunity to research literature from around the world and to work with international publishers and foreign agencies to obtain information on untranslated authors. Interns will be responsible for reading and reporting on untranslated texts, providing sample translations of books under consideration, and writing for the LTS/Open Letter press Website.
International Publishing Internships—A limited number of international internships may also be available to MALTS students at publishing houses in France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Italy, and Japan.
Domestic Publishing Internships—MALTS students may be able to intern with US publishing houses or literary magazines involved in international literature, such as New Directions, Archipelago Books, and Graywolf.

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III. Thesis Component—6 credits

ELEMENT 7
LTS 495: MASTER’S DISSERTATION (6 CREDITS)
Under the direction of an advisor, students complete a book-length translation of a complete work or of a significant selection of a complete work large enough to be presented to a press for publication. The translation will be accompanied by an analysis addressing the significant theoretical and practical problems encountered in the work’s translation. The translation will also contain a short critical introduction, which will address issues such as the selection of author; the selection of texts in the case of a thesis that is not a translation of a stand-alone work; the balance of cultural and linguistic fidelity with literary readability; how the translation itself is a new way of understanding the source text; translation as literary theory; and potential appeal and market of the translation.

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