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Theory and History of Translation (IT7013)

Option coordinator: 
Professor Michael Cronin (French)

Module Title

Theory and History

Module Description

  • the aim of the module
  • the structure of the module
  • the style of delivery
  • the assessment

(200 words max)

This module examines the relationship between the theory and practice of translation by focusing on the history of the theories of translation. The aim of the module is two-fold: to explore some of the more pressing theoretical questions posed by translation (such as, notions of betrayal, fidelity, literary meaning, originality, textuality, etc.); and to understand the changing conceptions of translation in the context of a specific historical moment (among which, the Classics, the Medieval and Early Modern periods, the Renaissance, Romantic Germany, Modernity). On a local level, each session will look at a key moment in the history of translation theory, by examining a particular set of theoretical questions through the prism of a specific text (or series of texts). On a broader level, the module will reflect on the ways in which the theoretical questions posed by translation and the approaches adopted to engage with these questions evolve in different historical moments and cultural contexts. The module is assessed by a written assignment.

Indicative Module Structure:
titles only

Week 1


Week 2


Week 3

Medieval and Early Modern Period

Week 4


Week 5

Nineteenth-Century Germany

Week 6


Week 7


Week 8

Ortega and Borges

Week 9


Week 10


Week 11

The Digital Age

Week 12

Conclusion and Student Presentations

Set text(s)
If you set a textbook, please name it. If you use journal articles or your own materials, please describe them very briefly (e.g. journal articles supplied / module handbook)

Lawrence Venuti, The Translation Studies Reader.