Literary Translation at Columbia (LTAC), a component of the Columbia University MFA Writing Program, offers all Writing students the opportunity to pursue coursework in literary translation as part of their studies. LTAC is not a formal translator-training program; rather, it was created out of the belief that an encounter with literary translation is beneficial to a writer’s development and imagination, while conversely the skills involved in writing well are also essential for translation. LTAC offers workshops, seminars and master classes in literary translation each semester that are open to all students enrolled in the Writing Program, as well as to students in other graduate programs on campus when space allows.
The director of LTAC is Susan Bernofsky. Recent faculty include Edith Grossman, Natasha Wimmer, Mónica de la Torre, David Hinton, Peg Boyers, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Jennifer Hayashida, Madhu Kaza, Matvei Yankelevich, Katrina Dodson, Michael F. Moore, Karen Van Dyck, Xiaolu Guo, and John Keene.
All Writing Program students are invited to enroll in individual LTAC courses, and students interested in advanced translation work are encouraged to pursue a joint course of study in Writing and Literary Translation.
Prospective students interested in the joint course of study should apply to the MFA Writing Program in Fiction, Nonfiction, or Poetry and express their interest in translation in the general application. Please note that LTAC is offered only as a secondary course of study in the Writing Program and cannot be a student's main area of study. Students accepted into the Writing Program in any genre are asked to contact the LTAC director to declare their intention to pursue the joint course of study by the end of their first semester.
The evolving LTAC curriculum includes translation workshops, seminars, and master classes that explore the art of literary translation and its connection to other forms of creative writing. Students are also able to enroll in foreign language classes on offer at Columbia. For students pursuing the joint course of study, this coursework culminates in the submission of a brief translation thesis together with the thesis in their primary concentration.
Alumna E. J. Koh '13 Co-Translates Yi Won's ‘The World’s Lightest Motorcycle’
Alumna E. J. Koh '13 Co-Translates Yi Won's ‘The World’s Lightest Motorcycle’September 20, 2021
Translated from the Korean, The World’s Lightest Motorcycle examines human identity in the face of a high-tech, wired world.read more
Incoming Professor Jeremy Tiang Wins PEN Translates Award
Incoming Professor Jeremy Tiang Wins PEN Translates AwardJuly 22, 2021
Tiang translated, from the Chinese, Cocoon (World Editions) by Zhang Yueran.read more
'Boundaries' Translated by Writing Student Laura Green Published in 'World Literature Today'
'Boundaries' Translated by Writing Student Laura Green Published in 'World Literature Today'July 21, 2021
Green translated the piece as part of the School of the Arts' Word for Word collaboration project with Scuola Holden in Turin, Italy.read more
A Professor Shifts From Literary Translation to Biography
A Professor Shifts From Literary Translation to BiographyJuly 14, 2021
After translating the works of Swiss-German author Robert Walser for decades, Professor Susan Bernofsky has written the first English-language biography of him.read more