2023 marks the 60th anniversary of Iowa Translation Workshop, the country's first translation workshop in a university setting. Since then, translation has been an integral part of the conversation about writing and world literatures at the University of Iowa.
Today, the Translation program spans across both undergraduate and graduate curricula, offering an undergraduate minor in Translation for Global Literacy, an MFA in Literary Translation, and a graduate certificate in literary translation for students pursuing MFA’s and other graduate programs in the Humanities.
2024 will mark the 40th anniversary of the MFA in Literary Translation, which was founded by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Daniel Weissbort. Consistent with their legacy, the MFA program in Literary Translation still combines creative practice, international literature in-the-making, with training in comparative literature, world languages & literatures, and craft scholarship and theory.
The program owes much of its definition to Daniel Weissbort, director and mentor for nearly forty years (1965-2003), translator from the Russian and French, and co-founder with Ted Hughes of the landmark Modern Poetry in Translation.
The undergraduate minor in Translation for Global Literacy was introduced in 2016, expressly to address the functions of translation in the age of globalization and the role of translation in cultural exchange. Highly integrative, Translation for Global Literacy involves academic training at the intersection of world languages, creative writing, translation studies, and virtually any disciplinary program at the University.