Timothy Billings awarded an NEH Enduring Questions grant

Timothy Billings (English & American Literatures, Comparative Literature Program) has been awarded an Enduring Questions grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support the development of a new course on the topic of “What is lost (& found) in translation?” Students will explore the fundamental philosophical, sociological, and linguistic questions raised by translingual communication such as: How much does language determine how we think? How much of language is culture? What is unique to translating sacred texts, poetry, “exotic” languages, and dead languages? Is anything “untranslatable”? Are translators traitors, drudges, or artists? Can machines translate? Students will survey the history of theoretical writing on translation while comparing multiple translations of coherent sections from major works such as the Bible, Greek & Latin poetry, Tao Te Ching, and One Thousand and One Nights among others. The course will be offered twice during the next two years.