Translation and Reception of Anglo-American Modernism

Course Name

Translation and Reception of Anglo-American Modernism




Course date

semester 1 (2015 - 2016)

Registration open until

- 21/08/2015


Radboud University Nijmegen, 13.30h - 16.30h, Friday 4, 18 September, 2, 16, 30 October and 13 November, room E 3.26.


Dr. Cees Koster (Utrecht University); Dr. Usha Wilbers (Radboud University Nijmegen)

E-mail Contact

Course objectives

Students will acquire specialized knowledge on theory and methodology of reception history and translation history of a given period. At the end of the course student will be able to implement concepts and methods in the design of a relevant research proposal and in reporting on their research.

Course content

This course focuses on the critical and productive (translational and creative) reception of Anglo-American Modernist authors and their works in both Anglophone and Dutch culture. Students will be made familiar with conceptual and methodological frameworks of literary history, reception history and translation history. They will also be introduced to current research perspectives in the field of translation and reception studies. The course consists of six three-hour seminars, which will take both a theoretical and practical approach. Reading material will consist of a representative body of primary and secondary works.


The assessment consists of an extensive research assignment related to translation or reception studies, the proposal of which students will present in the final seminar.

Background Literature and Course Materials

1. Introduction: Anglo-American Modernism and Literary History [UU/RU]
– Andringa, Els. 2006. ‘Penetrating the Dutch Polysystem: The Reception of Virginia Woolf, 1920–2000’. Poetics Today 27:3, pp. 501-568.
– Singal, Daniel Joseph. “Towards a Definition of American Modernism.” American Quarterly (1987): 7-26.
– Mao, Douglas and Rebecca L. Walkowitz. “The New Modernist Studies.” PMLA 123. 3, (2008), pp. 737–748.


2. Reception History: John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway [UU]
Reading theory:
– Andringa, Els, Sophie Levie & Mathijs Sanders (red.). 2006. ´Het buitenland bekeken. Vijf internationale auteurs door Nederlandse ogen (1900-2000)´. In: Nederlandse Letterkunde 11:3. 197-210
– Frank, Armin Paul. 2004. ‘Translation research from a literary and cultural perspective: objectives, concepts, scope’. In: Harald Kittel, Armin Paul Frank, Norbert Greiner, Theo Hermans, Werner Koller, José Lambert, Fritz Paul (eds.), Übersetzung, translation, traduction. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 790-851.

Reading case study:
– Bakker, J. 1987. ‘Hemingway in Nederland’. In: De Gids, 150: 4/5. 433-442.
– Koster, Cees. 2010. ‘Non-translation as an event. The reception in the Netherlands of John Dos Passos in the 1930s’. Ton Naaijkens (ed.) In: Event or Incident – On the Role of Translations in the Dynamics of Cultural Change. 29-45.


3. Translation History: James Joyce [RU]
Reading theory:
– D’hulst, Lieven. 2010. ‘Translation History’. In: Doorslaer, Luc van & Yves Gambier (red.). 2010-2013. Handbook of Translation Studies, volume 1. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 397-405
– Gielkens, Jan. 2007. ‘Ivanhoe en de verdwenen vertalingen’. In: Filter, tijdschrift over vertalen 14:3, pp. 50-57

Reading case study:
– Russe, Ellen. “James Joyce.” In: Boekenschouw 21, 1940/41, p. 305-311.
– Chrisafis, Angelique. “Overlong, Overrated and Unmoving: Roddy Doyle’s Verdict on James Joyce’s Ulysses.” The Guardian, 10 februari 2004.
– Bindervoet, Erik en Robbert-Jan Henkes. “Waarom wij een derde Nederlandse vertaling van Ulysses nodig hadden.” In: Filter, Tijdschrift over vertalen, jaargang 19, nr. 4, 2012.
– Claes, Paul. “Het schandaal van Ulixes” In: Filter, Tijdschrift over vertalen, jaargang 19, nr. 4, 2012.


4. Current Research: Critical discourse analysis, Comparative text analysis [UU]
– Heydebrand, Renate en Simone Winko. 2008. ‘The Qualities of Literatures: A Concept of Literary Evaluation in Pluralistic Societies’. In: Peer, Willie van (ed.) The Quality of Literature: Studies in Literary Evaluation. Amsterdam: Benjamins, pp. 223-239.
– Koster, Cees. 2011. ‘Comparative Approaches to Translation’. In: Doorslaer, Luc van & Yves Gambier (red.). 2010-2013. Handbook of Translation Studies, volume 2. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. p. 21-25.

Passages from (tba):
– Hemingway, Ernest. 1929. A Farewell to Arms
– Hemingway, Ernest, 1933. De laatste etappe (vertaling: Nico Rost en Margot Mees). Amsterdam: De Nederlandsche Keurboekerij
– Hemingway, Ernest, 1958. Afscheid van de wapenen (vertaling: Katja Vranken). Amsterdam: Contact
Several Dutch reception documents on A Farewell to Arms (tba)


5. Current Research: The Reception of Contemporary British Fiction as “Modernist” [RU]
– James, David. “Introduction.” In: David James. The Legacies of Modernism. Historicising Postwar and Contemporary Fiction. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
– James, David and Urmila Seshagiri. “Metamodernism: Narratives of Continuity and Revolution.”PMLA 129.1, 2014, pp. 87-100.
– Purdon, James. “Tom McCarthy: ‘To ignore the avant garde is akin to ignoring Darwin’.” The Guardian, 1 August 2010.


6. Conclusion and Presentations Research Proposals [RU/UU]

Further information