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Jewish history and literature through the prism of translation

Class at Faculty of Arts |

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Lecture topics

1. Introduction into Judaism (a summarizing lecture focused on the principles of Judaism and demonstration of Judaica: basis, the course of life, the household, festivals overview)

2. Hebrew alphabet (a seminar focused on learning the Hebrew alphabet and reading a text with the niqqud: diacritical signs)

3. Hebrew Bible and history (a reading of the translation into Ladino and Yiddish and a following translation into Spanish and German, a comparison of translation shifts)[1]

4. Excursion: A visit of Josefov and the Jewish Museum in Prague

5. The Culture Turn in Translation Studies (a lecture focused on the concept of cultural transfer oriented to translations from the literature written by Jewish authors)

6. Jewish Centres I: Sefarad (a seminar focused on the translation analysis of the Sephardic poetry)

7. Jewish Centres II: Ashkenaz (a seminar focused on the translation analysis of Kafka’s Metamorphosis)

8. Excursion: Tracing Prague Jewish writers

9. Introduction into the Shoah literature (a lecture focused on stages of literature linked to the Shoah)

10. Intersemiotic translation in Terezín (a lecture and a seminar focused on the drawing lessons in the Ghetto Terezín)

11. Contemporary Israeli literature (presentations of subscribed students focused on important figures and pieces of the Israeli literature)

12. Excursion: Terezín [1] Depending on the linguistic competence of subscribed students, possible comparison of different translations of Hebrew Bible into English

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Course description

The course focuses on the translation history of selected literature pieces written by Jewish authors. It includes summarizing lectures both from the area of Jewish Studies and from Translation Studies. Also, it embraces the analysis of concrete examples that show the reception of the original piece in the target culture. The aim of the course is to bring closer the diverse Jewish culture and history with special emphasis on the Czech lands in the form of excursions.