MFA in Literary Translation



ajiAron Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, LatifeTekin, and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: Death in Troy; The Garden of Departed Cats, (2004 National Translation Award); and A Long Day’s Evening, (NEA Literature Fellowship, and short-listed for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). He also edited, Milan Kundera and the Art of Fiction. Aji leads the Translation Workshop, and teaches courses on retranslation, poetry and translation; theory, and contemporary Turkish literature. He is also the president of The American Literary Translators Association.

steynJan Steyn is a translator and critic of literature written in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, and French. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. His academic work focuses on translation theory, critical contemporaneity, and world literature. He is currently translating the Franco-Senegalese author Fatou Diome’s first collection of short stories for Archipelago Books and a short story by the Dutch writer Haro Kraak for the forthcoming Best of European Fiction 2019 from the Dalkey Archive Press. He is also working on chapters about translation and comparison for the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to J.M. Coetzee from CUP and the Handbook of Anglophone World Literatures from De Gruyter.

Nataša ĎUROVIČOVÁ Natasa Durovicova grew up in Czechoslovakia and Sweden. She has studied at the University of Lund,  University of California at Santa Barbara and at UCLA. She divides her time between editing, teaching, scholarly work, and translating. Her courses include the IWP Translation Workshop, Translation and Globalization, and Translation and Media. She edits the IWP's digital humanities project, Walt Whitman--Song of Myself, that brings together translations of the poem across world languages. With Kathleen Newman, she co-edited World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives.

Sabine I. Gölz is the author of The Split Scene of Reading: Nietzsche/ Derrida/ Kafka/Bachmann, numerous articles that have appeared in PMLA, New German Critique, Germanic Review, Substance, Public Culture, Benjamin Studien, and edited volumes. Her advanced and graduate courses have focused on Fyodor Dostoevsky, Søren Kierkegaard, Franz Kafka, Walter Benjamin, Ingeborg Bachmann, and on topics such as “The Gender of Language” and “Geometries of Literary and Cultural Spaces.” Gölz also works in visual media. Her photographs have been exhibited in Russia, France, and the U.S, and several of her documentaries have won awards and screened at festivals in Europe and the US.


Affiliate Faculty

As a fine arts degree, MFA in Literary Translation combines creative practice with disciplinary training, offering the emerging translators a dynamic community of peer and advanced practitioners, and a broad curriculum on the history, traditions and theories that inform their practice. Along with faculty who regularly teach translation courses, the program is supported by a cadre of affiliate faculty -- translators, creative writers and scholars -- throughout the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures.


Cinzia BloomCinzia Blum teaches courses in Italian language, literature, and culture. Her research interests include futurism, modernism, and contemporary Italian women writers. Her work as a translator includes Contemporary Italian Women Poets: A Bilingual Anthology (with L. Trubowitz), Carlo Michelstaedter's Persuasion and Rhetoric (with R. Valentino and D. Depew), and Susanna Tamaro's novel Anima Mundi. She is the author of Rewriting the Journey in Italian Literature: Figures of Subjectivity in Progress and The Other Modernism: F. T. Marinetti’s Futurist Fiction of Power, and she edited Futurism and the Avant-Garde (spec. issue of South Central Review).

Kendall Heitzman's research focuses on 1950s and 1960s Japanese literature and film, war literature in general, memory studies, and what he calls, second-generation war narratives--the vast body of written and visual texts that continue to be produced in surprising numbers even today by people with no direct memory of World War II or the early postwar period. He is also interested in translation and translation theory, Japanese film (with a particular fondness for postwar melodramas and research interests in Kurosawa Kiyoshi and contemporary horror films) and Japanese theater (with a particular interest in the history and practice of kyōgen, a traditional comic form).


Frederick SmithFrederick Smith is a long-time faculty member at Iowa and a noted translator of Classical Sanskrit literature. His focus is on devotional philosophy and poetry, with primary interest in the nature of religious and cultural tradition in India, the way specific, religious, cultural, and literary practices constitute and define Indian historical tradition. He has authored a major study, The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature and Civilization, and is currently involved in a collaborative project translating in unabridged form The Mahabharata, the Indian national epic and the world’s longest epic poem.

Brian GollnickBrian Gollnick teaches in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and is involved with cultural theory and Comparative Literature. His research has focused on Latin American cultural studies, particularly modern Mexico, with an emphasis on social and literary theory. He is the author of Redefining the Lacandón: Subaltern Representations in the Rain Forest of Chiapas (University of Arizona Press), a study of how indigenous populations in the jungle of southern Mexico have been depicted in a variety of media since the time of the conquest.  Brian Gollnick teaches the literary translation workshop in Spanish


Christopher Merrill works across genres with books that include four collections of poetry; translations of the poetry of the Slovenian Aleš Debeljak; several edited volumes; and books of nonfiction, including Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages. He has held a professorship at the College of the Holy Cross, and now directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa.

Denise FiliosDenise K. Filios is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She is the author of Performing Women in the Middle Ages: Sex, Gender, and the Iberian Lyric, which includes poetry translated to English from Galician-Portuguese and Castilian.  Her teaching and research interests include medieval Spanish literature, women in literature, performance, and North African-Spanish cultural contacts from 711 to the present. Her current book project examines stories about the conquest of Iberia in Arabic and Hispano-Latin historiography. Denise Filios coordinates the undergradute minor in Translation for Global Literacy.

Yasmine RamadanYasmine Ramadan, Assistant Professor of Arabic, received her PhD from the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University. Between 2012-2014 she was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College. Her research and teaching interests include modern Arabic literature, the Arabic language, comparative literature, post colonialism, and spatial theory. Her current book project, Shifting Ground: Space in Egyptian Fiction, examines the fiction of the sixties generation in Egypt, through literary depictions of urban, rural, and exilic space. She has been published in Journal of Arabic Literature, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, and Arab Studies Journal.

Philip Lutgendorf is Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies, and teaches Hindi and courses on written and oral narrative traditions of South Asia, including film. His book on the performance of the Hindi Ramayana, The Life of a Text, Performing the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas won the A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002-03 for his research on the popular “monkey-god” Hanuman, which appeared as Hanuman’s Tale, The Messages of a Divine Monkey. He is presently working on a three-volume translation of the Ramcaritmanas of Tulsidas (1574 AD) for the Murty Classical Library of India/Harvard University Press. He serves as President of the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Maria Jose BarbosaMaria José Barbosa specializes in Brazilian literature and culture, and the Portuguese language. Her publications include Recitação da Passagem: A Obra Poética de Edimilson de Almeida Pereira (on Afro-Brazilian poetry), Clarice Lispector: Spinning the Webs of Passion, which also appeared in her translation as Clarice Lispector: Des/fiando as Teias daPaixão. She is a contributing editor of Passo e Compasso: Nos Ritmos do Envelhecer, on cultural and literary representations of aging in Portuguese-speaking countries. She served as President of the American Portuguese Studies Association, and Executive Committee member of the Brazilian Studies Association.

Ana Rodriguez-RodriguezAna M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez is an Associate Professor specializing in Early Modern Spanish Literature.  She has published articles on Christian-Muslim relations in the Mediterranean during the 16th and 17th centuries, and on Early Modern women's writing. She is also the author of Letras liberadas. Cautiverio, escritura y subjetividad en el Mediterráneo de la época imperial española. Madrid: Visor Libros, 2013, a book exploring Spanish textual manifestations of captivity during this period. She is currently writing a book on Spanish presence in the Philippines during the first centuries of Spain's colonial rule of the archipelago, and preparing a critical edition of the Libro de cassos impensados, by Alonso de Salamanca.

Ana Merino directs the MFA program in Spanish Creative Writing. She has published seven books of poems including Preparativos para un viaje(winner of the Adonais Prize in 1994), Juegos de niños (winner of the Fray Luis de León Prize in 2003), Compañera de celda (2006), and Curación (Accésit Jaime Gil de Biedma Prize, 2010). Her poems appeared in over twenty anthologies, and have been translated into Portuguese, English,  German, Slovenian, French, Dutch, Bulgarian, and Italian. Merino has written criticism on comics and graphic novels. including El cómichispánico, and a monograph on Chris Ware. Merino is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Cartoon Studies and has curated four comic book expositions.

Paul Dilley is an assistant professor of Ancient Mediterranean Religions with a joint appointment in Classics and Religious Studies; his specialty is the religions of Late Antiquity, with a focus on early Christianity.  Dilley’s research explores a substantial variety of writings in Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac and middle Iranian languages, including the dynamics of cultural interaction and literary translation: the question of “world literature” as it relates to Late Antique Eurasia.  He is also a Digital Humanist with interests in collaborative translation and online publication.  As an undergraduate, he was a poetry editor for the Harvard Advocate.

Roxana CurtoRoxanna Curto is a specialist in 20th-century French and Francophone literature and culture; postcolonial and literary theory; Latin American theatre; and comparative Caribbean studies. Her book, Inter-tech(s): Colonialism and the Question of Technology in Francophone Literature examines the representation of modern technologies in the works of Francophone writers from Africa and the Caribbean. She has also published articles exploring connections between Aimé Césaire and Latin American literature, and on technology in 20th-Century French poetry.

Waltraud MaierhoferWaltraud Maierhofer is professor of German and teaches courses on German literature and culture. She has authored Hexen  – Huren – Heldenweiber. Bilder des Weiblichen in Erzähltexten über den Dreißigjährigen Krieg, which examines the representation of women and femininity in a wide range of narrative texts from the seventeenth century to the present that retell the Thirty Years War. Maierhofer also coedited Women Against Napoleon: Historical and Fictional Responses. Out of her interest in the connections of literature and art, Maierhofer has completed critical editions of letters by the painter Angelica Kauffmann, a travel book on Florence by Adele Schopenhauer, as well as a bilingual edition of the opera libretto Circe with the translation by Goethe and Christian August Vulpius.