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135113 SE Bachelor Thesis: Literary Translation within the Literary Polysystem (2021S)

Polysystem Theory and Aspects of Intercultural Hermeneutics

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 35 participants
Language: German



Dienstag 16.00-17.30 Uhr (vorerst digitale Lehre)
1. Termin: 02.03.2021


Aims, contents and method of the course

In this seminar, we will look at the polysystem theory of the Tel Aviv school of Itamar Even-Zohar and Gideon Toury, introducing this theory in the sense of one of their fathers, Even-Zohar, who said that the theory was more serving as true. When the two theorists speak of polysystem, they mean all the systems that make literature, considered in its dynamic evolution. For example, they refer to main concepts such as literary canon, interference or inter-relationships among different cultures, or dynamic opposites such as Center vs. Periphery or tradition vs. Innovation. Translations, which introduce new texts of other Literatures into a literary polysystem, always play a very important role, especially if they get into a national literature that is still very "young" and seeks some stability, or if it is a literature that can be defined peripherally. Or even if the literature is in crisis. We will also be dealing with the role of the translator, and with intercultural hermeneutics and the communication function of literature in the intercultural process in which one is confronted with the "others". Daniel-Henri Pageaux believes that relationships with other cultures can come closer together only if you look at them positively, but if you look at them negatively, you can only become alienated.

Assessment and permitted materials

Presentation of your own seminar paper, which must be submitted two months after the end of the semester.
There is the obligation to attend the seminar.
Participation in discussions is taken into account.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Participation, presentation, and seminar papers on the topics of the presentation list are considered for the grade.

Examination topics

Reading list

Reading list:
The exactly required reading is discussed in class.


- David Damrosch, Natalie Melas, Mbongiseni Buthelezi, The Princeton Sourcebook in Comparative Literature. From the European Enlightenment to the Global Present, Princeton University Press, 2009.
- Gideon Toury, Descriptive translation studies and beyond, Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Pub. Co., 1995.
- Itamar Even-Zohar, The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary polysystem. In: Papers on Poetics and Semiotics. Hrsg. von Benjamin Hrushovski, Itamar Even-Zohar (1978) vol. 8.
- Jauß, Hans Robert, Literaturgeschichte als Provokation der Literaturwissenschaft, Konstanz 1967.
- Maurizio Bettini, Vertere. Un 'antropologia della traduzione nella cultura antica, Torino 2012, 32-59.
- Norbert Bachleitner, Michaela Wolf (Hg.): Streifzüge im translatorischen Feld. Zur Soziologie der literarischen Übersetzung im deutschsprachigen Raum. Münster: LIT 2010.
- Peter Großens, Weltliteratur. Modelle transnationaler Literaturwahrnehmung im 19.Jahrhundert, Stuttgart, 2011.
- Daniel-Henri Pageaux. La littérature générale et comparée, Paris,1994.
- Hugo Dyserinck, Zum Problem der "images" und "mirages" und ihrer Untersuchung im Rahmen der Vergleichenden Literaturwissenschaft. 1966

Association in the course directory

BA M11

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26