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Cultural Translation




Admissions requirements

What is culture?


In a nutshell, cultural translation refers to processes in which the meanings and materiality of things, practices or texts are transforming when transferred to different cultural contexts. As a field, it is highly inter- or multidisciplinary, ranging from comparative literature studies, media studies, anthropology, postcolonial studies, critical geography to science and technology studies.

In this course you will explore various aspects and kinds of translation in contemporary culture and will learn how they can be analysed and examined through different theoretical and methodological lenses. In order to get to grips with how cultural translation can be understood, we will delve into a wide range of cultural phenomena that clearly involve modes of cultural translations. Each week we will concentrate on one case to explore this in depth. These cases include for example: travelogues & mapping, food & cuisine, diasporic objects, media convergence (Harry Potter), archives, AI and digital translations. Thinking through and with these particular cases you will learn about theoretical approaches and methodologies pertaining to cultural translations and how this is understood and operationalised across different disciplines, fields and practices.

Course objectives


  • Demonstrate profound knowledge of major themes of cultural translation from a multi-disciplinary perspective;

  • identify, explain, and employ theoretical notions such as (un)translatability, power, networks, hybridity, otherness, and convergence.


  • Translate theories into bespoke methodologies for analysing case-studies;

  • present outcomes in a concise way;

  • work in teams;

  • to have the capability to participate in discussions in a productive way;

  • devise and execute a well-argued and structured research essay.


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

We will not only read and discuss texts that are important for framing these cases, but as a presentation mode, groups of students will also bring an object, thing, or other materials to the classroom and present a reflection and analyses based on those materials in a blog post and in class.


    • 15% participation in group discussions
    • 25 % posts
    • 20 % Pecha Kucha
    • 40 % essay (2000 words)

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework.

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact