The Richard Maxwell Prize for Translation and Translation Studies

Department or Subject: 

A $500 prize, open to any undergraduate student in Yale College, shall be awarded annually to the best essay in Translation Studies or to the best Literary Translation.  “Translation studies” is understood to include theoretical and historical questions involving language, culture, and medium, while “literary translation” encompasses all genres, so long as the chosen work is deemed substantial.  Submissions that combine actual translation and reflections on issues raised or exemplified by the process are welcome.  Submissions must include: (1) a cover letter with basic information about the student’s studies/major and about the context in which the essay/translation was written; (2) a translator’s introduction describing the intellectual, historical, and/or technical context of the translated text; (3) a copy of the translated text(s) in the original language, as an appendix to your translation; (4) annotation, as deemed relevant, for literary translations.  Please submit three hard copies of work to the Comparative Literature Department office by Friday, April 28th, 2017.  The prize will be presented along with other Comparative Literature prizes at the department’s Spring reception in early May.

The Richard Maxwell prize for Translation and Translation Studies commemorates the scholarly and pedagogical legacy of Richard Maxwell (1948-2010), an exceptionally wide-ranging undergraduate teacher, scholar and critic. He was an historian of the novel, of visual culture, and of urban life, and a critic of poetry and film.  Moreover, during his final illness he dictated an experimental novel about architectural, literary, and film life in 1950s Los Angeles. Richard Maxwell believed deeply in the discipline of Comparative Literature and the ideal of world literature, and he championed his Yale students as aspiring translators, critics, and writers.