A New National Resource Center


The National Resource Center for Translation and Global Literacy (CTGL) promotes translation and global literacy as modes of critical inquiry, practice, and training for future global citizens and professionals. 

CTGL directly responds to urgent national and international needs. Today’s extensive exchange of material and nonmaterial cultures across borders has made “interconnectedness” the hallmark of globalization, not to mention the global-scale challenges—the pandemic, climate-crisis, economic crises, wars, peace building, humanitarian crises, to name a few—that we must confront together.

To brave this vast geography of interconnectedness requires Global Literacy: an interdisciplinary reserve of knowledge and skills to support language mediation, intercultural understanding and communication, critical inquiry and creativity to advocate diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice an ethics of trust and empathy, and global engagement and collaboration.

In this new world, translation as mediation across languages and cultures becomes nothing less than a new epistemology—how we know the others, ourselves, and the dynamic diversity that shapes us. Because translation and global literacy are powerful means of cross-cultural immersion, discovery, and transformation, they present unparalleled opportunities for academic inquiry and professional capacity building.

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Why the University of Iowa

CTGL is housed at the University of Iowa, an institution renowned for its commitments to global education and cross-cultural understanding through world languages and international education programs that serve students throughout all its colleges. A longstanding leader in the area of translation, the Iowa Translation Workshop marks its 60th anniversary in 2023. The following year is the 40th anniversary of the MFA in Literary Translation, which was founded by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Daniel Weissbort. The University of Iowa is also home to the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the oldest writing program offering a Master of Fine Arts degree in the United State.

As a major research university, Iowa has exemplary programs in education, the liberal arts, business, and the health sciences, making it the perfect home for the large-scale collaborative goals of CTGL, which aims to widen the traditional frame of international education. The Center is focused on both what we need to learn—skills, languages, subjects—and how we apply that learning through outreach and engagement to prepare world-ready professionals who can help reshape our global reality.

Our Campus Partners

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International Writing Program

Established in 1967, the International Writing Program (IWP) connects well-established writers from around the globe, bringing international literature into classrooms, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, and serving as a clearinghouse for literary news and a wealth of archival and pedagogical materials. 

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College of Education

The College of Education produces scholars and leaders in teaching, counseling, psychology, higher education, assessment, and more. Our programs are led by world-class experts in a diverse range of fields and disciplines.

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Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Since its creation in 2008, the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has engaged in concerted efforts to promote collaboration across its constituent units, to increase the diversity of the campus curriculum in languages, literatures, and cultures, and to foster a nuanced understanding of foreign cultures and their significance for the success of Iowa students in today’s increasingly globalized world. 

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Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives, as part of the University of Iowa Libraries, advances direct engagement in learning, research, and creative work through providing staff expertise and exceptional collections on our campus and worldwide. 

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International Programs

The University of Iowa is committed to enriching the global experience of students, faculty, staff, and the greater community. International Programs does this by providing leadership and support for internationally-oriented teaching, research, creative work and community engagement. We encourage students to see the world in a whole new way. Take a look around and see why thousands of students from Iowa and the world call us home each year.