Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

María Sierra Córdoba Serrano

Associate Professor

I joined the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in September 2009 from the University of Ottawa, Canada. I see myself as an educator who tries to bring her passions to the classroom. These passions are my interest in people and their intricate social and cultural narratives, as well as my own work as a researcher and a translator.

As a researcher, I am interested in sociological approaches to the study of translation, and within this prism, I have studied the sociology of international publishing (in particular, the challenges of exporting minority cultures), the relationship between translation and public diplomacy, as well as my more recent interest in the way different multilingual societies manage minority or minoritized languages in official and unofficial multilingual contexts. Along with my book LeQuébec traduit en Espagne : analyse sociologique de l'exportation d'une culture périphérique, I have published numerous articles in scholarly journals such as META, TTR, MonTi, Quaderns, Globe, Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, Norteamérica and in various collective works.

As a translator, I specialize in texts in the field of international development and international education, but I am particularly interested in the translation of literature (especially emerging authors) and works in the humanities and social sciences. In this respect, I would like to highlight my Spanish translation of the award-winning French Canadian novel Nikolski.


Academic: Sociology of translation, sociology of international publishing, Translation and Public diplomacy, Language and Translation Policies

Translation: Translation and revision from English and French into Spanish


Ph.D. in Translation Studies, University of Ottawa (Canada)

M.A. in Translation, University of Ottawa (Canada)

Licenciatura en Traducción e Interpretación, Universidad de Málaga (Spain)


Work In Progress

Thematic issue of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language: Translation Policies and Minority Languages: Theory, Methods and Case Studies.​

Selected Publications


Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. Le Québec traduit en Espagne : analyse sociologique de l'exportation d'une culture périphérique (Translation Series, Regards sur la traduction). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2013 (361 pages). ISBN: 978-2-7603-0798-8.

Translated book (novel)

Dickner, Nicolas. Nikolski. Trans. María Sierra Córdoba. Tafalla: Txalaparta, 2012 (248 pages). ISBN: 9788415313175.

Selection of Peer-Reviewed Articles

Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. “Cuando la literatura quebequesa viaja en Iberia: mitos y realidades.” Norteamérica 9.1 (January-June 2014): 85-107.

Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. “Traduction littéraire et diplomatie publique : le cas de la fiction québécoise traduite en Espagne.” Globe, revue internationale d’études québécoises 13.1 (2010): 47-71.

Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. “Flagging the nation : la traduction de la littérature québécoise pour la jeunesse en Espagne (1975-2004).” Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures 2.1 (2010): 113‑143.

Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. “Translation as a Measure of Literary Domination: the Case of Quebec Literature Translated in Spain (1975-2004).” Ed. Oscar Diaz Fouces and Esther Monzó. Spec. Issue on the Applied Sociology in Translation Studies of MonTi Monografías2 (2010): 249‑282.

Córdoba Serrano, María Sierra. “La fiction québécoise traduite en Espagne: une question de réseaux.” Ed. Hélène Buzelin and Deborah Folaron. Spec. issue on Translation and Network Studies of META 52.4 (December 2007): 763-792.

Foz, Clara, and María Sierra Córdoba Serrano. “Dynamique historique des (re)traductions du Quijote en français: questions méthodologiques et premiers résultats.” META 50.3 (August 2005): 1042‑1050.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

TIAG 8645 - Research on TILM      

This course provides overview of major themes, models and methodologies used in TILM research. Students will learn how to understand and critically assess research articles and how to research a thematic area of particular relevance to their professional goals.

Fall 2016 - MIIS

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TISP 8512 - Intro to Trans into Spanish      

Introduces students to the basic theory and practice of translation, both written and sight. Students will learn to apply text analysis, text typology, and contrastive analysis of their working languages to identify, analyze, and resolve translation problems while independently developing an efficient and rational approach to the process of translation. The appropriate application of electronic translation tools will also be introduced. Fundamental translation theory will be emphasized at the beginning of the course and will be conveyed in the form of assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and independent research. In addition, course assignments will include practice and graded exercises in sight and written translation, utilizing authentic texts drawn from an extensive variety of text categories that include, but are not limited to, current events, general political economy, general legal documents, and scientific and technical topics for general audiences. As the term progresses, student time and effort will increasingly be spent on the preparation and evaluation of written translation assignments. Students will be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam, to be assigned at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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TISP 8522 - Intrm Translation into Spanish      

Builds on the theoretical and practical foundation laid in Introduction to Translation and introduces the translation of specialized subject matter. Depending upon the language program in which they are enrolled, students will be expected to acquire and demonstrate basic proficiency in the sight and written translation of either commercial and economic texts, legal texts, or scientific and technical texts. The amount of emphasis accorded to a particular topic will depend on the specific professional requirements of each language program. Course assignments will include readings, research, presentations, practice and graded exercises in sight translation, and practice and graded written translation assignments, including exercises in speed translation. Students will also be expected to take at least one midterm and one final exam. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are largely at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record.

Prerequisite: Introduction to Translation or equivalent background.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

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TISP 8632 - Adv Translation I into Spanish      

This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring translation knowledge and skills up to the level that would be required of someone working in a professional translation environment. Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year translation courses to produce translations that meet high standards for content, form, and presentation. A great deal of attention is given to subject matter knowledge and research, precision in text analysis and writing, and the appropriate application of translation technology. Some programs emphasize scientific and technical topics in this course, but others give considerable attention to commercial, economic, legal, and political texts, many of which have a technical component. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record. Students will, however, be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam.

Prerequisite: 2nd-year student in good standing or equivalent background.

Fall 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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TISP 8642 - Advanced Trans II to Spanish      

This course is the counterpart to Advanced Translation I. Students are expected to translate texts of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of operational challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional translation settings, such as working in teams or coping with multiple technologies. Emphasis is on particular text categories and subject-matter knowledge that are pertinent to current market demand for the specific language combination and direction in which the course is being taught. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record, but will include projects that simulate, as closely as possible, the professional translation environment, as well as at least one midterm and one final exam.

Prerequisite: Advanced Translation I or similar background.

Spring 2017 - MIIS

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