A Linguist's Journey

Jennifer Carr

Jennifer Carr '12
MA in Cultural Translation

I was born in Washington, DC, but my family moved to a small town near Cannes, in the South of France, when I was two years old. We ended up staying there for five years, which means my younger brother and I started school in France and became fluent in the language. I still consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had this experience, since learning a language is something that becomes so much harder with age.

Back in DC, I attended an international school. This was my baseline, and I did not realize until I left how unique an experience it was. It taught me to be comfortable in multilingual, multicultural settings. I think that's where my love of travel comes from, and my inability to stay in any one place for too long.

In 2006, I moved to California to attend UC Berkeley, where I majored in comparative literature. I began to develop an interest in translation while I was there, as well as an infatuation with Paris that has stayed with me to this day. I studied abroad in Paris in the spring of 2009, and I was determined to make my way back to France after graduation. I was fortunate enough, in 2010, to land a job as an English language teaching assistant in a small town outside of Paris, and that ended up being the start of two years abroad--one spent teaching, the other enrolled in AUP's MA in Cultural Translation program.

I was desperately searching for a way to stay on in Paris after my teaching contract ended when I came across a brochure advertising AUP's graduate programs. The Master of Arts in Cultural Translation (MACT) immediately stood out. It struck me as both confident in its vision and flexible enough to accommodate a range of interests. We were a cohort of ten in my year, people were working on an incredible range of topics, in several languages, and I got the sense that what we were doing together in class managed to benefit everyone in very real ways.

Because I was working in and with the French language, actually being in Paris was invaluable. The city's resources are frustratingly vast--I never felt like I was taking full advantage of them--and a lot of what is out there can be surprising, and not always pretty. My program pushed us to explore the city beyond the monuments and museums.

The Master of Arts in Cultural Translation (MACT) struck me as both confident in its vision and flexible enough to accommodate a range of interests. - Jennifer Carr

I returned to DC after graduating from AUP and spent a year there finishing up my master's thesis, writing, translating, and applying to PhD programs in French literature. I was shocked by how well the application process went, and I sincerely believe that MACT, and the help I received from my professors there, was a tremendous selling point.

I have just started Yale's 6-year French PhD program, the idea being to become a professor when I graduate, although that seems way too far in the future to think about right now. In any case, my year at AUP really cemented my desire to pursue graduate studies, and I think the work I did in the MACT program--exploring the relationship between translation and constrained writing, and translating works by a group of French authors collectively known as the Oulipo--was unique and developed enough to really help me along that path. I am currently finishing up my first semester at Yale, where I've had some incredible opportunities to continue the work I was doing at AUP as well as branch out into new areas.

I speak French fluently, have studied Arabic for several years, and have some remnants of high school Spanish. My current PhD program requires that we have at least two foreign languages (besides French) at the intermediate level, so I will most likely be taking up a new one very soon.

The thing I value most about AUP are the professors. I can't thank them enough for putting the MACT program out there in the world and letting us be a part of it. 

Jennifer Carr

Jennifer Carr '12
MA in Cultural Translation

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  • Ruby Veridiano

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    Many of my classes at AUP left me inspired, and confirmed that I was truly on the right path. Read more...

  • Cassandra

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    AUP was my second shot at University. I wanted to continue to meet people from all over the world and study in a more intimate class setting. Read more...

  • Shalise Barnes

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    The relationships I’ve had with my professors have progressed into friendships and will allow me an advantage into the job world that I would not have at any other university. Read more...

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    Being among such an international student body at AUP has encouraged me to become fluent in Russian and French so that I may be able to connect with the world on a deeper level. Read more...

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    I use the freedom allowed in literary work and the precision needed in psychology research to make the most of the learning opportunities I have here at AUP. Read more...

  • Sarah Harper-Johnston

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    AUP is a unique community of people from all over the world that have one thing in common – a love for traveling, exploring, and experiencing different cultures in everyday life. Read more...

  • Jean-Baptiste Matton

    From Afghanistan to AUP

    Every morning, when I walk to AUP, I cross the Atlantic Ocean. I'm a French student who has spent the last fifteen years in the French army. Read more... 

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    Did you know the chemical formula to make rabbit skin glue? Twenty bucks says you don’t and you need to take this class. It is a whole new level of applied knowledge of art. Read more...

  • Tania Varela

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    The courses came with a warning label. The content and the syllabi were meant to challenge the most ambitious of students, and professors made sure we knew that … but in the end, they were all extremely rewarding. Read more...

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    The kinds of things I was studying in the global communications department and in my minors only fed the fire, getting me more interested in how video worked as a medium. Read more...

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  • Jorge France World Spif

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  • Perfect_Bilingual_Balance

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  • Paris Summer School Design Workshop

    The Paris Summer School in Design

    The Paris Summer School in Design at AUP gives students a unique chance to participate in an international teaching–led research workshop on design and performance. Read more...

  • mouse

    Online Privacy: the PRIPARE project

    A woman enters a liquor store. Within seconds, the man behind the counter has figured out her name, where she lives and her birthday. Read more...

  • Shadows

    Warhol's Shadows

    This fall, a landmark exhibit of Warhol’s work is opening at the Musée d’Art Moderne, co-curated by Professor Hervé Vanel. Read more...

  • Jura

    Food and Culture

    Nibbling on a piece of rich, milky, nutty cheese might have more cultural implications than you think. Read more...

  • Varda

    Varda from 4 to 6

    “Marie Regan, c’est Agnès Varda!” Professor Marie Regan had just received a voicemail from reknown filmmaker Agnès Varda and was playing it back to students. Read more...

  • Drawing

    The Language of Drawing

    Tired of studying art through slide projections? Come to AUP and learn from sitting in front of the original works themselves. Read more...

  • Opera Garnier

    Paris Through its Architecture

    What course enables you to discover Paris' rich architectural history while bonding with fellow students? Read more…

  • bouquiniste

    Summer Creative Writing Institute

    The Summer Creative Writing Institute offers students the opportunity to practice writing well-crafted fiction and literary nonfiction under the guidance of highly accomplished writers. Read more...

  • Eagle

    AUP’s webzine “Nature and Cultures”

    Professor Oleg Kobtzeff recently published the first issue of the webzine he created along with AUP colleagues, alumni and students. Read more...

  • Macarons-Workshop

    Macaron and Chocolate Making Workshop

    Each year, students of French Language and Culture of Elementary Level 1 make a visit to the macaron and chocolate making workshop of French patissier Gerard Mulot. Read more...

  • Paris

    Cultural Mapping in Paris

    Associate Professor Stephen Sawyer recently received attention following the results of his research project on Paris. Read more...

  • Naz-Oligarchy

    Billionaires in World Politics

    Professor Hägel has developed a course that combines a research seminar with watchdog activism in order to scrutinize the power of the ultra-wealthy: “billionaireswatch.org”. Read more...

  • Picture of Proust and Beckett Book

    Proust and Beckett

    In “Proust and Beckett: The Art of Failure,” students read a selection of works from both authors, who are undoubtedly two of the twentieth century’s major prose writers, and explore their stories through museums and exhbitions. Read more...

  • Fez

    Fez Practicum

    The Fez practicum takes students to Fez, Morrocco to provide them with training in cross-media platforms and an introduction to the workings of cultural and social life in an unusual and complex historic city. Read more...

  • Picture of student filming

    Video Production

    Over the course of the semester, the student pairs learn their way around HD cameras, microphones, and the ins and outs of the editing program Final Cut Pro in order to produce two video projects. Read more...

  • Picture of students and visitors in the Louvre

    Les Jeunes ont la Parole

    The program's goal is to enter into dialogue with Louvre visitors around a work of art. The program was conceived to draw youth into what are often perceived as discouragingly daunting walls. Read more...

  • Fashion Journalism

    Fashion Journalism

    The course prepares students to write about various aspects of fashion, ranging from trend forecasting, sustainability, street styles, graphic design and business. Read more...

  • Picture of bookshelf

    Paris Through its Books

    Students take advantage of the University’s location to visit the ruins of Roman baths, the sewers through which Hugo’s Jean Valjean escaped and the former locations of palaces and barricades. Read more...