Alumna profile: Alison Hodge

Alison Hodge graduated with a Masters in African Studies from the Centre for West African Studies (CWAS) in 1970. She is now a book publisher, as the owner of Alison Hodge Publishers.

She said “Meeting and working with a wide range of knowledgeable and talented authors; developing ideas for books and making them a reality is the best part of my job. My time at CWAS led to my career in publishing. At the suggestion of Professor Fage, I contacted the publisher Christopher Hurst, and became his first editorial assistant.”

From there, Alison moved to Thomas Nelson & Sons, and spent several years in Nigeria as Senior Editor for Nelson Nigeria.

“On my return, and on a whim, I bought a bookshop, and started publishing under my own imprint. I sold the bookshop and did a lot of freelance editing, later working for ODA (now DfID) in Jamaica as publishing consultant to a secondary schools textbook project in the Ministry of Education. On my return, I continued to work freelance, and to develop my own publishing imprint.”

Alison recalls her time at University of Birmingham fondly; she particularly remembers “being introduced to new subjects by excellent, enthusiastic and dedicated staff; learning in small groups; making new friends.

"My Masters gave me a foundation in a subject area that, at the time, was a fairly unusual specialization, which helped me to get my first job in publishing"