Dr Hilary Brown

Photograph of Dr Hilary Brown

Department of Modern Languages
Lecturer in Translation Studies

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I joined the Department of Modern Languages in 2011 and teach in Translation Studies and German. I am currently Translation Studies Section Lead and Convenor of the MA in Translation Studies (campus).


MA, MA, PhD (Cantab)


I studied French and German as an undergraduate in St Andrews and completed an MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations at the University of Leeds. I carried out my doctoral research at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. I spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut für Germanistik, Universität Potsdam, and six years as Lecturer in German at Swansea University before coming to Birmingham in 2011.


Undergraduate teaching

German Practical Language II

Translation in Practice II (German)

Advanced German Translation for Native Speakers A/B

German Language: Translation and Oral

The German Language and National Identity

Translation Theory and Practice in Europe

Postgraduate teaching


Practical Translation (German)

Specialised Translation (German)

Contemporary Theories of Translation

Research Methods in Translation, Interpreting & Intercultural Studies

Translation and Literary Markets

Extended Translation Project (German)


Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise postgraduate students, particularly in the areas of translation history, literary translation, and gender and translation. I am currently supervising the following students:

  • Xiaowen Chen, ‘Exporting Chinese Literature to the English-Speaking World: A Case-Study of Mo Yan’ (co-supervised with Dr Angela Kershaw)
  • Anne M. Leahy, ‘Paths to Signed Language Interpreting in Great Britain and America since 1150 AD’ (co-supervised with Dr Angela Kershaw)
  • Helen Tatlow, ‘Heinrich von Kleist in Anglophone Translation and Adaptation’ (M3C award holder, co-supervised with Dr Elystan Griffiths and Dr Maike Oergel)


My research focuses on the literary and cultural relations between Germany, France and Britain in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and I have a particular interest in the cultural history of translation. I have published two monographs examining the part played by women in cross-cultural interchange. I recently completed a critical edition of Luise Gottsched’s Der Lockenraub, the first German verse translation of Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock, for the MHRA's European Translations series. I am currently working on female translators in the early modern period.

I am on the steering committee of the Birmingham Centre for Translation.

Other activities

I have (co-)organised the following conferences and events:

  • ‘German Women’s Writing in its European Context, 1700-1900’, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London, 25-26 November 2010
  • ‘The Author-Translator in the European Literary Tradition’, Swansea University, 28 June-1 July 2010
  • ‘Readers, Writers, Salonnières: Female Networks in Europe, 1700-1900’, Chawton House Library, 22-23 May 2008
  • ‘Landmarks in German Women’s Writing’, public lecture series, University of Cambridge, Michaelmas Term 2005
  • ‘Übersetzungskultur im 18. Jahrhundert: Übersetzerinnen in Deutschland und Frankreich’, Forschungszentrum Europäische Aufklärung, Potsdam, 8 October 2004



  • Luise Gottsched the Translator (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2012)
  • Benedikte Naubert (1756-1819) and her Relations to English Culture, MHRA Texts and Dissertations, vol. 63; Bithell Series of Dissertations, vol. 27 (Leeds: Maney, 2005)


  • Luise Gottsched, Der Lockenraub / Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, European Translations series, vol. 2 (London: MHRA, 2014)

Edited volumes

  • (with Caroline Bland), Cosmopolitan Women: German-Speaking Writers, 1780-1900, special issue of Oxford German Studies, 42.2 (2013)
  • (with Katherine Astbury and Gillian Dow), Women Readers in Europe: Readers, Writers, Salonnières, 1750-1900, special issue ofWomen’s Writing, 18.1 (February 2011)
  • (with Gillian Dow), Readers, Writers, Salonnières: Female Networks in Europe, 1700-1900, European Connections, vol. 31 (Oxford: Lang, 2011)
  • (with Brunhilde Wehinger), Übersetzungskultur im 18. Jahrhundert: Übersetzerinnen in Deutschland, Frankreich und der Schweiz, Aufklärung und Moderne, vol. 12 (Hanover: Wehrhahn, 2008)
  • Landmarks in German Women’s Writing, British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature, vol. 39 (Oxford: Lang, 2007)


  • ‘Rethinking Agency and Creativity: Translation, Collaboration and Gender in Early Modern Germany’, Translation Studies, forthcoming
  • ‘Female Translators and Print Culture in Sixteenth-Century Germany’, in Trust and Proof: Translators in Renaissance Print Culture, ed. by Andrea Rizzi (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2017)
  • (with Caroline Bland), ‘Introduction: Women as Cultural Mediators and Translators’, Oxford German Studies, 42.2 (2013), 111-18
  • (with Duncan Large) 'Übersetzerische Zusammenarbeit im deutschsprachigen Raum, 1730-1830', in Akten des XII. Internationalen Germanistenkongresses Warschau 2010, ed. by Franciszek Gruza, vol. 13, ed. by Teruaki Takahashi and Julian Preece (Frankfurt: Lang, 2012), pp. 303-07
  • ‘New Perspectives from Comparative Literature’, in German Women Writers of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Future Directions in Feminist Criticism, ed. by Helen Fronius and Anna Richards (Oxford: Legenda, 2011), pp. 57-70
  • ‘Women Translators in the Sprachgesellschaften’, Daphnis: Zeitschrift für Mittlere Deutsche Literatur und Kultur der Frühen Neuzeit, 38 (2009), 622-46
  • ‘Luise Gottsched the Satirist’, Modern Language Review, 103 (2008), 1036-50
  • ‘“Als käm Sie von der Thems und von der Seyne her”: Luise Gottsched als Übersetzerin’, in Übersetzungskultur im 18. Jahrhundert: Übersetzerinnen in Deutschland, Frankreich und der Schweiz, ed. by Brunhilde Wehinger and Hilary Brown (Hanover: Wehrhahn, 2008), pp. 37-52
  • ‘Luise Gottsched and the Reception of French Enlightenment Literature in Germany’, in Translators, Interpreters, Mediators: Women Writers 1700-1900, ed. by Gillian E. Dow (Oxford: Lang, 2007), pp. 21-36
  • ‘Shakespeare in the English Novel: A New Aspect of Shakespeare Reception in Germany’, in Shakespeare im 18. Jahrhundert, ed. by Roger Paulin (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2007), pp. 143-56
  • ‘Johanna Eleonora Petersen and the Reception of Molière in Germany’, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 43 (2007), 69-80
  • ‘Women and Classical Translation in the Eighteenth Century’, German Life and Letters, 59 (2006), 344-60
  • ‘The Reception of the Bluestockings by Eighteenth-Century German Women Writers’, Women in German Yearbook, 18 (2002), 111-32
  • ‘German Women Writers in English Short Story Anthologies of the 1820s’, Modern Language Review, 97 (2002), 620-31
  • ‘Sarah Scott, Sophie von La Roche, and the Female Utopian Tradition’, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, 100 (2001), 469-81

Contribution to reference work

  • Manfred Heiderich/Hilary Brown, ‘Benedikte Naubert’, in Killy Literaturlexikon, ed. by Wilhelm Kühlmann, 2nd edn (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2008-), VIII (2010), 505-06


  • Book reviews for Modern Language Review,Arbitrium, British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Colloquia Germanica