Dr Hilary Brown MA (Hons), MA, PhD (Cantab), FHEA

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. During 2017-18 I will be on research leave, spending extended periods of time in Germany thanks to the award of a Humboldt Fellowship. I will be working on a project on ‘Women and Translation in Early Modern Germany, c.1600-1720


  • PCAP (Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice)
  • PhD  
  • MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations 
  • MA (Hons) in Modern Languages (French and German) 


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, under the supervision of Professor Roger Paulin. 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.


I convene translation modules at BA level (e.g. ‘Translation in Practice II – German’, ‘Translation Theory and Practice in Europe’) and on the MA in Translation Studies (campus and distance-learning programmes). 

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:

  • Hayat AL-Khalifah, ‘The Translation of Dual-Readership Literature: Alice in Wonderland in Arabic’ (co-supervised with Dr Gabriela Saldanha)
  • 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 am currently working on women and translation in the early modern period, and have been awarded a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in order to undertake research in Germany.

I am co-editor of ANGERMION: Yearbook for Anglo-German Literary Criticism, Intellectual History and Cultural Transfers / Jahrbuch für britisch-deutsche Kulturbeziehungen (De Gruyter)

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)


  • ‘Women Translators in Early Modern Europe: Trends and New Approaches’ in Routledge Handbook of Translation, Feminism and Gender, ed. by Luise von Flotow and Hala Kamal (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2018), in preparation[J1] 
  • ‘Women Translators in History: Towards a ‘Woman-Interrogated’ Approach’, fémin / in / visible: Femmes de lettres à l’époque des Lumières, special issue ofCahiers du Centre de traduction littéraire de Lausanne, forthcoming 2017
  • ‘Women 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)
  • Rethinking Agency and Creativity: Translation, Collaboration and Gender in Early Modern Germany’, Translation Studies, 10 (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

Contributions to reference works

  • M. G. Lewis, Feudal Tyrants’, in Cambridge Guide to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, 1660-1820, ed. by April London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • 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