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. I am on research leave during 2018-19. I am working on a project on women translators in early modern Germany, supported by a Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


  • 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)
  • Anne M. Leahy, ‘Paths to Signed Language Interpreting in Great Britain and America since 1150 AD’ (co-supervised with Dr Gabriela Saldanha)
  • Helen Tatlow, ‘Heinrich von Kleist in Anglophone Translation and Adaptation’ (M3C award holder, co-supervised with Dr Elystan Griffiths and Dr Maike Oergel)

Find out more - our PhD Translation Studies  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research focuses on transnational cultural history in the period 1500-1800, and I have a particular interest in translation. I have published two monographs examining the part played by women in cross-cultural interchange. I am currently working on women translators in early modern Germany, funded by a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Previous projects have received funding from the AHRB/AHRC, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Leverhulme Trust, British Academy and MHRA. 

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, 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)


  • ‘Intersectionality’, in Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, ed. by Mona Baker and Gabriela Saldanha, 3rd edn (forthcoming)
  • ‘Women Translators in Early Modern Europe’ in Routledge Handbook of Translation, Feminism and Gender, ed. by Luise von Flotow and Hala Kamal (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2020) 
  • ‘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, 58 (2018), 27-51
  • ‘Women Translators and Print Culture in Sixteenth-Century Germany’, in Trust and Proof: Translators in Renaissance Print Culture, ed. by Andrea Rizzi (Leiden: Brill, 2018), pp. 229-50
  • Rethinking Agency and Creativity: Translation, Collaboration and Gender in Early Modern Germany’, Translation Studies, 11.1 (2018), 84-102
  • (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

View all publications in research portal