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

Photograph of Dr Hilary Brown

Department of Modern Languages
Senior 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 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)

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

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