Dr Anna Milsom

Department of Modern Languages
Lecturer in Modern Languages

Contact details

309, Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach Spanish language and translation, drawing on my practice as a literary translator and my background in visual arts. I am interested in creativity in translation, co-translation and the ways that art, translation and text-making can interact.


  • BA (Hons) Fine Art (Sculpture), Winchester School of Art
  • MFA Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art
  • MA Translation, Middlesex University
  • PhD Translation, Middlesex University


I have over twelve years’ experience teaching on Translation Studies undergraduate and MA programmes in British universities, starting out at Middlesex where I did my MA in Translation, immediately followed by my doctorate. As part of the submission for my PhD (Picturing Voices, Writing Thickness; A Multimodal Approach to Translating the Afro-Cuban Tales of Lydia Cabrera), I produced a multimodal, digital (re)presentation of translated folktales. From 2006-13 I was a Lecturer, and subsequently Senior Lecturer, in Translation Studies at London Metropolitan University. I lived and worked as a freelance literary translator in Ecuador from 2013-16, taking up a post as a Teaching Fellow in Translation at the University of Leicester on my return. I have also taught academic English, preparation courses for the Institute of Linguists Dip.Trans (Spanish to English) and I was an Associate Lecturer on the Dissertation module for the Open University MA in Translation in 2018-19. I joined the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham in 2019.

I have spoken about aspects of translation to many different audiences (in galleries, art schools, universities, the British Library, the British Centre for Literary Translation) and in many different contexts (such as exhibitions and public events, conferences, and invited speaker series).  

I have translated novels and short stories by Spanish, Colombian, Ecuadorian and Mexican authors, including three novels co-translated with Anne MacLean. Our translation of Evelio Rosero’s Feast of the Innocents was longlisted for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award (formerly the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award). In 2012 I was on the panel of New Spanish Books.  In 2017, I co-curated TransARTation! (with Dr Manuela Perteghella and Eugenia Loffredo) a touring and virtual exhibition of inter-art translation, involving objects, performance and multimedia art, and site-specific work. For the exhibition, I collaborated with Mexican artist, Verónica Gerber Bicecci on a piece called Inverted (&Translated) Poem (2017).


Modules I teach on include:

  • Spanish Core I and II Beginners (first year)
  • Translation in Practice I and II (first year)
  • Translation in Practice III and IV (second year)
  • Translation in Theory and Practice in Europe I and II (fourth year)
  • Supervisor for BA Dissertations (fourth year)
  • Professional Development (MA Translation)
  • I am also Engagement Liaison for the Distance Learning MA in Translation Studies  

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome enquiries from graduate students who would like to pursue further study in the areas of:

  • Practice-based research in translation
  • Creative /collaborative/ multimodal translation
  • The visual turn in translation
  • Translating Spanish and Latin American literature

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


The notion of ‘thick translation’ is central to my practice-based research. I am interested in exploring the ways translations can exist as multimodal artefacts, rather than solely as printed words on the page. 

Other activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Member of the Translators’ Association (TA) of the Society of Authors
  • Member, WalesPENCymru
  • Engagement Liaison for the Distance Learning MA in Translation Studies  


Chapters in books

  • 2012, ‘Translating Lydia Cabrera: A Case Study in Digital (Re)Presentation’ in Andrews, R. et. al. (Eds) Sage Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses, SAGE Publications.
  • 2005, ‘A Positive Multi-Directional Approach to ‘Difficulty’ – Translating the Afro-Cuban Stories of Lydia Cabrera’  in Peeters, J. (Ed.) On the Relationships between Translation Theory and Translation Practice, Frankfurt, New York, Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 163-173.


  • 2019, extract from The Pain of Others, a novel by Miguel Ángel Hernández in Words Without Borders, December ‘True Crime’ issue.
  • 2018, ‘Papi’s False Teeth’, a short story by Mónica Ojeda in Bogotá39: New Voices from Latin America, London: Oneworld.
  • 2017, Inverted (& Translated)Poem, an art/translation collaboration with Verónica  Gerber Bicecci for TransARTation
  • 2015, The Illogic of Kassel, a novel by Enrique Vila-Matas, co-translation with Anne McLean, London: Penguin Random House and New York: New Directions.
  • 2015, ‘Rubbed Out’, extract from a novel by Luis Felipe Lomelí in the anthology México20, London: Pushkin Press.
  • 2015, Feast of the Innocents, a novel by Evelio Rosero, co-translation with Anne McLean, London: MacLehose Press.
  • 2014, Alberto Manguel’s preface to Cees Nooteboom’s Letters to Poseidon, London: MacLehose Press.
  • 2013, Alberto Manguel’s preface to Cees Nooteboom’s In the Dutch Mountains, London: MacLehose Press.
  • 2011, ‘A Man’, a short story by Evelio Rosero, co-translation with Anne McLean, Massachusetts Review, Fall/Winter.
  • 2011, Good Offices, a novel by Evelio Rosero, co-translation with Anne McLean, London: MacLehose Press.

Selected papers, talks and related research activities:

  • 2019, Guest Lecture, ‘Serendipity and Design in Translation Research’, Open University.
  • 2017, Gallery Talk, ‘Translation as Collaboration: Hidden Messages and Unsolvable Jigsaws’,
  • TransARTation, The Shoe Factory Social Club, Norwich.
  • 2016, Seminar, ‘Crossing Borders: Creativity and Practice-as-Research in Translation Studies’, LeCTIS, University of Leicester.
  • 2012, Invited Keynote, ‘Contemporary University Research and its Impact’ Conference: Research in the Contemporary University. Southampton Solent University.
  • 2012, Invited Seminar, ‘Translation and Creativity: A case study in digital (re)presentation, CTIS, University of Manchester.
  • 2012, Invited Seminar, ‘Voice and Co-Translating Evelio Rosero’s Good Offices’, University of Leicester.
  •  2012, Invited Seminar, ‘Representing “Thick” Translation’, Royal College of Art, London.
  • 2011, Interview Online with Dan Vitale for Three Percent .
  • 2010, Paper, ‘Writing voices: “Thick” translation and the multimodal artefact: Conference: Image, Music, Text...? Translating Multimodalities. University of Portsmouth.
  • 2010, Invited Paper, ‘A Multimodal Approach to Presenting Research Findings: A Case Study’. ESRC Seminar Series: New Forms of Doctorate. London Knowledge Lab.