Elizaveta Vasserman

Elizaveta Vasserman


My research focus is on translation history and the theory of translation in the early and middle 20th century.

I have been interested in the theory of translation since I started studying it as part of my five-year programme at the Perm State Pedagogical University, Russia, where I obtained a degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Translation. My interest was reinforced during the MA programme in Translation Studies at the University of Hull, UK. My dissertation explored some approaches to audiovisual translation, focusing on the translation of authorial subtitles and interaction of different modes in foreign-language films.

Prior to starting the PhD programme at the University of Leeds, I gained extensive professional experience working with languages: first as a project coordinator for an international charity helping underprivileged children, then as a teacher of English and Russian as foreign languages. In the last years I mainly worked in the translation industry, first as an in-house and freelance translator and interpreter, and then as co-founder of a translation business in my home city in Russia which has been running successfully since 2012.

Research interests

I am investigating the significant achievements made by Soviet translation theorists in the early and middle 20th century which are not reflected in Anglophone publications, focusing on the work of the Russian translator and scholar Andrei Fedorov. My project analyses the evolution of his ideas in the context of the socio-cultural environment and of the establishment of the tradition of translation practice and theory which became known as the Soviet School of Translation. It will build a bibliography of Fedorov’s works and locate it in the general bibliographic network of translation studies in the light of the current interest in a more global and inclusive perspective on the theory of translation. I am also examining the concepts introduced by Fedorov and terminology used by Russian scholars. The analysis of the metalanguage will add new insights to the history of modern translation knowledge.

My research is funded by Leeds International Doctoral Scholarship.

Recent conference presentations

  • ‘The theory of translation by Russian scholar Andrei Fedorov and the metalanguage of translation studies’, presentation at the 31st CETRA Research Summer School in Translation Studies, KU Leuven, Antwerp, Belgium, 29 August 2019
  • 'The history of ideas: translation theory by Russian scholar Andrei Fedorov', paper presented at the Translating Thought/Translating Literature international colloquium at the University of Sheffield, UK, 31 January 2019
  • 'Theory of translation: the origins and context in the Soviet Union', paper presented at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Research Postgraduate Conference, University of Leeds, UK, 4 May 2018
  • 'Exploring the contribution of Russian scholars to the theory of translation', poster presented at the Language@Leeds 2018 Showcase, University of Leeds, UK, 17 January 2018

Conferences organised

  • The Third Leeds Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting Studies – Across Time, Across the Globe: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Translation and Interpreting Studies, University of Leeds, 11 June 2019 (co-organiser)

Student education

Since I joined the University of Leeds, I have participated in teaching the following modules in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies:


  • MODL5001M Methods and Approaches in Translation Studies


  • MODL5001M Methods and Approaches in Translation Studies
  • MODL5030M Literary Translation
  • LCS PGR Training Programme


  • SLAV1010 Beginning Russian 1 and SLAV1020 Beginning Russian 2

Professional memberships

  • European Society for Translation Studies
  • International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies

Research training

  • CETRA Research Summer School in Translation Studies, KU Leuven, Antwerp, Belgium, 19–30 August 2019


  • MA (Dist) in Translation Studies
  • Specialist Diploma: Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, Translator

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Translation Studies
  • Language at Leeds
  • Translation
  • Russian and Slavonic Studies