Elizaveta Vasserman

Elizaveta Vasserman


My research focus is on 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 translation of authorial subtitles 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 project is supervised by Dr Bogdan Babych and Professor Jeremy Munday, and funded by Leeds International Doctoral Scholarship.

Recent conference presentations

  • '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, 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, 17 January 2018
  • 'Becoming a professional translator: presentation and Q&A session', Perm State Pedagogical University, Russia, 16 December 2016
  • 'Sherlock Holmes texting in Russian: contemporary audiovisual translation practices', Postgraduate Conference 'Translation and Multilingualism', Lancaster University, 22 April 2016


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

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Translation Studies