I gained my BA in Hispanic Studies and Russian with East European Studies from the University of Nottingham, before specialising in Slovene language when I was awarded AHRC funding for a Postgraduate Diploma in Slovene. I hold an MA and a PhD in Translation Studies also from the University of Nottingham.
I currently hold an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, where I am developing my doctoral research project into 'supply-driven' translation, less translated languages and power and agency in literary translation.
From October 2020 to January 2021 I was Translator in Residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation, at the University of East Anglia. I translate contemporary Slovene fiction, and my recent translation publications include The Fig Tree by Goran Vojnović (Istros Books, 2020; reviews in the TLS, Irish Times and Arts Desk) and the children's book Felix After The Rain by Dunja Jogan (Tiny Owl, 2020), which was chosen by the Centre for Literary in Primary Education (CLPE) as one of their best books of 2020.
I'm interested in the mechanics of literary translation systems: the institutions, agents and discourses that shape the production of literary translations, and how these factors determine the body of literature available to readers in English. I'm especially interested in how literatures that are 'less often the source of translation in the international exchange of linguistic goods' (Branchadell 2005) are translated into English, as well as the initiatives that seek to counteract existing power structures in the anglophone publishing industry.
My particular area of expertise lies in Slovene literature, the translation of contemporary Slovene fiction into English after 1991, and the role of language and literature in narratives of Slovene nation-building, as well as a wealth of expertise in professional literary translation, and leading translation workshops.
I have taught on the fourth year core Spanish 3 module, assisting students in the development of their language skills in this year-long Spanish-English translation module.
I have supervised projects on the MA Translation Studies degree, including a dissertation on the translation of sociolects from Slovene-English.
In July 2019, I taught at the British Centre for Literary Translation's Summer School of Translation and Creative Writing, offering a week-long Slovene-English translation workshop to translators of all ages. The workshop was funded by the AHRC Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) research project, led by Dr. Cecilia Rossi at the University of East Anglia.
In November 2017 I designed and led a public Translation and Screen Printing workshop as part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanties, in collaboration with artist Karoline Rerrie. Participants were presented with a series of excerpts from literature from around the world, translated in English, and were asked to design a print inspired by the text. Translation wields great power in disseminating ideas, and this creative workshop was a great starting point for encouraging people to think positively about literary translation and the role it can play in diversifying the range of ideas and experiences brought to an anglophone audience.
I am currently preparing my PhD for publication as a monograph, and organising a digital symposium entitled 'Supplying Translation', to be hosted at the University of Nottingham in April 2021. The… read more
OLIVIA HELLEWELL, 2020. 'Creative Autonomy and Institutional Support in Contemporary Slovene Literature'. In: RAJENDRA CHITNIS, JAKOB-STOUGAARD-NIELSEN, RHIAN ATKIN and ZORAN MILUTINOVIĆ, eds., Translating the Literatures of Small European Nations Liverpool University Press. 109-125
KATHRYN BATCHELOR, LALBILA ARISTIDE YODA, FÉRIDJOU EMILIE GEORGETTE SANON OUATTARA and OLIVIA HELLEWELL, 2019. 'Multilingualism and strategic planning for HIV/AIDS-related health care and communication' Wellcome Open Research. 4(200),
OLIVIA HELLEWELL, 2013. 'Translating Dane Zajc's 'Krokar'' Slovene Studies. 35(1-2), 61-77
Goran Vojnović, The Fig Tree (London: Istros Books, 2020)
Dunja Jogan, Felix After the Rain (London: Tiny Owl, 2020)
Jela Krečič, None Like Her (London: Peter Owen, 2016)
I am currently preparing my PhD for publication as a monograph, and organising a digital symposium entitled 'Supplying Translation', to be hosted at the University of Nottingham in April 2021. The conference seeks to bring together scholars and translators of less translated languages to share case studies of source-oriented approaches, and to find commonalities and differences between supply-driven translation activity in a range of cultural contexts.
My PhD research explored Slovene literary translation in Slovenia's post-socialist period, analysing the power relations, institutional structures and discursive mechanisms that drive the supply of literary translation from a 'small' nation like Slovenia. I developed a model of 'supply-driven' translation, a term first introduced by Ondřej Vimr at the Translating the Literatures of Small European Nations conference at the University of Bristol, 2015, arguing that there are three principle channels of 'supply' for literary translations from Slovene into English: academic, institutional and personal.