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Translation Studies, Postcolonial Studies<br/>South Asian Literatures and Cultures

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Personal profile


Dr Hephzibah Israel holds a BA (Hons) and MA in English Literature from Miranda House, University of Delhi. She has an MPhil in English Literary Studies from the University of Delhi and a PhD in South Asian Languages and Cultures from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

She taught English Literature for several years at the University of Delhi, St. Stephen’s College (1996-97) and Lady Shri Ram College (1997-2009). She was English associate lecturer at Open University in the London Region in 2010-2011 before she joined the University of Edinburgh in 2011.

As LLC's Director of Impact and Knowledge Exchange, she is keen on promoting impact activities arising from research within the school.

Research Interests

Current research interests include: literary translation, translation and religion, literary theory, translations in colonial and postcolonial contexts, postcolonial studies, Bible translation and South Asian Christianity, colonial history and mission studies, South Asian languages, literatures, cultures and translation and Tamil studies.


In 2023-24, Dr Israel will be programme director of the MSc in Translation Studies and course organiser for the following core and option courses:

  • Portfolio of Written Translation Exercises 1
  • Portfolio of Written Translation Exercises 2
  • Translating the Sacred

PhDs in progress

  • Joseph Wade (co-supervisor): History of Norwegian Translation
  • Ahmed Alghamdi: Wilcox's colloquial translations of the Bible into colloquial Arabic and Egyptian Nationalism
  • David Hayes: Liturgical Translation in the Latin Rite Catholic Church 
  • Isha Mangurkar (co-supervisor): South Asian language use in social media

She welcomes enquiries from potential research students interested in any of the following areas: translation and religion, translation and history, postcolonial translations,  literary translation, power and intervention, the translation of South Asian language literatures (in particular, Tamil and Hindi). Her research includes work on South Asian religions, especially Christianity, their use of language and translation and their links to colonial history, and national and regional identities.

Collaborative Activity

She is currently:

  • International Advisory Board member, Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai
  • Advisory Board for the journal, The Translator.
  • Chair of Editorial Board, Approaches to Translation Studies, Brill
  • Member of Steering Committee, Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Member of Steering Committee, The Institute Project on Decoloniality 2021-2024, IASH, University of Edinburgh
  • Series editor for two Routledge book series:
    • Creative, Social and Transnational Perspectives on Translation
    • Routledge Critical Studies in Religion and Translation
  • External examiner for MA in Translation and Cultures, University of Warwick

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Protestant Translations of the Bible (1714-1995) and Defining a Protestant Tamil Identity, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Award Date: 1 Jan 2004

Master of Philosophy (MPhil), University of Delhi, India

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996

Master of Arts, University of Delhi, India

Award Date: 1 Jan 1993

Bachelor of Arts, University of Delhi, India

Award Date: 1 Jan 1991


  • AI Indexes (General)

College Research Themes

  • Cultural Heritage
  • Identities and Inequalities


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