Theo Hermans

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Theo Hermans
Assent, Belgium
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Ghent, University of Warwick
Academic work
DisciplineTranslation studies
InstitutionsUniversity College London, University of Manchester, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and University of Algiers
Notable worksThe Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation (1985)

Theo Hermans (born 1948) is a Belgian scholar best known for his work in Translation Studies.[1] He is currently Professor of Dutch and Comparative Literature at University College London. He is a corresponding member of the Flemish Academy and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies. Since October 2006 he holds the honorary post of Adjunct Professor at the Department of Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.[2] Hermans is also editor of the journal Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies.


Theo Hermans was born in 1949 in Assent, Belgium. He studied English, German and Dutch at the University of Ghent, (Belgium) and then moved to the United Kingdom for a MA in Literary Translation. As German was not offered at the time, he started his PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick. In 1973, he departed for Algeria and taught English at the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Algiers. Two years later he returned, completed his PhD, and started to work at Bedford College. In 1993, he started working at University College London.[3]

Research and influence[edit]

His first works concerned the history of translation in the Low Countries. However, his most influential work was The Manipulation of Literature, where he criticized the second-rate value assigned to translations in the hierarchy of literary texts and defended the progress of Translation Studies as a discipline in its own right. It was the first collection of scientific approaches to translation. In recent years, he has focused on the translator's presence in translated texts.



  • Door eenen engen hals: Nederlandse beschouwingen over vertalen 1550-1670, 1996.
  • Translation in Systems, 1999.
  • The Conference of the Tongues, 2007.


  • The Manipulation of Literature, 1985.
  • The Flemish Movement: A Documentary History 1780-1990, 1992.
  • Vertalen historisch bezien, 1995.
  • The Babel Guide to Dutch and Flemish Fiction, 2001.
  • Crosscultural Transgressions, 2002.
  • Translating Others (2 vols), 2006.


  1. ^ Douglas Robinson, What is translation?: centrifugal theories, critical interventions. Kent OH: Kent State University Press, 1997 (ch. 5).
  2. ^ [1] University College of London Staff
  3. ^ [2] Interview with Theo Hermans

External links[edit]