Siobhán McElduff

Research Interests

  • The history of ancient and modern translation
  • History of classical reception, especially among the non-elite of the 18th-19th centuries
  • The theory of translation
  • The history of the book
  • Popular literature and ephemera of the 17th-19th centuries
  • Digital humanities
  • Classics and the labouring classes in Ireland, England and Scotland 


I am currently working on a monograph on the working classes and cheap classics in 18th and 19th century Ireland, England and Scotland. I am also co-editing an edited volume on translation and the global literary classic for Routedge. Other projects involve work on translation theory and orality, 18th and 19th century ballads, among other things. Future work will look at gesture and translation.

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I did my BA at Trinity College, Dublin in the Department of Classics; my MA at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. After that I worked in Silicon Valley for a range of organizations both public and private for several years. I went back to do my PhD with Tom Habinek and Antony Boyle at the University of Southern California. After a few years working in California I came to the University of British Columbia.

Graduate Supervision

I have supervised theses on Pliny the Elder, Cicero and Seneca, among other things.



Roman Theories of Translation: Surpassing the Source. Routledge, 2013

Cicero: In Defense of the Republic. Penguin Classics, 2011
(Introduction repr. 2012 in T. Habinek, Cicero: On Living and Dying Well)

Edited Books

(w. Enrica Sciarino) Complicating the History of Western Translation: the Ancient Mediterranean in Perspective. St. Jerome Press, 2011

Selected Papers

“Not as Virgil Has It: Rewriting the Aeneid in 18th Century Ireland.” in International Journal of the Classical Tradition 18: 1-20. 2011

w. Enrica Scarinno. “Introduction” Complicating the History of Western Translation: The Ancient Mediterranean in Perspective. St. Jerome Press: 1-15. 2011

“Living at the Level of the Word: Cicero and the Interpreter in Ancient Rome.” Translation Studies 2:133-146. 2009

“Fractured Understandings: Towards a History of Classical Reception among Non-elite Groups.” in Classics and the Uses of Reception. C. Martindale and R. Thomas, editors. Blackwell: 181-191. 2006

“More than Menander’s Acolyte: Terence on Translation.” in Ramus 33: 120-9. 2004

(w. J.G. Fitch). “Construction of the Self in Senecan Drama.” Mnemosyne 55.1: 18-40. 2002 (Repr. 2008 for Oxford Readings in Seneca, Oxford University Press)