Cecilia Alvstad. Foto: Pia Nordin.

Cecilia Alvstad


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Works at The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 D
Room D 337
Postal address Institutionen för svenska och flerspråkighet 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am Professor in Translation Studies at The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies, The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Stockholm University. I have a PhD-degree in Spanish from the University of Gothenburg, 2003, with a dissertation on translation of children's literature in Argentina. I was Associate Professor at Linköping University in 2006. From 2007-2018 I was Associate Professor in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Oslo, Norway, from 2014 as Full Professor.


I teach translation bachelor's courses on translation theory and literary translation. For the interpreting bachelor's degree I teach courses on theory and academic writing. At Master's level I teach 'Translation and Society' and at PhD-level translation theory.


Research interests

  • Voice in translation. Sociological, narratological and ethical perspectives.
  • Translation of Latin American literature into Swedish.
  • Translation of children's literature.
  • Translation in and of travel writing

Major grants

Principal applicant

  • Traveling Texts: Translation and Transnational Reception. University of Oslo. Budget: NOK 5,000,000 + two more doctoral positions (2014–2018).
  • Voices of Translation: Rewriting Literary Texts in Scandinavian Contexts. Research Council of Norway. Budget: NOK 11,575,000 + one more doctoral positions financed by the University of Oslo (2012–2017). 
  • Scandinavia Translates the Americas. The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities/The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Budget: SEK 6,500,000 (2011).
  • Research intiation: Conference Text-Process-Textat Stockholm University, November 17–19, 2011. Riksbanken Tercententanary Fund SEK 190,000 
  • Fjärranfiktioner: De arabiska, afrikanska och latinamerikanska litteraturernas svenska översättningshistoria (Images and Imaginations: The History of Arabic, African and Latin American Literatures in Translation into Swedish). Swedish Research Council. Budget: SEK 2,800,000 (2007–2009). 
  • One-year scholarship for my PhD-studies from The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 1997–1998, 160,000 SEK


  • Desired Immigrants – Frustrated Adventurers? Norwegians in Latin America, 1820–1940. Principal applicant: Steinar A. Sæther. Research Council of Norway (2011–2015).
  • Främlingskap och främmandegöring : förhållningssätt till skönlitteratur i universitetsundervisningen(Estrangement and Defamiliarization: Approaches to Literature in Academic Teaching Situations). Principal applicant: Staffan Thorson. Swedish Research Council. Budget: SEK 2,430,000 (2004–2006).


Main supervisor

  1. Eva Refsdal When ‘a girl’ becomes ‘an attractive little number’: Stereotyped representations of Latin America in literary translation and reception in 1960s Norway, Thesis defended January 8, 2016, University of Oslo.
  2. Siri Fürst Skogmo. Marked language in literary translation. Mapping challenges and solutions in five English novels and their Norwegian translations.Thesis defended March 2, 2017, University of Oslo.
  3. Kristina Solum, Literary Translation as Collaboration: Textual and Contextual Approaches. Thesis defended April, 9 2018. 
  4. Ida Hove Solberg on “Feminism in Translation: The Multiple Translatorship of Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe in Norway”. Thesis defended April, 20, 2018.


  1. Rosario Garnemark Ingmar Bergman y el franquismo: Reescrituras ideológicas y posibilismo en el contexto de la Apertura(1960–1967). Thesis defended on March 8, 2013, University of Oslo.
  2. Lars Liljegren The Taming of a Viking: August Strindberg, Translation and Post-Victorian Censorship (Linköping University). Thesis defended November, 16, 2018.
  3. Idun Heir Senstad on translation of Cuban literature into Norwegian. Oslo Metropolitan University.
  4. Lars Jämterud on translator voice in Swedish subtitles. Linköping University.
  5. Anabela Valente “The Role of Translation in the Construction of the Nordic Noir Genre and Nordic Culture in Other Countries”. Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Commissions of trust

  • 2010–2013: Vice-president of the European Society for Translation Studies, an academic society with about 400 members from twenty-six countries from all over the world.
  • 2010–2014: Review editor of the Routledge journal Perspectives: Studies in Translatology
  • 2010–2019 Handbook of Translation Studies,vols 1–5, edited by Y. Gambier and L. van Doorslaer. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, advisory board member
  • Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, advisory board member.
  • Benjamins Translation Library, advisory board member
  • Linguistica Antverpiensia: Themes in Translation Studies, advisory board member.
  • Trans: Revista de TraductologíaUniversity of Málaga, advisory board member
  • Norsk oversetterleksikon, advisory board member
  • Vita Traductiva, advisory board member


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Cecilia Alvstad. The Routledge Handbook of Literary Translation, 159-180

    Adults as well both can and do read children's literature, either together with children or without them, just like children and young adults can read diverse literary materials targeting adults. The origins of children's literature are often traced back to early modern educational books for boys and girls that taught religious virtues and good manners to the upper classes. Some kinds of topics are by many adults deemed to be especially difficult for children to deal with, such as books culminating in a suicide, since such a denouement would leave the reader without any hope for a change for the better. After some initial reflections on the translation of children's literature as a performative and multimodal practice, the chapter presents a series of examples of typical interventions that take place in the translation of children's literature regarding violence, religion, racism and sexuality.

  • 2019. Cecilia Alvstad. Translation and World Literature, 144-158

    This chapter focuses on a few selected translations of Borges literary prose, showing that Borges translators have chosen different paths, and that these are not always reconcilable one with the other. In the story, a Chinese agent working for the Germans in World War I is about to kill a random British citizen named Albert. All the versions, along with scholarly studies on Borges, talks with friends and colleagues, and research visits to the Centro Cultural Borges and the Museo Borges in Buenos Aires are sure to have influenced literature present idea of Borges' literary heritage. Butler and Boldy are clearly discussing the same story and the same sentences here, but the difference between their two readings is striking. Innovative metafiction was also changed into more traditional forms in other Swedish translations of the work of Latin American writers in the 1960s.

Show all publications by Cecilia Alvstad at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 7, 2019

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