Creativity, translation and teaching Old English poetry

Olivia Robinson, Helen Brookman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article explores the benefits to undergraduate learning, and the broader critical significance of, the ‘creative translation’ of Old English literature. First-year students of English language and literature at Oxford University were encouraged to inhabit and understand poetic texts by producing creative, free modern versions that responded to the content, form, style, and sound of the source text. How far this approach helps students is analysed through their own perspectives on the process, gathered via interviews. Their writing is explored as a visible product of their learning, and as a creative-critical response to medieval texts: in particular, did the process of collaborative composition give the students a uniquely experiential insight into Old English poetic practice? Thus some broader conceptual issues in the fields Old English literary studies and translation studies are approached through teaching, learning, and creative-critical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-297
Number of pages22
JournalTranslation and Literature
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

This article is the output of a funded pedagogical research project which sought to evaluate the use and impacts of experiential creative activities in student learning on an Old English Literature course.


  • Old English
  • pedagogy
  • creativity
  • critical thinking


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