Dr Lilit M. Žekulin

Dr Lilit M. Žekulin Thwaites

Honorary Research Associate

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Languages and Linguistics

Hum 3 206, Melbourne (Bundoora)


MA (Toronto), PhD (Toronto).



Membership of professional associations

Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia [AILASA]; The Australian Association for Literary Translation [AALiTra]; Member, Editorial Advisory Board, JILAR [Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research]; member, Executive Committee, Cultural Cooperation Program (Spain-Australia); member, Executive Committee, AALiTra.

Area of study

Spanish Studies

Brief profile

Dr Lilit Thwaites started learning Spanish at McGill University in Canada, and completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, with a specialisation in contemporary Spanish literature, and the work of women writers in particular. Brief stints as a high school teacher in Rhode Island (Spanish & French) and several years as a tutor in the Spanish Departments at the Universities of Toronto & Calgary added invaluable teaching and research experience to her CV. A move to Australia followed (1981), and the start of almost thirty years as an academic at La Trobe, commencing as a tutor and eventually serving as Head of the Spanish Program and Deputy Dean of the Faculty. After a brief period of retirement, Dr  Thwaites returned to La Trobe for eighteen months as Acting Director of the Academic Language and Learning Unit, overseeing the implementation of the Unit’s restructure.  Re-retirement has meant a return to her status as an Honorary Research Associate in Spanish at La Trobe, allowing her to focus primarily on literary translation (Spanish>English) and ongoing research projects, and on the organisation of, and involvement in, events and activities that promote all things Spanish (especially visits and lectures by writers from Spanish-speaking countries).

Research interests

Language and Culture in Society

- Contemporary Spanish society and cultures

Literary Studies

- Contemporary Spanish literature, with a focus on women writers

- Latin American & Hispano-Australian writers

- Literary translation (from Spanish to English)


contemporary Spain (cultures & societies); literary translation (Spanish>English); visits by Spanish writers

Recent publications

Book chapters

  • Thwaites, L. (2015). "'Sad, Lonely and Afraid'; 'Losing My Mind'; 'Growing Old Gracefully, Full of Accumulated Wisdom'...: Perceptions and Images of Older Women in Contemporary Spanish Literature". In Anne L. Walsh (ed). Telling Tales: Storytelling in Contemporary Spain. Newcastle uponTyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Ch 10, pp. 166-179
  • Thwaites, L. (2005). "Writing from the periphery: Basque writer Luisa Etxenike and her novel Efectos secundarios (1996)". In A. Horno-Delgado & J. Gold (eds), Mujeres y Cambio desde la Letra. Santo Domingo: Secretaria de Estado de La Mujer, pp. 391-401.
  • Thwaites, L. (2004). "Limpiaculos, cucarachas and marujas: Pilar Pombo’s Monólogos and the Older Spanish Woman". In S. King, & J. Browitt (eds), The Space of Culture. Critical Readings in Hispanic Studies. Newark: Univ. of Delaware Press, pp. 29-38.
  • Thwaites, L. (2001). "The Search for Identity, the Search for Place in Olga Lorenzo’s The Rooms in My Mother’s House". In S. Ballyn et al (eds), Changing Geographies: Essays on Australia. Barcelona: Promocions i Publicacions, pp. 211-220.

Book reviews and notes

  • Thwaites, L. Z. Review for JILAR (issue no 2, 2013), A Companion to Spanish Women's Studies, edited by Xon de Ros and Geraldine Hazbun, Tamesis, Woodbridge, 2011, xvi + 450 pp., ISBN 978-1-85566-224-7, pp. 314-316.

Literary translations (Spanish to English)

Published books

Published short stories and poetry

  • Translated by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites & Carlos Uxó. (2016), Poetry & biography of Iriaka Stevens in Twelve Heavens, Ng? Rangi Tekau-M?-Rua, Doce cielos. A Trilingual Anthology of Māori Poetry, ed. Mirtha Álvarez. Auckland, New Zealand: Letras Latinas Publishing House, pp. 71-90.
  • Translated by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. (2014). "The Dynamic Flutter of Dragonfly Wings" (Alberto Zelaya) and "Journey to Vienna" (Tatiana Goded Millan). In Letras Latinas 1st Short Story Competition, ed. Mirtha Álvarez. Auckland, New Zealand: Letras Latinas Publishing House, pp. 19-28 and 41-52.
  • Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. (2014). “The Child Who Had No Wings” (P. Díaz-Mas). English translation with brief commentary. In Lunch Ticket. Issue 6 (Translation section) at  http://lunchticket.org/winterspring-2015/

  • Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. (May 2011). “The Song of Youth” (M. Roig). English translation with brief author introduction. In Litro Magazine, Issue 106: “Catalonia and Passion”. See also  http://www.litro.co.uk/?s=Lilit+Thwaites&x=36&y=10

  • Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. (March 2010). “This Is Not a Short Story” (C. Riera) and “It Wasn’t the Wisteria” (Neus Aguado). English translations with commentary. In The AALITRA Review. A Journal of Literary Translation. No 1: 5-15.  See also  http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/ALLITRA/issue/view/147

Published Non-Fiction

  • Translated by Lilit Žekulin Thwaites. (2015). “Scatological Tales, Sordid Images” (Fernando Castro Flórez) and “TrashLation, a Self-Portrait of World Consumption” (Basurama). In TrashLation, ed. Basurama (Juana Arana, Mónica Gutiérrez, Alberto Nanclares). Hard Cover Catalogue for Exhibition, printed in Oman, Sept 2015, 10-12; 13-17.


  • Translated by Lilit Thwaites. (2007). Mrs Grose’s English Classes. English translation of El verano del inglés (Carme Riera). Commissioned by the author; submitted to Agencia Balcells in 2007 [9,397 words].
  • Translated by Lilit Thwaites. (2007). "The Los Vilos Garden". Los jardines de Juan Grimm. (J. Grimm). Chapter  commissioned in 2007 by Warwick Forge.
  • Translated by Lilit Thwaites. (2007). "Australian Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War". English transaltion of “Voluntarios australianos en la guerra civil española 1936-39.”Commissioned in 2007 by Australian historian R. Trembath.

Selected conference papers, lectures and seminars

  • Thwaites, L. (2013). “I confess… - a brief examination of what might be considered an ongoing trend in Catalan women’s writing: [regular and ‘hybrid’] autobiography and/or memoir.”
  • Thwaites, L. (2012). “Prehistory, DNA, Telomeres, Aliens, Replicants, Murder – and Love Stories to Boot: Translating Spanish literature in the 21st Century. It’s challenging, it’s fun, and it should also qualify as academic research”. Spain & Latin America Research Day, Melbourne.
  • Thwaites, L. (2012). “The Replicant, the Memorist and the Lizard: Translating Rosa Montero’s Futuristic Thriller Lágrimas en la lluvia”. Seminar, La Trobe University, Melbourne.
  • Thwaites, L. (2011). “Ana María Matute – the Writer Who Never Grew Up”. Lecture at the Instituto Cervantes, Sydney.
  • Thwaites, L. (2009). “Dalí and Lorca: Passions Shared’. Illustrated talk given as part of “DalíBites”. (Dalí Exhibition), National Gallery of Victoria [NGV], Melbourne.
  • Thwaites, L. (2008). “Frida Kahlo and La Malinche: Two Key Women of Mexico”. Lecture at CWA Study Weekend on Mexico, UNE, Armidale.
  • Thwaites, L. (2008). “'The Sleep of Reason': Human Folly, Francisco de Goya and Antonio Buero Vallejo”. Illustrated talk given as part of “Goya’s Vision of War” Seminar (Goya Exhibition), NGV, Melbourne.
  • Thwaites, L. (2007). ‘Crossing Boundaries, Establishing Links: Aspects of the Work of the (Catalan-Chilean) Artist Roser Bru.' AILCFH International Conference, Sevilla.

Selected sessions at writers festivals, film festivals, conversations with authors etc.


Download Resume

Research projects

  • English translation of short stories by contemporary Spanish women writers (linked to)
  • An anthology of Spanish short stories (in translation) by contemporary Spanish writers
  •  Notions of (inner) exile and dislocation (including aspects of memory and silence linked to the Spanish Civil War and the post-War era)
  • The portrayal of older women in contemporary Spanish literature and film (linked to)
  • English translation of Josefina Aldecoa's La fuerza del destino
  • Women writers of the periphery (Basque, Catalan and Galician writers in particular) - English translation of Luisa Etxenike's El ángulo ciego.