Dr Christine Berberich
Reader in Literature
I am Global Engagement Lead for the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, initiating and developing school-wide partnerships and collaborations and working towards implementing the University's Global Engagement Strategy.
I also lead the three-year Faculty Strategic Project on 'Britain in Europe / Europe in Britain'. As part of the project, I have co-hosted the 2017 international and cross-disciplinary conference on the same theme, co-organised two panels on 'Britain in Europe' at the ESSE Conference 2018 in Brno, Czech Republic and contributed to the 2018 'Being Human' Festival of the Humanities. For 2019, the Strategic Project Team is planning further academic and public events.
I am module leader for the third-year option Holocaust Literatures which sees me develop new approaches to Holocaust Teaching. I encourage my students to engage creatively with what they are learning, and also take this approach into the community, with regular workshops in a local school. This collaboration is now leading to an exhibition in collaboration with the D-Day Story in Portsmouth.
I have been working as Senior Lecturer in 20th Century Literature at Portsmouth since August 2009. Over the past nine years I have held a number of additional admin roles, most recently that of Global Engagement Lead for the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature (since January 2018).
Before I came to Portsmouth, I had held a seven-year Lectureship in 19th and 20th Century Literature at the University of Derby. This partly overlapped my PhD research on the Image of the English Gentleman in 20th Century Literature which I conducted at the University of York; my PhD was awarded in 2004. Before that, I had completed an MA in English Literature, Spanish and Latinamerican Language and Literature, and Modern History at the University of the Saarland in Germany (awarded 1998).
I have two distinct research specialisms. For the past decade I have been working on literary and cultural representations of English national identity. Apart from my book on The Image of the English Gentleman in Twentieth-Century Literature (Ashgate 2007), I have published widely on Englishness in contemporary literature, as well as co-edited a book on These Englands: a Conversation on National ldentity (MUP, 2011). This has led to work on the relation between 'Englishness' and 'landscape', here in particular the 'affective' nature of landscape in the formation of a specific national identity. l have recently co-edited the books Land & Identity. Theory, Memory & Practice (Rodopi, 2012) and Affective Landscapes in Literature, Art and Everyday Life (2015), and have published an important chapter on 'Affect Theory' (2015). My interest in national identity has recently led to me start investigating the new genre of BrexLit. I have recently given a conference paper on the theme, have just written a journal article (planned ublication date 2019) and have been invited to be the keynote speaker at a 'Brexit and Beyond' conference in Basel, Switzerland, in May 2019.
More recently, I have moved into Holocaust Studies. My interest here is in particular in contemporary fictional representations of the Holocaust and their ensuing problematics. I am particularly interested in contemporary German writing on the Holocaust, and here especially the new critical engagement with perpetrator accounts. ln July 2013, I hosted a major international conference on 'Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture' here at the Centre for Studies in Literature; the resulting publication, a special issue for the Journal of Holocaust Studies has had its early online publication in May 2018 and will be published in hard-copy in 2019. I am currently editing a special issue on 'The Holocaust in Contemporary Popular Culture' for the journal Genealogy. My new monograph project focuses on fictional representations of perpetrators.
I lead the first-year core unit 'Popular Culture' which I co-teach with my colleague Dr Mark Frost. The teaching in my half of the module focuses on theories of the Popular, 'popular' versus 'canonical' literature, Science Fiction (here, in particular, HG Wells who has a connection to Portsmouth) and spy writing (I teach Ian Fleming's James Bond novels on this - mainly because I'm a huge James Bond fan!). I also contribute to the second-year unit 'Literary Prizes' where I focus on teaching about the Man Booker Prize. In addition, I lead the third-year optional module 'Holocaust Literatures'.
I am happy to take calls and emails from media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner.
Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.