Centre for Studies in Literature

Public engagement


  • Sunday, January 27th. Exhibition of Creative Responses to Holocaust Education produced by FHSS English Literature Students and pupils of Mayville Highschool Southsea. D-Day Story Southsea, all day.
  • Monday, March 4th, 4-6 pm, Milldam LE 0.06: Prof Merle Bachman, Spalding University, 'Nameless Country: The Scottish-Jewish Poet A.C. Jacobs'. Bachman will introduce the poet's life and work and read some of his poetry.
  • Wednesday, March 6th, 2-7pm, White Swan Building, Theatre 1: Talk by Holocaust Survivor Ruth Barnett, including readings by Drama students.


  • 19-25 November: Christopher Pittard directed Disappearing Acts as part of the nationwide Being Human festival, leading a team of collaborators across CSL, Architecture, and Creative Writing, including Rosie Paice, Alison Habens, Karen Fielder, Debbie Parker-Kinch, and Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott. Two events, The Lost of Portsmouth and Sussex and Missing Children Found took place on 19 November at Wymering Manor; a third, Dickensian Disappearances, took place on 25 November at the Dickens Birthplace Museum. The events at Wymering Manor were showcased on Radio 3's Free Thinkinghttp://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09dynj0
  • 17 November 2017: Christopher Pittard gave a public lecture, Charles Dickens' Stafford, for Stafford Carnegie Old Library Trust. The event raised £450 towards the campaign to restore Stafford's old library, identified by the Victorian Society in 2016 as one of the ten most at risk-buildings in the UK. Media coverage: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/news/local-news/carnegie-campaigners-host-talk-charles-732322 
  • 25 March 2017: Páraic Finnerty provided a post-screening Q&A session to the new Emily Dickinson film, A Quiet Passion, at The Electric Palace in Bridport. Read more: https://www.electricpalace.org.uk/events/event/a-quiet-passion-plus-qa/.


  • 11 November 2016: Christine Berberich will host a public evening talk on 'HG Wells, Popular Author' at Uppark House, Sussex.
  • 26 September 2016: Christine Berberich will host a public Book Group Discussion Round on HG Wells' The Time Machine at Uppark House, Sussex.
  • 16th June 2016: Christine Berberich hosted an evening of "Pictures, Voices, Memory" featuring singer-songwriter Paul Armfield; artist Josie Beszant; Drut'syla Shonaleigh; and singer and poet Jules Wolfreys. This public event was held at the Square Tower, Old Portsmouth.
  • 4 June 2016: Charlotte Boyce gave a study day titled 'Consuming Nonsense: Food and Table Manners in the Writings of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear' at Dimbola Museum and Galleries.
  • 19 May 2016: Julian Wolfreys gave a reading with a solo musical performance on 19th May for the publication of his collection The Grand European Bestiary / Wielki bestiariusz europejski at the between.pomiedzy Festival in a bilingual edition (English and Polish) by Wydawnictwomaski Maski. He also performed with The Nightwatchmen to close the Festival on Saturday 21st May. 
  • 1 May 2016: Julian Wolfreys launched Draping the Sky for a Snowfall, his collection of poetry and essays published by Triarchy Press, with readings at Dimbola Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight.
  • May 2016: Paraic Finnerty gave a public lecture entitled 'Emily Dickinson's Shakespeare' at Amherst College as part of a month of events to celebrate Amherst being the only location in Massachusetts to host Shakespeare’s First Folio, currently on a national touring exhibition to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death: https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/node/523
  • 23 April 2016: Bronwen Price delivered the public lecture "How now, how now?": Temporality, Autonomy and Community in Shakespeare's Richard III' for 'Shakespeare 400: New Perspectives' at the Chichester Festival Theatre with the University of Chichester
  • April 2016: The Much Ado About Portsmouth festival (co-organized by Rosie Paice) marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, from 18th to 23rd April 2016 with a festival of interdisciplinary projects involving University of Portsmouth researchers and students in collaboration with local community groups and organizations. For more information, visit http://maap.port.ac.uk


  • November 2015: As part of the Being Human festival and in collaboration with Alison Habens (CCI), Dr Charlotte Boyce, Dr Páraic Finnerty, and Dr Christopher Pittard took part in an event on 21 November 2015 to renew popular interest in the Victorian novel By Celia’s Arbour (1878) written by Portsmouth-born Walter Besant.
  • November 2015: Students from South Downs College, Brockenhurst College and Portsmouth College attended a ‘Schools and Colleges Literature Day’ at the University. Presentations were given by Dr Christine Berberich, Dr Ben Dew, Dr Jessica Dyson, Dr Páraic Finnerty, Dr Rosie Paice, Dr Christopher Pittard, Dr Bronwen Price, Dr Patricia Pulham and Dr Elodie Rousselot.
  • October 2015: Dr Patricia Pulham gave a talk entitled 'Spiritualism in Literature' at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. 
  • July 2015: Dr Mark Frost took part in the St George's Museum plaque and Henry Swan memorial launch as part of a day of Heritage Lottery funded Ruskin-in-Sheffield project activities. As a result of his researches, Mark instigated the restoration of the grave site of the first curator of John Ruskin's St George's Museum, and wrote the inscription for a new commemorative plaque there.
  • March-June 2015: CSL, with Hampshire Library Services, is staging Alice 150, a series of lectures celebrating 150 years of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The first of these is a free public lecture by Gaynor Arnold, author of  After Such Kindness (2012), discussing her recreation of the relationship between Lewis Carroll and his child muse, Alice Liddell, with Dr Patricia Pulham.
  • May 2015: Dr Rosamund Paice gave a talk entitled 'Battle of Waterloo Anniversary Lecture' at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. 
  • May 2015: Dr Mark Frost was invited to give two talks as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Ruskin-in-Sheffield Project. The first, 'Ruskin, Totley, and St George's Farm' took place at Totley Library, Derbyshire. The second, at Walkley Community Centre, Sheffield, was entitled 'Curator and Curatress: the Swans, Sheffield, and St George's Museum'. Both talks were filmed.
  • April 2015: Dr Páraic Finnerty gave a talk entitled ' "Dreamed of your Meeting Tennyson in Ticknor and Fields": Emily Dickinson and Britain’s Poet Laureate' at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. 
  • March 2015: Dr Mark Frost gave a talk entitled 'Utopian Dreams and the Nature of Work: Ruskin, Morris, and the Guild of St George' for the William Morris Society, Kelmscott House, London.
  • March 2015: Dr Christine Berberich gave a talk entitled '70 Years after the Liberation of Auschwitz: Current Developments in Holocaust Writing' at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight.
  • March 2015: CSL hosted Dr Noelle Dückmann Gallagher (University of Manchester) for a talk entitled ‘Venereal Disease in the Eighteenth Century: at least it’s not serious.’ This was followed by a book launch for Historical Writing in Britain, 1688-1830, edited by Professor Fiona Price (University of Chichester) and Dr Ben Dew (University of Portsmouth) - the first publication from the South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantics Research Group (SCERRG).
  • February 2015: Dr Bronwen Price gave a talk entitled 'Worlds within Worlds: Community, Companionship and Autonomy in Margaret Cavendish’s The Blazing World' at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. 
  • February 2015: As part of LGBT History Month, Dr Páraic Finnerty chaired and coordinated a Panel Discussion and Film Screening on LGBT History and introduced a Portsmouth Film Society screening of Strangers by the Lake as part of its first LGBT Film Festival. 
  • January 2015: Dr Rod Rosenquist gave a public talk on his research at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight; the title of Rod's talk was 'The Rise of Debunking: Modern Art, Advertising, and Scepticism'.


  • November: As part of the Ventnor Botanic Garden Lecture Series, Memory's Silence: Self and Place, Professor Julian Wolfreys gave readings from his novel, Silent Music, and book of poetry, Mapping Memory
  • 15th November: Dr Ben Davies organised and hosted a public reading by poet and author John Burnside, as part of the first symposium on his work. 
  • 6th November: Dr Elodie Rousselot introduced a screening of the 2005 French film A Very Long Engagement in collaboration with Portsmouth Film Society and as part of Portsmouth Book Fest 2014.
  • 11th October: Christopher Pittard gave a public lecture called 'Did Dickens Rewrite History?' for Havant Literary Festival.
  • 30th October 2014: Dr Christine Berberich introduced a screening of the 1930 classic film All Quiet on the Western Front in collaboration with Portsmouth Film Society and as part of Portsmouth Book Fest 2014.
  • 25th October 2014: Dr Christine Berberich gave a talk on James Riordan's novel When the Guns Fall Silent in Portsmouth Central Library as part of the launch of Riordan's book as 'Portsmouth Big City Read' book 2014.
  • September 2014: Paraic Finnerty and Charlotte Boyce gave public talks on their research as part of a study day at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. The title of Paraic's talk was 'Picturing Tennyson: Edward Lear and G. F. Watts' and the title of Charlotte's was 'The Posthumous Fame of Julia Margaret Cameron'. 
  • September 2014: Epoch Times interviewed Christine Berberich as one of their experts on British identity ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.
  • 11 July 2014: An evening with storytellers Simon Heywood and Shonaleigh, 'Out of the Silence: Stories of the Conscientious Objectors of WWI'
  • April-May 2014: Shakespeare Anniversary Festival 2014, featuring contributions from Paraic Finnerty, Rosie Paice and Bronwen Price.
  • February 2014: Metro and Portsmouth News picked up on Christopher Pittard's support for an Arthur Conan Doyle attraction in Portsmouth.
  • 30 January 2014: Patricia Pulham organised and hosted 'Ghostwatching: Spiritualism 1840–1945', a wine reception with evening round-table discussion with experts  Rosario Arias (University of Málaga), Dr Christine Ferguson (University of Glasgow) and Dr Tatiana Kontou (Oxford Brookes University), and A Kind Of Conjuration, a play about the medium Helen Duncan.


  • November 2013: Paraic Finnerty introduced and chaired a public poetry reading by Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. Read more in the Portsmouth News
  • November 2013: Mark Frost delivered this year’s Guild of St. George lecture entitled 'Curator and Curatress: the Swans and St. George's Museum' at the Millenium Galleries, Sheffield.  A long version of the talk was published in booklet form by the Guild at the time of the lecture.
  • November 2013: Patricia Pulham gave a public talk on 'Sculpture and Painting in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray' at the Russell-Cotes Museum, Bournemouth.
  • November 2013: Christopher Pittard delivered a public lecture on ‘The Question of the Animal in Victorian Detective Fiction’ at Liverpool Hope University.
  • November 2013: Julian Wolfreys read from and signed copies of his novel Silent Music in late October at Dimbola Lodge, along with a performance of songs from the novel.
  • October 2013: Paraic Finnerty & Charlotte Boyce gave a public talk on ‘Tennyson and Victorian Celebrity Culture' at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble.
  • October 2013: Rosie Paice gave a talk/workshop entitled ‘“Thou art more lovely”: A step by step guide to wooing the object of your deepest desire with sonnets’ at the Havant Literary Festival.
  • September 2013: Christine Berberich gave a public lecture on ‘Englishness in Contemporary Literature: Three Generalisations and a Case Study’ at the University of Warwick. 
  • July 2013: Christine Berberich introduced an ‘Evening of Holocaust Drama’ featuring the drama group ‘Voices of the Holocaust’ and the American Holocaust Drama Specialist Prof Robert Skloot at Portsmouth Grammar School (July 10th) and hosted ‘An Evening with Storyteller Shonaleigh Cumbers’ at the University of Portsmouth (July 11th).
  • June 2013: Paraic Finnerty & Charlotte Boyce gave a public talk on ‘Tennyson’s Celebrity Circle’ at Dimbola Lodge Museum and Galleries, Isle of Wight. 
  • May 2013: Christopher Pittard held a discussion on Victorian crime fiction with author and journalist Judith Flanders for the event 'The Invention of Murder,' organised by CSL and held at the University of Portsmouth.
  • February 2013: Mark Frost delivered a public lecture on ‘Valuing the Environment’, at the ‘Who Pays for the Environment?’ public symposium organised by the Guild of St George, The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT
  • January 2013: Christine Berberich delivered the Portsmouth Annual Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture at the D-Day Museum.
  • January 2013: Christine Berberich was interviewed on BBC Radio Solent about Holocaust Memorial Day.
  • January 2013: Christopher Pittard chaired the interview and discussion forming part of the book launch for Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes (part of Portsmouth Thought festival).
  • January 2013: Christine Berberich was interviewed on Express FM Radio on contemporary novelist Michèle Roberts and introduced the author at the ‘An Evening with Michèle Roberts’ event organised by CSL and held at the University of Portsmouth that evening.

2012 and earlier

  • November 2012: Christopher Pittard introduced a screening of Scrooge at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.
  • 2012: Christopher Pittard acted as on-screen contributor to an Open University film on Romantics and Victorians
  • July 2012: Patricia Pulham introduced and chaired a public talk on ‘Afterlives: Mrs Dickens in Fact and Fiction’ by Prof Lillian Nayder (Bates University, USA) and Orange-Prize winning author Gaynor Arnold as part of CSL’s 2012 Dickens Bicentenary Events. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97Tij1Hzwzg
  • July 2012: Patricia Pulham was interviewed by BBC Radio Solent about Dickens 2012.
  • July 2012: Elodie Rousselot featured in a CBC News special on Canada Day (1 July 2012): seehttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/06/29/f-canada-image.html
  • June 2012: Charlotte Boyce gave a public talk on ‘Fasting and the Famished Body’ at the Watershed, Bristol. See http://damagingthebody.org/downloads/2012-panel-discussion-films/fasting-and-the-famished-body/
  • June 2012: Christopher Pittard gave an introductory lecture to Dickens on Film at the King's Theatre, Southsea, as part of Portsmouth Festivities.
  • April 2012: Christine Berberich introduced a public reading by novelist Patricia Duncker on the occasion of the CSL Book Launch at the ASPEX Gallery, Portsmouth.
  • Spring 2012: Charlotte BoyceChristopher Pittard and Patricia Pulham gave public ‘Literary Café’ talks on Dickens.
  • Spring 2012: Christopher Pittard and Patricia Pulham introduced public screenings of Dickens adaptations in collaboration with the Portsmouth Film Society.
  • February 2012: Christopher Pittard was interviewed by Sky News, Press Association, BBC Radio Solent and Express FM respectively about Dickens 2012.
  • July 2011: Mark Frost delivered a public lecture on ‘Ruskin and Bewdley: some thoughts on Ruskin, nature, and the Guild of St. George’ at the Guild of St George’s Summer Open Day, Bewdley, Worcestershire.
  • February 2011: Christopher Pittard participated in the discussion panel Decoding Sherlock, discussing Arthur Conan Doyle's fiction and modern policy in law and policing. This event was hosted by the University of Portsmouth in collaboration with Portsmouth City Council.
  • October 2010: Patricia Pulham introduced and chaired the public CSL Inaugural Lecture ‘Decadent Fantasia: Modern Images of Closed Space and Open Sex’, given by Professor Camille Paglia (University of the Arts, Philadelphia).