Centre for Studies in Literature

Time, Space, Environment

Research being undertaken by the Time, Space, Environment cluster covers a wide range of spatiotemporal areas across literature and culture from the eighteenth century to the present day. Particular strengths include work on ideas of history - specifically economic and political history - in the eighteenth century; the temporalities, spatialities and environmental focus of Victorian pastoral; John Ruskin, environment and culture; transatlantic literary relations, specifically those between British and American poets and poetry in the nineteenth century; the role of time and temporality in neo-Victorian fiction; the ways in which spatial theory can be used to mediate the relationship between individual and collective identity in modernist literature; the use of affective landscapes in the construction of specifically English national identities; philosophical and narratological investigations of time/temporality and the contemporary novel; the relationship between time, space and sex in contemporary fiction and theory.

As well as attending academic events nationally and internationally, members of this cluster are actively involved in organising conferences, symposia and workshops here at Portsmouth University. In recent years, the cluster has hosted symposia and workshops on, for instance, Modernity and the European Mind, and Time and Temporality. Recent conferences include: Celebrity Encounters; Cultures of Commemoration; Trauma & Memory: the Holocaust in Contemporary Culture; and Fictions of History, 1700-1830. Members belong to a number of related national and international associations and research networks, including The British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS), The Materiality of the Trace in Contemporary Literature, South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantics Research Group, the Emily Dickinson International Society, VCologies, and Orientation: Towards a Dynamic Understanding of Contemporary Fiction and Culture (funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness). Members are also involved in editorial roles on journals, including Eighth Lamp: the Journal of Ruskin Studies, as well as book series such as Spatial Practices and Place, Memory, Affect.

Postgraduate research within the cluster is also vibrant. Current MRes student research projects include work on Englishness and landscape, and ‘self-actualisation’ in contemporary women’s writing. Current PhD research includes work on perceptions of reality in contemporary literature and women’s travel writing.

MembersDr Christine BerberichDr Ben Davies (cluster leader), Dr Ben DewDr Páraic FinnertyDr Mark FrostDr Bethany SimmondsDr Diane WarrenProfessor Julian Wolfreys.

Doctoral students: Toufik Bouaissa, David Dickson