Dr Anna Bernard
Senior Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature
Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2714
Address Department of English and Comparative Literature
King's College London
Room 6.10, Virginia Woolf Building
London WC2B 6LE
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Dr Anna Bernard's research sits at the intersection of postcolonial studies and Middle Eastern literary and cultural studies. She is particularly interested in the literature and culture of Israel/Palestine, the international circulation of Arabic and Hebrew literature in translation, and transnational cultural advocacy and activism, especially in relation to the Palestinian international solidarity movement.
Her first book, Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool University Press, 2013), examines the diverse ways in which Palestinian and Israeli writers have responded the expectation that their work will “narrate” the nation, invigorating critical debates about the political and artistic value of national narration as a literary practice. Rhetorics of Belonging offers new readings of the work of major figures (Edward Said and Amos Oz) alongside that of other internationally recognised writers (Mourid Barghouti, Orly Castel-Bloom, Sahar Khalifeh, Anton Shammas). The book helps to restore the category of the nation to postcolonial literary studies by attending to a context where the idea of the nation is so central a part of everyday experience that writers cannot not address it, and readers cannot help but read for it. It also points a way toward a relational literary history of Israel/Palestine, one that would situate Palestinian and Israeli writing in the context of a history of antagonistic interaction.
Her current book project, International Solidarity and Culture, considers the uses of literature and culture in major international solidarity movements after 1975. The book sets out to restore the link between political cultural production and organised left movements, and to examine the role that cultural production associated with such movements has played in defining what is meant by political belief in the postcolonial and late/post-Communist era.
Anna is also the co-investigator of the AHRC international research network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, 1099-present’ (2013-15). She welcomes applications for PhD supervision related to any of her research interests.
- Colonial and postcolonial literature, especially from the Middle East
- Anti-colonial and postcolonial theory
- Nationalism and the novel
- Literature and political movements
- Ideas of comparative and world literature
Anna's published work includes several essays on Palestinian advocacy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in metropolitan culture, as well as essays on Israel/Palestine and “third-world literature”, Palestinian writing after 9/11, transnational genres of partition literature, and the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti.
Anna is co-editor of What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say (Routledge, 2014), Debating Orientalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and In Memoriam Mahmoud Darwish, a special issue of Interventions (2012).
For a complete list of publications, please see Anna's full research profile.