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Dr Anna Bernard

Anna-Bernard-2Head of Comparative Literature

Senior Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature

Head of Department - 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
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE

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I came to King’s in 2012, following my first appointment as a lecturer in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. I received my BA from the University of California at Berkeley and my PhD from the University of Cambridge. I have held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2016-17), a Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Sydney (2017), an AHRC Research Network grant (2013-16), and a University of York Anniversary Lectureship (2010-11).

Research interests
  • Postcolonial and world literature in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew
  • Literature and 20-21C political movements, especially the Palestinian national movement
  • Solidarity, internationalism, decolonization, anti-imperialism, human rights
  • Theories of postcolonial, comparative, and world literature
  • Cultural activism and advocacy including manifestos, documentary film, and protest poetry

My research is concerned with the literature and culture of anti-colonial struggles that have persisted after the formal end of European imperialism. My first book, Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine (2013), examines Palestinian and Israeli writers’ responses to the expectation that their work will ‘narrate’ the nation. Against a general tendency in postcolonial studies to question the validity of ideas of nationhood, the book seeks to reclaim the nation as a site of oppositional politics in the Palestinian context, while also working towards a relational literary history of Palestine/Israel.

I am currently working on a book called International Solidarity and Culture: Nicaragua, South Africa, Palestine, 1975-1990. The book considers appeals for solidarity in literature and film that was circulated among British participants in the Nicaragua solidarity campaign, the anti-apartheid movement, and the Palestine solidarity movement. This period is important for the history of north-south solidarity because it marks a broader shift from third-worldist and liberationist ideas of solidarity to civil society and humanitarian approaches. I focus on texts and films that resist this shift by promoting a solidarity based on shared political commitments instead of empathy or fellow feeling. This research was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2016-17.

I welcome PhD supervision enquiries from students interested in any area of postcolonial and world literature, particularly literature and transnational movements, anti-colonial and third-worldist literature and culture, Palestinian and Israeli writing, and cultural activism and advocacy.

For more details, please see Anna's full research profile.
Selected publications
  • Rhetorics of Belonging: Nation, Narration, and Israel/Palestine (Liverpool UP, 2013)
  • What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say, co-edited with Ziad Elmarsafy and Stuart Murray (Routledge, 2015)
  • Debating Orientalism, co-edited with Ziad Elmarsafy and David Attwell (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • ‘Cultural Activism as Resource: Pedagogies of Resistance and Solidarity’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2017)
  • ‘Nation, Transnationalism, and Internationalism’, The Cambridge Companion to World Literature, ed. Ben Etherington and Jarad Zimbler (Cambridge UP, 2017)

For a complete list of publications, please see Anna's full research profile.


Postcolonial and world literature and theory, literature and solidarity movements, Arabic and Hebrew literature in translation.









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