Department of English

Academic Staff

PD Dr. Ursula Kluwick

Senior Assistant

Modern English Literature

B 263
Postal Address
Department of English
Länggassstr. 49
CH – 3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
by appointment

Ursula Kluwick studied English and Russian Literatures and Languages at the University of Vienna, Austria, before coming to Bern in 2007. She holds a PhD from the University of Vienna, and received her venia legendi for English Literature and Cultural Studies in 2017. From 2014-2016, she held a Marie Heim-Vögtlin fellowship, awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for her post-doctoral work on representations of water in Victorian literature.

From 2013-2015, Ursula Kluwick was a member of the DFG-Netzwerk “Ethik und Ästhetik in literarischen Repräsentationen ökologischer Transformationen.” (network leader: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Evi Zemanek, Albert-Ludwigs-Universtiy of Freiburg)

Current Project: ‘Bodies on the Beach. The Mediterranean as Fugitive Space’

University of Bern (since 2007)

6 Lectures

  • Core Curriculum Literature (BA Lecture, 1st year; methodology and textual analysis; literary and cultural theory)
  • “Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture” (the long nineteenth century, literary, culture and political history; BA & MA)
  • “Representing Nature” (MA historical survey, covering the period from the early modern age up to the present)
  • “Introduction to the Fantastic in Literature” (BA & MA, co-taught with Irmtraud Huber; non-realist forms of literature and film from classical antiquity to the 21st century)
  • Literary History Lecture (lectures on the Restoration period and on Victorian literature)
  • Various modules and lectures on historical (meta)fiction, the early modern period, and magic realism for survey lectures (BA, 2nd & 3rd years)

5 MA Courses

  • “Writing the Mediterranenan (MA seminar, Shakespeare to 21st-century literature, drama, poetry, fiction, travel writing)
  • “The World of Charles Dickens” (MA seminar, literature and film)
  • “’Twixt Land and Sea: The Beach in literature” (MA seminar, with Virginia Richter; British and anglophone literature)
  • “Reading the Victorians” (MA Workshop)
  • MA Colloquium (course which provides guidance and mentoring for students writing their MA theses; presentation and discussion of work in progress)

7 BA Seminars

  • “Victorian Waterfronts” (BA seminar, 2nd & 3rd years; water, littoral studies, Victorian paintings, nonfiction, poetry and novels)
  • “Magic Realism” (BA seminar, 2nd & 3rd years; co-taught with Irmtraud Huber; anglophone literature and visual art)
  • “(Post)Colonial Waters” (BA seminar, 2nd & 3rd years; postcolonial theories and concepts; (post)colonial water texts from the Victorian to the present)
  • “Theorising the Brontës” (BA seminar, 2nd year; literary theory and Victorian literature)
  • “Greening the Bard” (BA seminar, 2nd year; Shakespeare and ecocriticism)
  • Literature Module I (BA seminar, 1st year; textual analysis)
  • BA Colloquium (course which provides guidance and mentoring for students writing their BA theses; presentation and discussion of work in progress)

University of Vienna (2004-2007)

1 Lecture

  • Introduction to the Study of Literatures in English (BA lecture, 1st year)

3 BA Courses

  • “The Individual and Society” (BA seminar, 2nd year; Romantic poetry, modernist drama & contemporary fiction)
  • Magic Realism (BA seminar, 2nd year)
  • Tutorial sessions in English literature


University of Cardiff (2009)

1 Seminar

  • “Magic Realism: Origins and Definitions” (BA seminar)


2011. Exploring Magic Realism in Salman Rushdie’s Fiction. Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Literature. New York and London: Routledge.

2017. Fictions of Fluctuation: Water in the Victorian Age. Unpublished Habilitation Thesis. U of Bern. (under review)

Edited Volume

2015. with Virginia Richter. The Beach in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures: Reading Littoral Space. Farnham: Ashgate; London: Routledge. (reviewed in SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 56.4 (autumn 2016) and Victorian Poetry 53.3 (autumn 2015))

2019. with Evi Zemanek. Nachhaltigkeit – interdisziplinär. Konzepte, Diskurse, Praktiken: Ein Kompendium. UTB – Böhlau (under contract).

Recent Articles and Book Chapters

2018. ‘Victorian Cultural Sustainability.’ Cultural Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences. Ed. Gabriele Rippl and Torsten Meireis. London: Routledge. 184-193.

2017. ‘Die unheimliche Natur: Schauer- und Sensationsroman als Spielarten einer ökologischen Ästhetik.’ Ökologische Genres und Schreibmodi. Ed. Evi Zemanek. Umwelt und Gesellschaft (Rachel Carson Center, Munich). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. 181-194.

2016. ‘Dickens in America – America in Dickens.’ Handbook of Transatlantic North American Studies. Ed. Julia Straub. Berlin: De Gruyter. 448-469.

2016. ‘Tod(es-)Maschine Hai.’ PhiN-Beiheft 10/2016: 61-76. phin/beiheft10/b10t05.pdf.

2015. ‘Climate Change, the Novel, and the Bildungsroman: The Relation of Things in an Emergent World.’ Anglistentag 2014 Hannover: Proceedings. Ed. Rainer Emig and Jana Gohrisch. Trier: WVT. 329-340.

2015. Richter, Virginia and Ursula Kluwick. ‘Introduction. ’Twixt Land and Sea: Approaches to Littoral Studies.’ The Beach in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures: Reading Littoral Space. Ed. Ursula Kluwick and Virginia Richter. Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate. 1-20.

2015. ‘Food for Sharks: Abjection on the Beach.’ The Beach in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures: Reading Littoral Space. Ed. Ursula Kluwick and Virginia Richter. Farnham and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015. 139-154.

2014. ‘Talking About Climate Change: The Ecological Crisis and Narrative Form.’ The Oxford Handbook of Ecocriticism. Ed. Greg Garrad. Oxford: Oxford UP. 502-516. (online publication date: March 2014; DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199742929.013.029)

2014. ‘The Coast as a Site of Ecological Haunting in Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.’ Navigating Cultural Spaces: Maritime Places. Ed. Anna Horatschek, Yvonne Rosenberg and Daniel Schäbler. Spatial Practices 18. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 237-255.

2013. ‘The (Inter)Disciplinarity of Postcolonial Research.’ Postcolonial Studies Across the Disciplines. Ed. Jana Gohrisch and Ellen Grünkemeier. Cross/Cultures 170. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi. 341-347.

2012. ‘The Tempest Re-Envisioned: Encounters with the Sea in Iris Murdoch and Derek Jarman.’ Shakespeare’s (Un)fortunate Travellers: Maritime Adventures across the Genres. Shakespeare Seminar 9 (2011). Ed. Christina Wald and Felix C. H. Sprang: 53-65.

2011. ‘Waters of Paradise: The English Patient.’ Projections of Paradise: Ideal Elsewheres in Postcolonial Migrant Literature. Ed. Helga Ramsey-Kurz with Geetha Ganapathy-Doré. Cross/Cultures 132. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 179-193.

2009. ‘The Personal and the Public: Michael Ondaatje's Historiographic Metafiction and the Question of Political Engagement.’ A Sea for Encounters: Essays Towards a Postcolonial Commonwealth. Ed. Stella Borg Barthet. Cross/Cultures 117. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 273-286.

2009. ‘Magic Realism and the Illegitimate Empire.’ Stories of Empire: Narrative Strategies for the Legitimisation of an Empirical World Order. Ed. Christa Knellwolf and Margarete Rubik. ELCH 33. Trier: WVT. 219-231.

2009. ‘Postcolonial Literatures on a Global Market: Packaging the “Mysterious East” for Western Consumption.’ Translation of Cultures. Ed. Petra Rüdiger and Konrad Gross. Cross/Cultures 106. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 75-92.

Conferences and Outreach

Twixt Land and Sea: The Beach in Literature, Film and Cultural Theory. University of Bern, 18-20 June 2009 (together with Prof. Dr. Virginia Richter, University of Berne, and Prof. Dr. Julika Griem, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany)

Rhetorik der Nachhaltigkeit: Konzepte und Diskurse nachhaltiger Zukunftsgestaltung in Medien, Politik und diversen Fachdisziplinen. FRIAS, University of Freiburg, 15-17 June 2016. (together with Jun.-Prof. Dr Evi Zemanek, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg)

Supervision of the 2011 ASNEL Summer School Spaces of Projection, University of Bern, 5-9 September 2011.

Co-curator (together with Dr Claudia Perner, University of Duisburg-Essen) of the 20th Anniversary Exhibition of ASNEL, University of Münster, 21-24 May 2009.


Research Interests

Victorian literature & culture, contemporary literature (especially fiction), representations of nature (especially water, the beach, and climate change), ecocriticism, postcolonial literatures and cultures, ‘alternative realisms’ (especially magic realism and the fantastic)


May 2017: Habilitation (University of Bern); venia docendi for English Literature and Cultural Studies

March 2001 – February 2005: Ph.D. summa cum laude in English Literature (University of Vienna); title of thesis: ‘‘It was and it was not so”: Salman Rushdie’s Magic Realism as a Discourse of Ambiguity’

October 1995 – March 2001: M.Phil 1st Class in English Language and Literature/Russian Language and Literature (University of Vienna); title of thesis: ‘Narrative Technique in the Fiction of Michael Ondaatje’

September 1998 – March 1999: University College London, Department of English (Socrates Exchange Programme)


Work History

Since August 2016: Senior Assistant (Oberassistentin) in English Literature, Department of English, University of Bern, Switzerland

March 2014 – July 2016: Marie Heim-Vögtlin Fellow, SNF; Department of English, University of Bern

Oktober 2007 – February 2014: Assistant in Modern English Literature, Department of English, University of Bern, Switzerland

January 2004 – September 2007: Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural Studies, English Department, University of Vienna, Austria

March 2003 – June 2003: Research Assistant, Prof. Margarete Rubik, English Department, University of Vienna

October 2000 – January 2004: Academic Tutor, English Department, University of Vienna