Dr. Sofie Behluli

Postdoctoral Researcher and Deputy to Prof. Dr. Rippl | Speaker of the Swiss Young Academy 2023/24

North American Literature and Culture

+41 31 684 83 61
B 262
Postal Address
Department of English
Länggassstr. 49
CH – 3012 Bern

Sofie Behluli is a postdoc assistant in North American Literature and Culture. She received her doctorate, which was fully funded by the Berrow Foundation Scholarship, from the University of Oxford for her thesis on Women Writing Novels on Art. Sofie also holds a BA and MA in Languages and Literatures in English, with a Minor in German Languages and Literatures from the University of Bern. Her research covers Anglo-American literature from the nineteenth century to the present and is particularly interested in intermedial, word-image configurations. Sofie has numerous publications and regularly presents her research at national and international conferences. In 2022 she was also elected as a member of the prestigious Swiss Young Academy (SYA), the “young voice” of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences. Sofie is currently working on ‘literary sleepers’ for her postdoc project and the divide between science and activism for an SYA project.

Research Interests

Anglo-American literature from the 19th century to the present, intermediality and ekphrasis, gender and women’s writing, life writing, affect studies, originals/copies/aura.

Art in the Contemporary Novel: Value, Form, Affect and Scale. In peer review with Oxford University Press.

“On Literary Apathy: Forms of Dis/Affection in My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018).” Anglia: Journal of English Philology. In press.

“Entangled Lives: The Use of Visual Art in Contemporary Life Narratives.” Life Writing, Creativity, and the Social in the Americas. Ed. Wilfried Raussert and Susana Rocha Teixeira. In press.                    

Review of Ulla Haselstein, Gertrude Steins literarische Portraits, Konstanz: Konstanz University Press, 2019. In: ZAA - Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik. In press.  

“Art – Life – Planet: Ekphrasis Today.” Co-authored with Gabriele Rippl. Routledge Companion to Literature and Art. Eds. Cheryl Julia Lee, Neil Murphy and W. Michelle Wang. In press.  

“Ekphrasis in Contemporary Anglophone Literature.” Co-authored with Gabriele Rippl. Contemporary Literary Criticism Series. Eds. Rose Dolbashian and Hollis Beach. In press.   

“Framing Lives as Paintings.” Women: A Cultural Review 32.2 (2021): 119-139. Open Access Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09574042.2021.1914901.

“Constellating a Work of Abundance.” Review of Ronald Schleifer, A Political Economy of Modernism: Literature, Post-Classical Economics, and the Lower Middle-Class, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2019. In: Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts 62.2 (2020): 307-311.

Review of Nassim Winnie Balestrini and Ina Bergmann, eds., Intermediality, Life Writing, and American Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Anglia Book Series, vol. 61. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. In: Amerikastudien / American Studies 64.1 (2019): 145-148.

Review of Timo Müller, ed., Handbook of the American Novel of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. In: Anglia, Journal of English Philology 136.2 (2018): 378-381.

“Bonding in Bonden: A Post-Postmodernist Female Community in Siri Hustvedt’s The Summer Without Men.American Communities: Between the Popular and the Political. SPELL 35. Ed. Julia Straub and Lukas Etter. Tübingen: Narr Verlag, 2017. 43-60.

“Ekphrasis in the Digital Age.” Co-authored with Gabriele Rippl. Digitalität und literarische Netz-Werke. Antikanon 2. Ed. Christina Hoffmann and Johanna Öttl. Wien: Turia + Kant, 2017. 131-176.

Review of “American Communities: Between the Popular and the Political.” Swiss Association for North American Studies. Conference, 4-5 November 2016, Bern. BAAS: British Associations for American Studies, U.S. Studies Online, 17 December 2016. Open Access Link: https://usso.uk/sanas-communities/.

University of Bern:

Spring Semester 2023

  • Core Curriculum / BA Lecture Literary History
  • BA Lecture The Senses (one session)
  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with Prof. Gabriele Rippl

Autumn Semester 2022

  • BA Seminar 20th Century American Drama
  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with Prof. Gabriele Rippl

Spring Semester 2022

  • Core Curriculum / BA Lecture Literary History
  • BA Seminar Mississippi Tales: American Literature on and around the Great River
  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with Prof. Gabriele Rippl

Autumn Semester 2021

  • BA Seminar The American Short Story in the 19th Century
  • BA Workshop Moby Dick – The White Whale in Different Media
  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with PD Dr. Axel Stähler

Spring Semester 2021

  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with Prof. Gabriele Rippl

Autumn Semester 2020

  • BA Seminar Reading Contemporary Anglophone Fictions
  • BA Workshop Theories of the Novel
  • BA and MA Colloquia, co-taught with Prof. Gabriele Rippl

Spring Semester 2017

  • BA Seminar Criminal Imagination: Crime Fiction in American Literature and Culture, co-taught with Viola Marchi

Autumn Semester 2016

  • BA Lecture Word-Image Configurations (one session)

Autumn 2015

  • Tutorial Series on Literary Theory, accompanying Prof. Thomas Claviez’s lectures

University of Oxford:

Michaelmas Term 2021

  • Tutorial Series From Postmodernism to Post-Postmodernism, Lady Margaret Hall

Trinity Term 2020

  • Tutorial Series Contemporary Fiction, Lady Margaret Hall

Hilary Term 2020

  • Tutorial Series Postmodernism: Literature and Theory, Lady Margaret Hall

Michaelmas Term 2019

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant for Paper 6: Writing Lives, conveners: Prof. Marion Turner and Dr. Sophie Ratcliffe

Hilary Term 2019

  • Tutorial Series Contemporary Fiction, St Peter’s College
  • Class and Tutorials for the Prelims Paper 4: Modern Literature (1910-present), convener: Dr. Timothy Michael, Lincoln College

Other / 2013-2014:

  • English Classes and Preparatory Course for the CAE/CPE at the Gstaad and Interlaken high schools


Oct – Dec 2019: Developing Learning and Teaching Program (DLT), University of Oxford

Jan – Mar 2019: Teaching Mentoring Scheme with Dr. Timothy Michael as Teaching Mentor, University of Oxford

Sep 2017 – May 2021DPhil in English at the University of Oxford, supervised by Professor Laura Marcus; Doctoral Thesis Title: “Women Writing Novels on Art: Ekphrasis in Twenty-First Century Fiction”; examined by Professors Rebecca Beasley and Allan Hepburn                                                           

Feb 2014 – Jan 2016: Master of Arts in Languages and Literatures in English with special qualification in Literary Studies; Minor in German Languages and Literatures, Grade 5.74 out of 6 / insigni cum laude, University of Bern

Sep 2010 – Dec 2013:Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Literatures in English; Minor in German Languages and Literatures, Grade 5.49 out of 6 / insigni cum laude, University of Bern

Aug 2006 – Jun 2010: Swiss Matura passed with the grade 5.5 out of 6, Gymnasium of Interlaken

Academic Employment

Jun 2021 – May 2023Postdoctoral Researcher (Germ. Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin), Lecturer and Deputy of Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rippl, University of Bern

Sep 2020 – May 2021: Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer, Chair of Literatures in English/North American Literature and Culture (chair: Prof. Gabriele Rippl), University of Bern

Apr 2016 – Sep 2017: Research Assistant and Lecturer, Chair of Literatures in English/North  American Literature and Culture (chair: Prof. Gabriele Rippl), University of Bern                                                               

Jan 2014 – Mar 2016: Student Assistant to Chair of Literatures in English/North American Literature and Culture (chair: Prof. Gabriele Rippl), University of Bern

Networks and Memberships

  • Alumni at the Graduate School of the Arts and Humanities (GSAH) at the Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBK)
  • Berrow Society (Former Recipients of the Berrow Foundation Scholarship)
  • British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS)
  • Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO)
  • German Association for American Studies (GAAS)
  • International Association of Word and Image Studies (IAWIS)
  • International Walter Benjamin Society (IWBS)
  • Lincoln Society (Alumni of Lincoln College, Oxford)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Oxford Union, University of Oxford
  • Oxford University Swiss Society (OUSS)
  • Swiss Association for North American Studies (SANAS)
  • Swiss Association of University Teachers of English (SAUTE)