PD Dr. Ursula Kluwick

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin SNF

Modern English Literature

D 213
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. Together with Prof. Dr Virginia Richter, she directs an SNSF research project on The Beach in the Long Twentieth Century, for which she is also the senior researcher.

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)

Ursula Kluwick is currently an international member of the AHRC-funded Research Network “Haunting Issues: Children, Spectrality and Culture”, led by Dr Lucy Arnold (Worcester) and Prof. Dr Katy Shaw (Northumbria).

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

Out now: 
"Victorian Materialisms", special issue of European Journal of English Studies 26.1 (2022), ed. Ariane de Waal and Ursula Kluwick.

De Waal, Ariane, and Ursula Kluwick. "Victorian Materialisms: Approaching Nineteenth-Century Matter." Introduction. EJES 26.1 (2022), 1-13. Free access at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13825577.2022.2044143

University of Freiburg im Breisgau (October 2019-July 2020)

  • ‘British Drama from the Renaissance to the 21st Century’ (Survey lecture)
  • ‘Poetry and Nature in the Long Eighteenth Century’ (Proseminar)
  • ‘Alternative Realisms’ (Hauptseminar)
  • ‘Mediterranean Shakespeare’ (Hauptseminar)
  • ‘On the Beach: Narrating Littoral Space’ (Hauptseminar)

University of Bern (since 2007)

8 Lectures

  • Core Curriculum Literature (BA Lecture, 1st year; methodology and textual analysis; literary and cultural theory)
  • “On the Waterfront” (BA & MA, conceptualisation and organisation of lecture series; two modules: introduction and Victorian period)
  • “A Short History of the Comedy” (BA & MA, early modern to twenty-first century)
  • “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)

9 MA Courses

  • “Reading The Satanic Verses” (MA/BA Workshop)
  • “Postcolonial Studies” (historical overview of the development of the field, focus on theory)
  • “Mare Nostrum?” (contemporary literature and rewritings of classical myth)
  • “Shakespeare in Italy” (with excursion to Rome)
  • “Writing the Mediterranenan (Shakespeare to 21st-century literature, drama, poetry, fiction, travel writing)
  • “The World of Charles Dickens” (literature and film)
  • “’Twixt Land and Sea: The Beach in literature” (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” (2nd & 3rd years; water, littoral studies, Victorian paintings, nonfiction, poetry and novels)
  • “Magic Realism” (2nd & 3rd years; co-taught with Irmtraud Huber; anglophone literature and visual art)
  • “(Post)Colonial Waters” (2nd & 3rd years; postcolonial theories and concepts; (post)colonial water texts from the Victorian to the present)
  • “Theorising the Brontës” (2nd year; literary theory and Victorian literature)
  • “Greening the Bard” (2nd year; Shakespeare and ecocriticism)
  • Literature Module I (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” (2nd year; Romantic poetry, modernist drama & contemporary fiction)
  • Magic Realism (2nd year)
  • Tutorial sessions in English literature


University of Cardiff (2009)

1 Seminar

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

Link to BORIS records


Kluwick, Ursula. Victorian Water Writing: Liquid Ecologies. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, forthcoming 2024.

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


2022. with Ariane De Waal, eds. "Victorian Materialisms." Special issue of European Journal of English Studies 26.1

2021. with Jens Martin Gurr, eds. "Literature and ...? Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity." Anglistik 32.3

2019. with Evi Zemanek, eds. Nachhaltigkeit interdisziplinär. Konzepte, Diskurse, Praktiken. UTB Böhlau, 2019.

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))

Recent Articles and Book Chapters

2023. “The Mobility of Water: Aquatic Transformation and Disease in Victorian Literature.” Medicine and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century British Literature, History, and Culture. Ed. Sandra Dinter and Sarah Schäfer-Althaus. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2023, pp. 145-164.

2023. “Salman Rushdie’s Audiences, Reception, and the Literary Market.” Salman Rushdie in Context. Ed. Florian Stadtler. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 331-343.

2023. “A Sanitary Sense of Smell: Olfaction and Bodily Boundaries in Victorian Writing.” Literature and the Senses. Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature. Ed. Annette Kern-Stähler and Elizabeth Robertson. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (in press)

2022. De Waal, Ariane, and Ursula Kluwick. "Victorian Materialisms: Approaching Nineteenth-Century Matter." Introduction. EJES 26.1, 1-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13825577.2022.2044143

2021. Gurr, Jens Martin and Ursula Kluwick. "Literature and ...? Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity: Introduction." Anglistik 32.3, 5-18. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33675/ANGL/2021/3/4

2021. “Menschen im Nebel. Ein Beitrag zur Meteopoetik des Unheimlichen.” Verfahren literarischer Wetterdarstellung. Ed. Urs Büttner and Michael Gamper. Berlin: De Gruyter, 155-174.

2020. “The Global Deluge: Floods, Diluvian Imagery, and Aquatic Language in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and Gun Island.” Green Letters 24.1, pp. 64-78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14688417.2020.1752516 

2020. “The Aesthetics of Bodies in Translation: From The Water-Babies to Real Humans.Medial Bodies. Ed. Denisa Butnaru. Bielefeld: Transcript, 85-103.

2020. “Magic and the Literary Market.” Magical Realism and Literature. Vol 1. Ed. Kim Sasser and Christopher Warnes. Cambridge Critical Concepts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 337-356.

2019. Kluwick, Ursula and Virginia Richter. “Of Tourists and Refugees: The Global Beach in the Twenty-First Century.” Heterotopia and Globalisation in the Twenty-First Century. Ed. Simon Ferdinand, Irina Souch, and Daan Wesselman. London: Routledge

2019. “Aquatic Matter in Victorian Fiction.” Open Cultural Studies vol. 3, no. 1 (2019), 245-255. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2019-0022

2019. Kluwick, Ursula and Evi Zemanek. „Einleitung.“ Nachhaltigkeit interdisziplinär: Konzepte, Diskurse, Praktiken. Ed. Ursula Kluwick and Evi Zemanek. UTB Böhlau, pp. 11-26.

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. http://web.fu-berlin.de/ 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. BORIS (unibe.ch)

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

“Salman Rushdies Die satanischen Verse: 30 Minuten mit Dr. Ursula Kluwick (Universität Bern): Gespräch“, Literaturmuseum Strauhof, 18. April 2023

Reading and Public Conversation, Salman Rushdie Leseabend, Literaturmuseum Strauhof, 29 September 2022

Interview on Salman Rushdie, RTS Westschweizer Tagesschau, 29 September 2022

Material Agency: Early Modern Perspectives, panel for the ESSE 2022, University of Mainz, 31August-2 September 2022 (with Dr Irmtraud Huber, LMU Munich)

Magical Realism and the City, symposium, University of Portsmouth (Zoom), 9 July 2021 (with Dr Maggie Ann Bowers, University of Portsmouth)

Literature and …? Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity, section for the Anglistentag 2019, University of Leipzig, 22-25 September 2019 (with Prof. Dr Jens Martin Gurr, University of Duisburg-Essen)

Of Dark Waters: Strange Science, Forms and Genres in Literary Wetscapes, panel for the British Society for Literature and Science Fourteenth Annual Conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, 4-6 April 2019 (with Dr Jolene Mathieson, University of Hamburg)

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

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.

Species Encounters on the Beach, panel for ASLE 2011 (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment Conference 2011), Indiana University, Bloomington, 21-26 June 2011 (with Prof. Dr Virginia Richter)

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)

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 2020: Senior Researcher, SNSF project The Beach in the Long Twentieth Century

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