Dr Beryl Pong
School of English
+44 114 222 8458
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the School of English as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in 2016. Previously, I was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, University of Cambridge (2014-2016), and before that, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto (2014). I was also a Scholar in Residence at Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux Castle (2013). I obtained my Ph.D at the University of Cambridge, my M.Sc at the University of Edinburgh, and my B.A. Honours at Queen’s University.
I am the holder of a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for ‘The Aesthetics of Drone Warfare’ (2019-2021), a project which brings together academics, creative practitioners, and non-profit organizations for understanding the interrelations between art, aesthetics, and drone warfare. I am also the Sheffield lead supervisor on the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) network ‘Electronic Soundscapes’ (2018-2021), which looks at the history and politics of modern soundscapes across the fields of English, history, music, and the history and philosophy of science. From 2015-2021, I am a commissioning editor for the ‘Modernist Geographies’ section of Literature Compass.
- Research interests
My overall research interests are in 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone literature, with especial focus on British modernism and late modernism, theories and philosophies of time, and war. My work is informed by cultural studies and cultural history, and I have an abiding interest in narrative and genre studies, and in the interdisciplinary intersections between literature and other media.
My book, British Literature and Culture in Wartime: For the Duration, was published by Oxford University Press’s Mid-Century Studies Series (2020). It argues that spatial and temporal dislocation were defining characteristics of the World War II urban bombing campaigns, and it shows how figures in literature, film, photography, and painting harnessed or exploited their media’s distinctive temporal properties in response. Showing why the war was often fashioned as a memory, even while it was taking place, I discuss how the uses of modernism became as important as modernism itself, and how wartime forms of temporal re-imagining—whether through time capsules, time zone changes, or images of ruin and repair—have particular salience for understanding philosophies and phenomenologies of time during the mid-century. The book places the Second World War and a fear of time, called chronophobia, within a longer history of how modern wartime was perceived—from seemingly defined and bounded to proliferated and everyday.
I am currently at work on two new projects. The first is a literary history of the modern short story through the concept of semicolonialism, multiply understood as a material, affective, and socio-political condition characterizing sovereign states who are dependent upon imperial power. It focuses on transnational women writers to index the gendered histories of labour migration, emigration, and travel, and why we need to go beyond ideas of regional or national exceptionalism in short fiction literary history to understand it as a ‘world genre’. My second project is an interdisciplinary examination of the relationship between drones and aesthetics. It looks at the ways drones and their current relationships to AI, sensors, and simulation produce new ways of interpreting and experiencing the world; at how imaginaries and aesthetics facilitate the widespread and increasing use of intrusive technologies; and at the aesthetic arts, including works of literature, film, visual art, and game design, which are staging interventions around them.
- British Literature and Culture in Second World Wartime: For the Duration. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Henry Green’s Pigeons. Modernism/Modernity Print Plus, 4(3). View this article in WRRO
- The Archaeology of Postwar Childhood in Rose Macaulay's The World My Wilderness. Journal of Modern Literature, 37(3), 92-110. View this article in WRRO
- La France a l'heure Anglaise: Embodied Timescapes and Occupied Landscapes in Storm Jameson's Cloudless May. Literature and History, 23(1), 33-48. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Wartime. Modernism/Modernity Print Plus.
- Space and Time in the Bombed City: Graham Greene's The Ministry of Fear and Elizabeth Bowen's The Heat of the Day. Literary London Journal, 7(1).
- The Short Story and the 'Little Magazine' In Hunter A & Delaney P (Ed.), The Edinburgh Companion to the Short Story in English Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Review of "Liminality and the Short Story" edited by Jochen Achilles and Ina Bergman.. Journal of the Short Story in English(69), 195-198.
- Gallery Review of "Lee Miller: A Woman's War" (Imperial War Museum, London).. Modernism/modernity, 23(4), 905-910.
- "Olivia Moaning". Review of "Olivia Manning: A Woman at War" by Deirdre David and "Imperial Refugee: Olivia Manning's Fictions of War" by Eve Patten.. Women: A Cultural Review, 24(4), 371-373.
- "The Globalisation of Time". Review of "The Cosmic Time of Empire: Modern Britain and World Literature" by Adam Barrows.. The Cambridge Quarterly, 41(3), 389-395.
- "Changing Nationhood, Changeless Place: 'Bill Brandt / Henry Moore' at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery". Gallery review and book review of "Bill Brandt / Henry Moore" by edited by Martina Droth and Paul Messier.. Modernism/modernity.
- Blitz. In Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism Routledge.
- Research group
I would be pleased to work with research students interested in 20th- and 21st-century British and global Anglophone literatures, particularly in projects related to modernisms, war, technology, sound studies and visual cultures, colonialism and postcolonialism, and cultural history.
- Teaching activities
- LIT302 Modern Literature
- LIT303 Contemporary Literature
- LIT386 Undergraduate Dissertation
- LIT650 Midcentury Modernism