Dr Beryl Pong
Room 5.13, Jessop West
Internal extension: 28458
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 during my Ph.D (2013).
I am the commissioning editor for the twentieth-century and contemporary literature section of Literature Compass.
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.
My overall research interests are 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone literature, with especial focus on British modernism and late modernism, 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.
I am currently completing my first book, a literary-cultural study titled For the Duration: British Literature and Culture in Blitz-Time. 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.
I am also in the early stages of a second book project, tentatively titled Framing Displacement: Semicolonialism and Women’s Short Fiction. The project explores the way material, affective, and socio-political interrelations between colonizer, colonized, and the postcolonial are addressed by modern and contemporary transnational women writers. Among other points, it demonstrates why, for formal as well as material and print-cultural reasons, short fiction is a prominent genre for indexing 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’.
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, genre studies, cultural history, and literary historiography more generally.
Articles and book chapters
Review of Liminality and the Short Story, ed. Jochen Achilles and Ina Bergmann. Journal of the Short Story in English. (In Press)
Gallery review of ‘Lee Miller: A Woman’s War (Imperial War Museum).’ Modernism/modernity. (Forthcoming, November 2016)
‘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 (December 2013): 371-3.
‘The Globalisation of Time.’ Review of The Cosmic Time of Empire: Modern Britain and World Literature by Adam Barrows. The Cambridge Quarterly 41.3 (September 2012): 389-95.
Selected Conference Presentations
‘Semicolonialism and the modernist short story.’ Historical Modernisms Symposium, Institute of English Studies, University of London. (December 2016)
‘“The zoom of a hornet”: the phenomenology of an air raid.’ Ear Pieces Conference, University of Cambridge. (December 2016)
‘Semicolonial Filiation: Katherine Mansfield and the Short Fictions of Childhood.’ Modernism’s Child Conference, University of Sussex. (April 2015)
‘Henry Green’s pigeons.’ Modernist Studies Association Conference, Pittsburgh. (November 2014)
‘The Archaeology of Postwar Childhood in Ealing’s “rubble comedies”.’ Midwest Conference on British Studies, Toronto. (October 2012)
‘“Dreading Forward”: Short stories, time capsules and Blitz-Time.’ Moving Modernisms Conference, University of Oxford (March 2012)