University of Hertfordshire

Dr Justin Sausman


Justin  Sausman

Dr Justin Sausman


Postal address:
University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom


I joined the University of Hertfordshire on a permanent basis in September 2015 having previously taught at Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Westminster and the University of Amsterdam. I hold a BA (English Literature), MA (Cultural and Critical Studies) and PhD from Birkbeck, University of London.

I teach Romantic, Victorian, modern, contemporary literature and film adpataion. I am module leader of Texts and Screens: Studies in Literary Adaptation and Between the Acts: Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature.

My current research forcuses on two areas:

The fin de siecle, modernism, vitalism and occultism

This project explores the relationship between modernist and popular fiction and the interest in occultism, spiritualism, ghosts and psychical research during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. I have a number of publications on these topics and am currently completing a monograph titled Modernism and the Meaning of Life. This book asks why 'life' became such a prominent term in early twentieth century fiction, situating it as a response to vitalist philosophy, science and occultism. It focuses on a range of literary and other writers including Virgina Woolf, Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, Henri Bergson, Somerset Maugham, Oliver Lodge, Aleister Crowley, and Dion Fortune.

Lost communities, flooding and erosion

This project explores literary, cinematic and other cultural reresenatations of 'lost' communities. I am especially interested in the representation of drowned villages that have been flooded as a result of dam and resevoir construction in rural areas, and in coastal communities that are threatened by destruction from erosion.The project draws together fiction by W. G. Sebald, Sarah Hall, Reginald Hill, Elly Griffiths, Berlie Doherty, Peter Robinson and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as film/television (Les Revenants/The Returned). The project also draws on material from environmental campaigns, debates about global warming, land ownership, the privatisation of public utlities and the construction of these sites as tourist attractions.   

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