Celeste-Marie Bernier

Personal Chair in English Literature , PROF

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Any and all related to US Studies, African American Studies, African Diasporic Studies, Nineteenth Century US and UK Studies, Children's Literature, Women's Writing, Visual Culture and all fields listed below

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Personal profile


Celeste-Marie Bernier's published single-authored books include: African American Visual Arts: From Slavery to the Present (Edinburgh University Press and University of North Carolina Press, 2008), Characters of Blood: Black Heroism in the Transatlantic Imagination  (University of Virginia Press, 2012; winner of the 2013 British Association for American Studies Book Prize and co-winner of the 2014 European American Studies Network Book Prize), Suffering and Sunset: World War I in the Art and Life of Horace Pippin (Temple University Press 2015; winner of a Terra Foundation for American Art International Publication Grant, 2015); Stick to the Skin: African American and Black British Art (1965-2015) (University of California Press, 2019). In 2018 she published (with Andrew Taylor) If I Survive: Frederick Douglass and Family in the Walter O. Evans Collection (Edinburgh University Press). 

Her on-going and forthcoming single-authored and edited books include: Radical Remembering: A History of Contemporary African American Art (I. B. Tauris and University of Georgia Press, 2018); Frederick Douglass Family Writings a 2 Volume work (Edinburgh University Press, 2021); Living Parchments: Artistry and Authorship in the Life and Works of Frederick Douglass (Yale University Press, 2021); Oxford World Classics My Bondage and My Freedom (in productio for publication in 2019) and Oxford World Classics My Life and Times (with Andrew Taylor, for publication in 2020). 

She has completed and is currently working on numerous co-authored and co-edited books and journal special issues, including: (co-edited with Judie Newman and Matthew Pethers) A Companion to Nineteenth Century American Letters and Letter-writing (Edinburgh University Press, 2016); (co-edited with Hannah Durkin) Visualizing Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora (Liverpool University Press, 2016); (co-edited with Zoe Trodd and John Stauffer; Foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Afterword by Kenneth B. Morris Jr.) Picturing Frederick Douglass (W. W. Norton & Co., 2015); (co-edited with Bill E. Lawson) I am the Painter; Imaging and Imagining Frederick Douglass (Liverpool University Press, 2018); (co-authored with Alan Rice and Hannah Durkin), Inside the Invisible: Slavery and Memory in the Works of Lubaina Himid (1985-2015) (Liverpool University Press, 2018). For the bicentenary of Frederick Douglass’s birth in 2018, she has undertaken a new scholarly edition of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (Broadview Press, 2018) in addition to numerous other activities that will include international symposia and public workshops. Having written over thirty articles published in internationally peer reviewed journals and books and organized numerous international conferences and symposia, she has delivered over 200 keynotes, plenary and invited lectures and papers nationally and internationally to public as well as higher education institutions.

In 2010. she was the recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Art History while in 2011 she was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship. In 2012 she was given a Terra Foundation for American Art Program Grant for an international symposium on African Diasporic art which was held at the University of Oxford. In 2010, she was awarded a University of Nottingham Lord Dearing Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Teaching and Learning.” In addition to supervising large numbers of PhDs and MRes to completion, she has held visiting appointments and fellowships at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, King’s College London and the University of California, Santa Barbara, in addition to her recent position as the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Chair in Art History at the University of Memphis (2014-15) and her current appointment (2016-17) as the Senior John Hope Franklin Fellow at the National Center for the Humanities in Durham, North Carolina. In 2019 she was awarded an AHRC Leadership Award for her international project "Our Bondage and Our Freedom: The Lives and Works of the Frederick Douglass Family" for which she is curating 6 UK and US exhibitions, walking tours, online displays and travelling exhibitions. 

Education/Academic qualification

African American Studies, Doctor of Literature, “‘Dusky Powder Magazines:’ The Creole Slave Ship Revolt in Nineteenth Century American Literature,” , University of Nottingham

31 Oct 199831 Mar 2002

Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

Nineteenth Century African American Studies, Master of Letters, Nineteenth Century African American Studies, Newcastle University

1 Sept 199730 Jun 1998

Award Date: 1 Jun 1998

English Literature, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Durham University

1 Oct 199330 Jun 1996

Award Date: 1 Jul 1996


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