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Summary: Comparative postcolonial literary/cultural studies, travel writing, ecocriticism, short fiction, and film.
My research spans the entire field of comparative postcolonial literary/cultural studies, and I also have expertise in the areas of environmental humanities (including animal studies), travel writing, short fiction, and film. My most recent publications are Nature's Saviours: Celebrity Conservationists in the Television Age (Routledge/Earthscan, 2013), which won an honourable mention for the 2014 ESSE Book Prize, and the 300,000-word Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies (Oxford University Press, 2013), which I sole-edited and which includes contributions from top postcolonial scholars from across the world. Other recent books include the co-authored Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment (Routledge, 2010, with a second edition due to come out in 2015), and Extreme Pursuits: Travel/Writing in an Age of Globalization (University of Michigan Press, 2009). A revised collection of my own essays, Interdisciplinary Measures, which came out in 2008 with Liverpool University Press, shows my ongoing commitment to cross-disciplinary approaches to postcolonial studies, as is also confirmed by the book series for which I am founding co-editor, 'Postcolonialism across the Disciplines' (also Liverpool University Press).
I am on the editorial board of numerous journals in the postcolonial field, am a regular national/international examiner and reviewer, and am a current member of the English Association (UK) and the MLA (US). I am also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Queensland (Australia). At the University of Leeds, I direct the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (ICPS), a cross-disciplinary forum drawing on a wide range of university teaching and research in this field. Along with my University of Leeds colleague, Anthony Carrigan, I lead a new EU-funded ITN (Innovative Training Network) in environmental humanities that also involves the University of Munich (LMU), the Deutsches Museum, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH). I am also project leader for an ESF-funded collaborative research project, 'Arctic Encounters: Contemporary Travel/Writing in the European High North', which brings together partners from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and the UK, as well as several non-academic partners. Finally, I am founder member of an NWO-funded international research network, 'Postcolonial Europe', with partners in Germany (the University of Munich) and the Netherlands (the University of Utrecht), which is currently in its second three-year phase; and principal investigator for a White Rose Consortium-sponsored project on the political ecology of water in Egypt, Israel/Palestine, and Sri Lanka. I regularly organise events at Leeds --many of them postgraduate-oriented-- for the projects and networks I lead, for the ICPS, and for the School of English-based Postcolonial Research Group. I am general convenor of 'Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies', the School of English's postcolonial MA scheme.
I have supervised PhD research, both at Leeds and elsewhere, on a wide range of topics and would welcome the opportunity to supervise further work in all areas of the postcolonial field, the crossover area between literary and environmental criticism (including animal studies), tourism studies and travel literature, and contemporary film.
I have recently given invited talks in Britain, France, and the US, and have acted as external reviewer for the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Northern Lights: Imagining the Arctic
Postcolonialism, Animals and the Environment