Summary: Literary geographies, environmental humanities, cultural / historical geography, British landscape(s), philosophy of language, environmental communication, C20th poetry, innovative publishing
Location: Office 8.1.13
Teaching Commitments: ENGL1250 Prose: Reading & Interpretation (Level 1 core module)
ENGL2028 Literature of the Romantic Period (Level 2 core module)
I am currently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the School of English. I studied for my PhD (on historical geography, cultures of nature, and modern British poetry) in the Social and Cultural Geography department at Royal Holloway, University of London as part of the Landscape Surgery group, and previously received my BA and MSt in English Literature at Wadham College, Oxford. I founded the cultural geography themed cinema PASSENGERFILMS (2011 onward), and have twice in a row received the top national award from the British Federation of Film Societies for educational film programming (2012 and 2013). In 2013 I curated the exhibition Time, the deer, is in the wood of Hallaig, on forests, social memory, and environmental memory. Since 2012 I've been an appointed National Ambassador for Public Engagement with higher education research, and was recently selected for AHRC Science in Culture's short-list of fifteen early career researchers in the UK doing inspiring work in arts-science collaboration. I am currently working on Peter Riley: Critical Essays (co-edited with Alex Latter for Gylphi's Contemporary Writers series, 2014), Were X A Tree: Glosses on Larkin (Punctum Books, 2015), and my own academic monograph. I am the lead academic on the new cross-disciplinary White Rose network,Hearts of Oak: Caring for British Woodland, based at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, and York, which will include a national conference in 2015, and I will also be running site-specific forest research workshops in April 2015 sponsored by an Ignite grant from the Cultural and Creative Industries Exchange.
My main academic research focuses on modern literature and its engagement with environmental politics and with old and new geographical imaginaries of Britain. My specialist areas of study are coasts and forests in popular, small press, and avant-garde writing. I write on problems of language, symbolism, and definition in particular environmental imaginations. In 2015 I will also be developing new work on environmental glossaries and language standards. The major stakes in these discussions around environmental interpretation and the 'rhetoric of landscape' (Duncan 1990) include 'the great British forestry question' regarding woodland sell-offs, currently still under DEFRA discussion.
I am also interested in open-access and para-academic publishing. My curated series Land Diagrams (2012) and related article in Cultural Geographies brought together cross-disciplinary 'twinned essays' in response to found diagrams. My current editorial project Were X A Tree: Glosses on Larkin (2015) is being completed for Punctum Books. It brings together twenty-five contributors (from philosophy, geography, history, and literary studies), writing critical commentaries on the avant-garde writer Peter Larkin, with an image on each verso page of their annotation / marginalia. I will be curating a collaborative exhibition of the same title, focussing on new glosses, paratexts, and marginalia on Larkin, in June 2015 at the Wild Pansy Press Project Space as part of the PAGES 2015 theme on 'Collections and Collaborations'.
During my time at Leeds I am presenting in a number of public and academic venues, including a guest seminar at the University of Cambridge and talks at Ignite: AHRC Science in Culture (Natural History Museum), Framing Nature: Signs, Stories, Ecologies of Meaning (EASLCE conference, University of Tartu), British Waters and Beyond: The Cultural Significance of the Sea Since 1800 (Royal West of England Academy, Bristol), and the RGS-IBG 2014 annual conference (Royal Geographical Society). At Leeds I am a member of the Environmental Humanities research group and have also recently joined the Cultural Values workshop. I am also a member of a number of active British research networks and projects, including Literary Geographies, the Atlantic Archipelago Research Group, and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.
In 2015 I will be organising a series of project network workshops on forest research, supported by Ignite funding from the Cultural and Creative Industries Exchange. Activites for the Hearts of Oak network between Leeds, Sheffield, and York will also culminate in a Leeds based conference,Hearts of Oak: Conflicting Cultures of British Woodland.This will tie in with the Woodland Trust's 2014-2018 centenary planting of four new flagship woodlands in Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland. The conference will include representatives from policy and the arts. For more information on forthcoming plans, please join theForest Humanities Jiscmail, which acts as a communication network for a breadth of research in forest humanities, history, literature, politics, and culture.
Recent / Forthcoming Publications
Amy Cutler, 'Coastal Camaraderie and British Writing', in James Riding and Martin Jones eds., Reanimating Region: 11 Ethnographic Explorations (London: Routledge, 2016)