Summary: Comparative Literature; Critical Theory; W. G. Sebald; J. M. Coetzee; Critical Animal Studies; critical veganism; the creaturely;
"Creaturely Forms: Sebald, Coetzee, Devi"
My research project investigates the concepts of the "creature" and the "creaturely" in the works of W. G. Sebald, J. M. Coetzee, and Mahasweta Devi. By working with a definition of the creaturely that sits somewhere between animal studies and political theology, and between posthumanism and humanism, I am particularly interested in how the novel form simultaneously challenges and reinforces the space between humans and nonhumans.
I am supervised by Dr Helen Finch and Dr Sam Durrant. I am affiliated with Prof Stuart Taberner's Leverhulme Trust Major Research Project "Traumatic Pasts, Cosmopolitanism, and Nation-Building in Contemporary German and South African Literature".
My PhD research is fully funded by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies' Doctoral College of the Arts.
Activities: I am an editor of the cultural studies and critical theory journal, parallax. I convene the Creaturely Life reading group, and was the 2016/17 co-director of Quilting Points, the interdisciplinary critical theory group. For this, Rachel Johnson and I focused on the work of Hannah Arendt, and invited presentations from Profs. Simon Swift (Geneva), Patrick Hayden (St Andrews) and Lyndsey Stonebridge (East Anglia). I co-organised the WRoCAH-funded event World Against Globe: Reconceptualising World Literatures Today (April 2016) and the workshop Futures of Memory (Feb 2017). Most recently, Ian Ellison and I hosted a workshop on W. G. Sebald: Beyond Sebald: New Trajectories in Sebald Studies (May 2017). I am a member of the Northern Animals collective.
Recent conferences: I have presented on literature and cinema at conferences including: Coetzee and the Archive (2017); 'Contemporary Literature and the Archive' at American Comparative Literature Association Annual Convention (2017); Universität Würzburg's Texts, Animals, Environments: Zoopoetics and Environmental Poetics (2016); Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre's workshop Confronting Difficult Pasts (2016);Stockholms Universitet's workshop The Creaturely, The Human, The Global (2016); Universiteit Gent's Questions of Scale in Contemporary Literature (2016); Universität Kassel's Animal Biographies (2016); the University of Cumbria's Visualising the Animal (2015); and the University of Sheffield's Reading Animals (2014). In October 2015 I was invited to the University of Manchester to discuss Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. You can listen to this paper here.
Teaching and responsibilities:
- 2017-18: Contemporary World Literature and Poetry: Reading and Interpretation
- 2016-17: Writing Critically
- I mentor undergraduates on the English and Comparative Literature degree programme.
'W. G. Sebald's Zoopoetics: Writing After Nature', in Texts, Animals, Environments, ed. by Frederike Middelhoff, Sebastian Schönbeck, Roland Borgands, Catrin Gersdorf (Freiburg: Rombach, forthcoming 2017)
'Postscript, Posthuman: Werner Herzog's Crocodile at the End of the World', in Animal Biographies, ed. by André Krebber and Mieke Roscher (forthcoming, 2017)
'Writing Between Species: Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear', 3:AM Magazine, 2017
'Curiosity and Refusal: Werner Herzog's Late Documentaries', The Cinematologists, 2017
Find my Academia profile here.