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 how theoretical debates surrounding the concepts of the "creature" and the "creaturely" are problematised by 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, 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 also convene the Creaturely Life reading group, and I am 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).
Conferences: I have presented on literature and cinema at conferences including: the University of Sheffield's Reading Animals (2014); the University of Cumbria's Visualising the Animal (2015); Universität Kassel's Animal Biographies (2016); Universiteit Gent's Questions of Scale in Contemporary Literature (2016); Stockholms Universitet's workshop The Creaturely, The Human, The Global (2016); Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre's workshop Confronting Difficult Pasts (2016); and Universität Würzburg's Texts, Animals, Environments: Zoopoetics and Environmental Poetics (2016); In October 2015 I was invited to the University of Manchester to present on Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. You can listen to this paper here.
'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.