Institute of Humanities
Director of Studies: Dr John Parham
Second and Third Supervisors: Dr David Arnold; Prof Terry Gifford
From the ‘good step’ to the ‘emptiness within’: an ecocritical study of post-1960 literary constructions of ‘islandness’
My research project is a study of the Anglophone literature of four islands/island groups around the British and Irish archipelago – Aran (Araínn), Bardsey (Ynys Enlli), the Shiants, and the almost-island of Orford Ness – with a focus on non-fiction works by Tim Robinson, Brenda Chamberlain, Adam Nicolson, W. G. Sebald, and Robert Macfarlane, and also poetry by R. S. Thomas, Peter Riley and Christine Evans. The research looks at the place of the island in our cultural imagination and, in particular, explores the idea of the island as a heightened space for the negotiation of self and world. The thesis has an interdisciplinary base which includes the emergent field of island studies, formulations of place drawn from cultural geography, archipelagic perspectives in critical and creative writing, and, as an overarching framework, contemporary ecocritical theorisations of posthumanism.
- About Pippa Marland
About Pippa Marland
Pippa studied for a Masters degree at the University of Bristol before coming to Worcester to take up a University doctoral studentship in Ecocriticism. Prior to returning to study in higher education, Pippa worked as a professional musician and also as a lecturer in Music Performance and Songwriting. She is still involved in touring with Celtic/jazz band Carmina and her songs are published by Real World.
- Research Interests
Ecocriticsim; ecopoetics; posthumanism; ecomaterialism; new nature writing; metaphor.
November, 2013 ‘Ecocriticism’ Literature Compass (Wiley-Blackwell online) 10 (11) pp. 846–868. doi: 10.1111/lic3.12105.
Co-guest edited with John Parham ‘Composting Culture’ issue of Green Letters 18 (1), March 2014 – joint editorial ‘Remaindering: the material ecology of junk and composting’ doi:10.1080/14688417.2014.897071
‘“Island of the Dead”: composting twenty-thousand saints on Bardsey Island’ Green Letters 18 (1) March 2014, doi:10.1080/14688417.2014.891446.
'"Heaps of scrap metal and defunct machinery": assemblages, ethics and affect in W.G. Sebald's Orford Ness' forthcoming in Ecozon@ November 2014. This essay has been awarded the 2013 EASLCE prize for the Best Graduate Student Essay in European Ecocriticism, and the publication in Ecozon@ is part of the prize which was formally awarded at the EASLCE conference in Estonia in April 2014.
"My cries heave, herds-long": metaphor, posthumanism and Gerard Manley Hopkins' 'No worst, there is none' forthcoming 2015 in publication Natura Loquens, Natura Agens – collection of papers from the 2012 EASLCE conference.
The ‘good step’ and dwelling in Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran: the advent of psycho-archipelagraphy forthcoming in Ecozon@ 2015.
The gannet’s skull versus the plastic doll’s head: material ‘value’ in Kathleen Jamie’s “Findings” forthcoming in Green Letters 19 (2) 2015. This essay has been awarded the ASLE-UKI postgraduate essay of 2014.
Review of Archipelago and Earthlines for Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 2013.
Reviews of Katha Pollitt’s The Mind-Body Problem; The Messenger by L.M. Shakespeare; Literature, Ecology, Ethics edited by Michael Sauter and Timo Muller; and Crossing the North Sea by Susanna Roxman for New Welsh Review.
‘The Meanest Flower’ Earthlines, November 2014.
- Conference Presentations
“My cries heave herds-long”: Metaphor, Posthumanism and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘No worst there is none’ at the European Association for the Study of Culture, Literature and Environment (EASLCE) 5th Biennial Conference at the University of La Laguna, Tenerife, June 2012.
Composting 20,000 saints – Bardsey (Ynys Enlli) and the trope of island spirituality at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE – UKI) 8th Biennial Conference at the University of Worcester, September 2012.
“The stained bones underground feel our dancing measure”: an ecocritical exploration of the ‘relational choreographies’ of Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) in the work of Brenda Chamberlain and Christine Evans at the 25th Annual Conference of the Association for Welsh Writing in English at Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Wales, March 2013.
'"Heaps of scrap metal and defunct machinery": assemblages, ethics and affect in W.G. Sebald's Orford Ness' at the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE-UKI) Biennial Conference at the University of Surrey, August 2013.
“320 million years, a century, a quarter of a mile, a couple of paces”: framing the ‘good step’ in Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran at the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment (EASLCE) Biennial Conference, Tartu, Estonia, April 2014.