Professor John Parham


Professor of Environmental Humanities

English Media and Culture

Contact Details


John Parham's research lies in environmental humanities, notably Victorian literature and ecology and eco-media studies. He has written, edited and co-edited six books: Green Media and Popular Culture (Palgrave Macmillan: 2016); Literature and Sustainability: Exploratory Essays (co-edited with Adeline Johns-Putra and Louise Squire) (Manchester University Press, 2017); A Global History of Literature and the Environment (co-edited with Louise Westling) (Cambridge University Press, 2017); The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Anthropocene (Cambridge University Press, 2021); a book on the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, Green Man Hopkins: Poetry and the Victorian Ecological Imagination (Rodopi: 2010), and a further edited collection, The Environmental Tradition in English Literature (Ashgate: 2002). John has published articles on several Victorian writers (including Charles Dickens, William Morris, and Emile Zola), contemporary literature, green popular culture (looking at British and Australian punk, film, computer games, and digital climate fiction), and on teaching cultural studies and environmental studies. For 20 years, John was co-editor of the journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism (published by Taylor & Francis).

At the University, John is Professor of Environmental Humanities and course leader for the Arts and Humanities MRes programme. He teaches modules in green media, the new humanities and research methods. John also leads the university’s Green Voices Research Group who have held events, in Worcester, with the nature writers Caspar Henderson and Richard Kerridge, and the photographer David Plummer, as well as a conference on ‘Enchanted Environments’ at the University of Worcester Art House in 2020.



PhD Gerard Manley Hopkins and Ecocriticism (1999)

MA Cultural Studies (History and Theory) (1994)

BA (Hons) Cultural Studies - First Class (1987)

Teaching Interests

  • The New Humanities
  • Green Media
  • Research Methods (Undergraduate and Postgraduate)
  • HEA Fellow 

Research Interests

  • Eco-media studies
  • Victorian Literature and Ecology
  • Contemporary Literature and Ecocriticism

Professional Bodies

Member of the UK/Ireland branch of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE-UKI); ASLE-UKI Secretary between 2005-2012.



Author. ‘Digital Cli-Fi: Human Stories of Climate in Online and Social Media’ in Adeline Johns-Putra and Kelly Sultzbach (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Climate (Cambridge University Press, 2022.

Editor. The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Anthropocene (Cambridge University Press, 2021)

Author. ‘Sound and Silence: Punk and the Anthropocene’ in Gabriele Dürbeck and Philip Hüpkes (eds) Narratives of Scale in the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2021)

Co-editor. ‘Enchanted Environments’, special issue of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism 25(2), 2021

Author. ‘Engels, Material Ecology, and the Victorian Origins of Data Management’, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 2019

2017. (co-edited with Dr Adeline Johns-Putra and Dr Louise Squire). Literature and Sustainability: Exploratory Essays. Manchester University Press

2017 (co-edited with Professor Louise Westling). A Global History of Literature and the Environment. Cambridge University Press

2016. Green Media and Popular Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan

2010.Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Victorian Ecological Tradition. Rodopi. Amsterdam

2002. (edited)The Environmental Tradition in English Literature.Ashgate. Aldershot


2018. A Not So Stationary State: John Stuart Mills Poetic Ecology in Wendy Parkins (ed) Victorian Sustainability in Literature and Culture. Routledge

2017. Sustenance from the Past: Precedents to Sustainability in 19th-Century Literature & Culture in Johns-Putra, Parham, and Squire (eds) Literature and Sustainability: Exploratory Essays

2017. Bleak Intra-Actions: Dickens, Romanticism, Material Ecology in Laurence W. Mazzeno and Ronald D. Morrison (eds) Victorian Writers and the Environment: Ecocritical Perspectives. Ashgate

2016. (with Pippa Marland) Visualising Deep Environmental History: Transnational Ecocinema and Patricio Guzmáns Nostalgia for the Light in English Studies in Latin America: A Journal of Cultural and Literary Criticism [Chile].

2014. Flowers of Evil: Ecosystem Health and the Punk Poetry of John Cooper Clarke in Punk, Politics and Resistance: Fight Back! (Ed. Matt Worley) Manchester University Press

2012. 'Hungry Unlike the Wolf: Ecology, Posthumanism, Narratology in Fred Vargas's Seeking Whom He May Devour'. Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 3(2)

2012. 'Two-Ply: Discordant Nature and English Landscape in Alice Oswald's Dart' in Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses

2011. A Concrete Sense of Place: Alienation and the City in British Punk and New Wave 1977-1980 in Green Letters 15 (Autumn 2011)

2011.For you, pollution: The Victorian Novel and a Human Ecology. Disraeli's Sibyl and Gaskell's Mary Barton in Green Letters 14 (Autumn 2011)

2010.'Dickens in the City: Science, Technology, Ecology in the Novels of Charles Dickens' in 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century [online journal]

2008. 'The Poverty of Ecocritical Theory: E.P. Thompson and the British Perspective' in New Formations 64

2008.Interview: John Parham in Literature and Environment [the journal of ASLE-Korea] 7, 2

2007. 'What is (Ecological) Nature? John Stuart Mill and the Victorian Perspective' in Culture, Creativity and Environment: New Environmentalist Criticism, Fiona Becket and Terry Gifford (eds) Rodopi, Amsterdam

2006. 'Academic Values: Why Environmentalists Loathe the Media' in ISLE-Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 13, 1

2006. 'The Deficiency of Environmental Capital: Why Environmentalism Needs a Reflexive Pedagogy' in Ecodidactic Perspectives on English Language, Literatures and Cultures, Sylvia Mayer and Graham Wilson (eds). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier. Trier

2003. 'Green Man Hopkins: Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Ecological Imagination' in Nineteenth-Century Contexts 25, 3

2003. 'Teaching Pleasure: Experiments in Cultural Studies and Pedagogy'International Journal of Cultural Studies 5, 4

Edited Journal Special Issues

2017. (co-guest editing with Dr Alenda Chang). Special Issue, Computer and Video Games, Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment

2014. Junk/Composting (with Pippa Marland), Green Letters 18, 1

2011. Victorian Ecology, Green Letters 14

2013, 2017, 2018. Open themed issues, Green Letters

Forthcoming Major Publications

2018. Natures History? Environmentalism and the British Nature Novel in Eileen Pollard and Berthold Schoene (eds) Accelerated Times: British Literature in Transition, 1980-2000. Cambridge UP

2018. Stretching and Bending the Frame: Possibilities in Green Popular Culture, Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities

2019. (co-guest editing with Professor Scott Slovic). Special Issue, Big Data and the Environmental Humanities, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

2019. Engels, Material Ecology, and the Victorian Origins of Data Management, in Parham and Slovic (eds) European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology

2019-20. (editor) The Cambridge Companion to Literature and the Anthropocene. Cambridge UP

Recent conference papers

2018. [forthcoming] Understanding Environmental Communication: The Place of Social Media. The Garden: Ecological Paradigms of Space, History, and Community, University of Würzberg/EASLCE

2017. Engels, Material Ecology, and the Victorian Origins of Data Management. Nineteenth-Century Literature and the Environment, University of Southampton/Vcologies

2017. Biggish Data: Friedrich Engels, Material Ecology, and the Origins of Data Management. Cross Multi Inter Trans, Sheffield Hallam University/ASLE-UKI

2017. Being Slapstick, Being Elastic: Green Humors Engagement with the Energy Crisis. Rust/Resistance. Wayne State University, Detroit/ASLE-US

2016. Invited speaker, Critics Panel. Poetry, Creativity, and Environment, University of Leeds

2015. Invited speaker, Engels and Material Ecocriticism. Environmental Humanities on the Ground. Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China

2015. Bleak Intra-Actions. Dickens, Romanticism, Material Ecology. British Society of Literature and Science Tenth Annual Conference, University of Liverpool

2014. Invited speaker. A Transnational Romance: Eco-Cosmopolitanism, Japanese Anime, Romantic Narratives. Rethinking Environmental Consciousness: An International Research Symposium of the Environmental Humanities. Mid-Sweden University

2010. Going Underground: Environment, Place and Alienation in British and Australian Punk, Sounding the Earth: Music, Language and Acoustic Ecology, University of Tasmania.
Hungry Unlike the Wolf: Ecology, Humanity, Narratology, Environmental Change-Cultural Change, University of Bath

Steps Forward: Ecocriticism, Romanticism and Walking, Romantic Walking: Representation and Experience, University of Warwick

2009. Dickens in the City: Science, Technology, Ecology in the Novels of Charles Dickens, Dickens and Science, Institute of English Studies, University of London

2008. Fatal Disorders Fleshed There: Ecology, Poetry, Humanity in the Writing of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Poetic Ecologies: Nature as Text and Text as Nature in English-Language Verse, Université Libre de Bruxelles

2006. The Deficiency of Environmental Capital: Why Environmentalism needs a Reflexive Pedagogy, Discordant Harmonies: Ecocriticism in the 21st Century, University of Lincoln

2006. Beyond Phenomenology: Water, Science and Political Economy in Victorian Literature, Biennial Conference of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and Environment, Alps-Adriatic University, Klagenfurt, Austria

2005. The poverty of ecocritical theory and the ecocritics task: E.P. Thompson and the British perspective, Biennial Conference of ASLE-US, University of Oregon

2004.The spirit in its bone-house: Gerard Manley Hopkins and ecological embodiment, The Senses, Thames Valley University; and Cross-Fertilisations: Science, Nature and Literature, University College, Chichester 2002. (edited) The Environmental Tradition in English Literature. Ashgate. Aldershot

2002. Towards a Victorian ecology: Tennyson's In Memoriam and Mills 'Principles of Political Economy', Creativity, Culture and Environment, University of Leeds and Media Studies: the great vocational-critical divide, MeCCSA 3rd Annual Conference, University of Westminster

2000. Academic values: why environmentalists loathe the media, Environmental Values, University College, Cork

2000. 'The 'new man in television sport'Posting the Male,Liverpool John Moores University

1999. My winter world: weather, health and human ecology in the work of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Biennial Conference of ASLE, Western Michigan University

1998. Gerard Manley Hopkins and the ecological self, The Soul in Western History and Culture, Chichester Institute of Higher Education

External Roles

Editor of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 2002-22.

Advisory Board member for Swamphen: A Journal of Cultural Ecology (Australia); EurAmerica: A Journal of European and American Studies (S. Korea); Brill/Rodopi’s ‘Nature, Culture and Literature’ book series (mainland Europe)

Research Supervision

1 PhD supervised to completion (Thames Valley University): An analysis and evaluation of the concept of authenticity within popular music, using Country-Rock music as an exemplar genre