Amy Player, Doctoral Assistant in Modern English Literature (Assistant-diplômé) from 2018.

PhD project: Border Crossings and Hybridity in New British Nature Writing

Amy’s doctoral thesis investigates the literary phenomenon of ‘new nature writing’, which has come into prominence in recent years. She considers selected texts by Robert Macfarlane, Jay Griffiths and Kathleen Jamie, in relation to past nature writing. She examines what their writing takes from the past and what ‘newness’ there is in their respective approaches. She aims to consider how their responses are suited to the particular conditions of our times, and address what the genre’s popularity might reflect about our contemporary relationship with the natural world in the age of the Anthropocene. She looks at how these three writers help push towards new ways of thinking about this relationship, considering how they expand the horizons of what writing about nature should involve and include today and open up perspectives and ways of seeing that are increasingly hybrid in scope. Her thesis looks specifically to this notion of hybridity, considering how their writing blurs boundaries between the human and nonhuman, and broadens the possibilities of language in order to offer alternative ways of knowing and thinking about nature. The focus on diverse perspectives and shifts in scale, the incorporation of ex-centric ‘voices’, and the attention to dynamic and diverse ‘natural’ locations in their writing provide new approaches to the dualisms that have often framed the way we think about the natural world. Through their reflections on questions of nature and culture both within a local and global context, she argues that these writers open up crucial dialogues within the greater environmental consciousness, and thus offer timely and urgent narratives for our current state of international ecological crisis.

Completed PhD supervision (University of Lausanne)

  • Philip Lindholm, Doctoral Assistant in Modern English Literature (Assistant-diplômé) 2012-2018. Synaesthesia in British Romanticism. Completed without corrections, June 2018.
  • Rachel Nisbet, Doctoral Assistant in Interdisciplinary Studies (Assistant-diplômé) 2011-2018. Anthropocene River Narratives. Completed without corrections, June 2018.

Completed PhD supervision (University of Sheffield)

  • Marcus Nevitt, Early Modern Women’s Writing. Completed 2001.
  • Julie Scanlon, Contemporary Women’s Fiction and Feminist Theory. Completed 2003.
  • Brendan Stone, Contemporary Autopathography and Narrative Theory. Completed 2004.
  • Jennifer Adams, Magic Realism and Holocaust Fiction. Completed 2010.
  • Mervat Al-Jomaa, Crossover Literature, Psychoanalytic and Reader Response Theory. Completed 2010.
  • Yi Yin Lee, Space and Identity in Young Adult Literature. Completed 2010.

Completed secondary PhD supervision (University of Sheffield)

Holocaust Literature, completed 2002
Theories of Agency in Bakhtin and Queer Studies, completed 2001.

Internal PhD examining (University of Sheffield)

  • Trauma, Utterance and Patterns in Holocaust Survivor Testimony, 2008
  • Poetry of John Berryman, 2008
  • European, Inter-War, Lesbian and Gay Fiction, 2006
  • The novels of W.G. Sebald, 2005

External PhD examining

  • Karian Schuitema, ‘Children’s Theatre in the UK: Representing Cultural Diversity on Stage Through the Practices of Interculturalism, Multiculturalism and Internationalism’, University of Westminster, London, April 2012.
  • Susanna Gebhardt, ‘Early Modern English Wall-Writing: Memory and Textual Culture’, University of Geneva, Jan 2013.
  • Arnaud Barras, ‘Ecopoetic Metafiction: the Interaction of Organism and Environment in Postcolonial Literatures, University of Geneva, June 2016.
  • Megha Agarwal, ‘Anabasis and Katabasis in Inferno, Paradise Lost, Frankenstein and Heart of Darkness’, Goldsmith’s College, London University, June 2018.