Isabel Galleymore

Department: Humanities
Discipline: English

Project Summary

In How Poets See the World (2005) Willard Spiegelman asks the following question: ‘What do we do when we describe something? Reproduce, account for, picture, portray, trace, parcel out?’. Developing such a question with regard to the environment, ecocritics such as Lawrence Buell are interested in ‘how environmentality gets encoded and expressed’. Taking these concerns as reference points, The School of Nature Writing: Environmental Poetics and Pedagogies will be the first analytical survey of nature writing courses to be conducted. Looking at how a literary relationship to the environment might be guided in these pedagogies, I investigate ecocentricity and anthropocentricity in the processes and products certain literary modes generate. The latter is informed by my literary analysis of self-reflexive poems by Jorie Graham, Charles Tomlinson, Howard Nemerov, Mark Doty. By contrasting the self-critique these poems portray with the literary modes favoured by certain pedagogies, I explore the effects of nature writing that makes use of facts and natural history versus  nature writing that promotes a metaphoric consciousness.


Supervisory Team

Professor Nick Groom
Dr Andy Brown

Wider Research Interests

I am interested in figurative language and its potential in an environmental context. This interest comprises  anthropomorphism, synecdoche, metonymy, apostrophe and metaphor. In terms of the latter, I am currently exploring both structural aspects to the device and philosophical accounts of metaphor. In particular, I find the relationship between the metaphor and the joke a fascinating area in terms of irony, incongruity and incongruity's corrective function. Part of this interest has been fostered by my investigation into theories of humour and environmental cartoons.