Sophia David

Department: English
Discipline: English

Project Summary

My thesis explores the notion of climate change as a failure of representation. It looks at contemporary eco-novels and examines the issues of conceptualising and engaging creatively with climate change. I argue that climate change exists a little beyond our imagination, that it is language destroying and the current means we have of writing and thinking about it only further hinders our ability to grasp, imagine and conceptualist it. I will draw conclusions on the failings and successes of eco-literature in narrating and engaging with environmental issues, and what factors contribute to this determining. I will also examine how literary environmental writing can make climate change more tangible, so that we can begin conceptualising it and avoid the limitation of language that it generates. This analysis will also look at the new literary modes and poetic devices that are borne out of creative environmental writing, and how they might reshape the literary field to create new genres and ways of reading and writing. This research enables a deeper insight into the interrelation between nature and culture. My project seeks to understand how language is implicated within environmental destruction, and what this informs us about our consciousness and the way in which we dwell. It also asks how we are tied to the land in more than just a physiological sense, but also cognitively. This project is interdisciplinary, drawing from the schools of English and Cultural Geography.

Supervisory Team

Professor Regenia Gagnier and Dr Derek Ryan

Wider Research Interests

Ecocriticism; contemporary eco-fiction; Cultural Geography; New Materialism; phenomenology; climate change; nature writing; science and literature; critical theory; interdisciplinary research.