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Personal profile

Research interests

My main research fields are German environmental literature and ecocriticism.

I graduated in Modern Languages (German and French) from Trinity College Dublin, and spent ten years teaching and studying in Germany, at the University of Kiel. My doctoral thesis on Romantic and 20th-century German nature poetry was published as Natursprache (1984). I joined the University of Bath in 1984, and retired as Professor of German and European Culture in 2017.

In the 1980s and 1990s I worked on aspects of modern and contemporary German literature including nature poetry, GDR Studies, Exile Studies, and literary and filmic representations of nature and technology. Since then, I have focused my research on ecocritical theory (including frame analysis, space and place, and the interface of ecocriticism with memory studies), cultural animal studies, energy narratives, climate change discourse (including perceptions of environmental risk and literature in the Anthropocene), and climate fiction.

I was a founding member of both the British and European branches of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and served as first president of the latter 2004-6. I was Associate Editor of the EASLCE journal Ecozon@ (2010-2020), and I co-edit the Rodopi/ Brill book series ‘Nature, Culture and Literature’.

At the University of Bath, I led the Departmental research group ‘Memory, History, and Identity’ from 2007 to 2014. I received grant funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and was a Research Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment & Society in Munich in 2015. I am currently a Visiting Scholar at Bath Spa University (Centre for Environmental Humanities).

Current Research interests:

  • Climate fiction
  • Nature writing and garden writing
  • Eco-narratology

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Scholar, Bath Spa University

1 Jan 201831 Dec 2023


  • PT Germanic literature
  • Ecocriticism
  • Axel Goodbody
  • climate change fiction
  • climate scepticism
  • nature writing


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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