Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr David Farrier

Senior Lecturer

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Eco-criticism; postcolonial studies; asylum and refugee contexts; twentieth century and contemporary British poetry.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Leeds
(‘Such turbulent human material’: Building dwellings, building texts, in the Pacific writings of Robert Louis Stevenson, William Ellis, Herman Melville and Jack London

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseAsylum in literature and film, Contemporary environmental poetry and fiction


David Farrier studied at the University of Leeds (BA, MA, PhD). Before being appointed at Edinburgh in 2010, he was Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature for four years at the University of Leicester (where he was awarded a University Teaching Award in 2008). He is the author of monographs on nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century Pacific travel writing (Unsettled Narratives, Routledge, 2007; paperback 2014), and on representations of asylum seekers and refugees in contemporary literature, visual art and film (Postcolonial Asylum, Liverpool University Press, 2011; paperback 2013. Written with the assistance of AHRC research leave). He has also published articles and chapters on Derek Walcott, Michael Ondaatje, Robert Louis Stevenson, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Caryl Phillips, the filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, Mourid Barghouti, Herman Melville, various aspects of asylum seeker narratives, Giorgio Agamben, Edward Thomas, Alice Oswald, Jez Butterworth, JA Baker and the 'New Nature' writers, Ruth Padel, Mahasweta Devi, and Chloe Hooper. In 2017 he was a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales.

He is currently working on two books: Anthropocene Poetics, a study of contemporary environmental poetry; and Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils, which will be pubvlished by 4th Estate and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2019.

Research Interests

David’s current research is in literary responses to environmental change and the Anthropocene. He is especially interested in the way contemporary poetry responds to or can be read in light of these issues; in issues to do with deep time and the difficulty of imagining environmental futures; and in the problem of defining an Anthropocene poetics. His previous work looked at the relationship between asylum/refugee discourse and postcolonial studies. He is willing to supervise PhD projects which coincide with any of these interests.

Research activities & awards

  1. 'The Saying of Language Itself': Poetry and Extinction

    Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk

  2. University of Leeds

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

  3. Baltic Sea Research Station, Stockholm University

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesResearch and Teaching at External Organisation

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Latest prizes

  1. Leverhulme International Visiting Fellowship

    Prize: Fellowships awarded competitively

  2. Giles St Aubyn Award (Royal Society of Literature) 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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