Dr David Borthwick
- Lecturer (Interdisciplinary Studies)
David's research concerns modern and contemporary literary responses to the environment, at present focusing on poetic responses to landscape and place. David is interested in the ecopoetic strategies of a range of contemporary UK poets including John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie, Alice Oswald and Robin Robertson.
His research seeks to examine the problematic and multivalent nature of place, and its future. Recent research has concerned the relationship between literature and walking as a creative act, and the ways in which landscape itself might be said to be textual.
He is also engaged in the examination of the upsurge in writing about environment and place within the UK since the millennium which has come to be known as 'The New Nature Writing.'
David has supervised a range of postgraduate students, with a particular emphasis on students of creative writing whose work focuses on environmental themes.
David is Programme Director of the MLitt Environment, Culture and Communication and is a member of the Solway Centre for Environment and Culture.
Sarah Thomas (PhD), '"What Good Have You to Say?": Living in Iceland with Eruption and Thaw.'
Harriet Fraser (MPhil), 'The Cumbrian Fells as a Cultural Landscape: Poetry, Prose and Word Maps'
Theresa Muñoz (PhD), 'A Complicated Belonging: Outsiderness in the work of Tom Leonard.'
Previous Research Students
Jackie Galley (MPhil), 'Can a Poem be Read Ecologically?: the Science of Contemporary Poems of the River Environment' - passed 2015
Em Strang (PhD), ‘Habitude: Ecopoetry As (Im)Possible (Inter)Connection.’ - Passed 2014
David is Programme Director of the MLitt Environment, Culture and Communication, and convenes three courses on the degree:
- Reading the Environment: Old and New World Romanticisms (Semester 1)
- Writing the Environment: Modern and Contemporary Nature Writing (Semester 2)
He also contributes a course at Level 4 to the BSc in Environmental Stewardship
David contributes to a range of other courses including:
- Literature 1 (Level 1, Semester 2)
- Literature 2: Individuals and Society in Literature and Film (Level 2, Semester 2)
- Contemporary Scottish Literature (Level 4, Semester 1, School of Critical Studies)
Reviews / Other
Profiled at The Bottle Imp, Scottish Studies E-zine (Spring 2009).
Recent Research Projects
Walking: Textual Landscapes, 30 July 2014
Poets and Landscape Workers: co-authored blogs combinging poets and landscape conservationists, Summer 2013
Selected Conference papers
‘Thomas A. Clark, Alec Finlay and Gerry Loose: Reseeding the Fault Line, and The Hundred Thousand Places’, Flow and Fracture from North America to Europe and Beyond: Reflections, Refractions and Diffractions within the Ecopoetic Avant-Garde, ULB, Brussels, 4-5 December 2014
'"Our difficult / cthonic anchorage": Kathleen Jamie, Alice Oswald, and the Problem of Bioregional Rootedness in UK Ecopoetry', Framing Nature: Signs, Stories, and Ecologies of Meaning, University of Tartu, Estonia, April 29-May 3, 2014
'"All havoc and Weakness", The Contemporary Long Ecopoem', Composting Culture: Literature, Nature, Popular Culture, Science, University of Worcester, 5-7 September 2012
‘Submerged History and the "Secular Sacred" in Work by Burnside, Hadfield, Jamie and Oswald,’ Environment and Identity, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, 20–21 July 2011.
'"The tilt from one parish/into another": Liminality and Continuity in Poetry by John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie and Robin Robertson', Landscape/Mindscape, Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, 24-25 June 2010.