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.
Miranda Cichy (PhD), 'How Can Biodiversity Loss and Extinction be Better Understood Through Arts-Science Collaboration?' (co-supervised with Professor Pat Monaghan and Maggie Reilly)
Sarah Thomas (PhD), '"What Good Have You to Say?": Living in Iceland with Eruption and Thaw.'
Djouher Benyoucef (PhD), Thomas Hardy and Eco-Cinema (co-supervised with Dr Rhian Williams)
Natalie Marr (PhD), ‘Skies Above, Earth Below: Mapping the Values of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park’ (co-supervised with Professor Hayden Lorimer)
Previous Research Students
Alexandra Campbell (PhD), ‘Archipelagic poetics: ecology in modern Scottish and Irish poetry’ – passed 2018
Harriet Fraser (MPhil), 'The Cumbrian Fellas as a Cultural Landscape: Poetry, Prose and Word Maps' - Passed 2017
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 Science and Sustainability
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)
Reviews / Other
Profiled at The Bottle Imp, Scottish Studies E-zine (Spring 2009).
Selected Conference papers
‘Flight Ways, Goose Music and Metamorphosis: Migratory Birds and the Transnational Tilt’, ASLE-UKI & Land2 Conference 2017: Cross Multi Inter Trans, University of Sheffield Hallam University, 6-8 September 2017.
‘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