Dr David Borthwick
- Lecturer (Social & Environmental Sustainability)
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. This research is also increasingly explored creatively in poetry and nonfiction.
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.
Charlotte Hunt (PhD), 'Conceptualising death and grief in the more-than-human world: Re-imagining traditional folklore narratives through a posthuman lens'
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)
Hannah Imlach (PhD), 'Close Encounters: art, presence and environmental engagement at RSPB Loch Lomond' (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, co-supervised with Professor Hayden Lorimer, University of Edinburgh, and Professory Minty Donald, University of Glasgow)
Natalie Marr (PhD), ‘Skies Above, Earth Below: Mapping the Values of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park’ (AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award, co-supervised with Professor Hayden Lorimer, University of Edinburgh)
- Cichy, Miranda
How can biodiversity loss and extinction be better understood through arts-science collaboration?
- Hunt, Charlotte
Conceptualising death and grief in the more-than-human world: Re-imagining traditional folklore narratives through a posthuman lens.
Previous Research Students
Djouher Benyoucef (PhD), 'Thomas Hardy and Eco-Cinema' (co-supervised with Dr Rhian Williams) - passed 2020
Sarah Thomas (PhD), 'Making worlds with raven in rural Iceland: entangled memoir for the Anthropocene' – passed 2019
Alexandra Campbell (PhD), ‘Archipelagic poetics: ecology in modern Scottish and Irish poetry’ (co-supervised Professor Willy Maley)– 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 runs an Environmental Humanities course at Level 2 entitled Perspectives on the Environment
At Level 3 David convenes the course History, Literature and Philosophy.
sequence of 11 short poems on the theme of the dawn chorus, in Songs of Time and Place: Birdsong and the Dawn Chorus in Natural History and the Arts, ed. Mike Collier, Bennett Hogg and John Strachan (Gaia Project Press with Art Editions North and Bath Spa University, 2020)
‘around the circumference of exactly here in 7000 miles & 6 species’, Zoomorphic: In Celebration and Defence of Wild Animals, Issue 10 (2018)
‘in the dark half’, Nature and Regeneration, Corbel Stone Press: Contemporary Poetry Series, vol. 1, No 6 (2017)
‘field notes from a place that does not remember’, The Learned Pig (2020)
‘On the Migration of Water and the Flow of Birds in the Upper Solway Ramsar Site, UK’ (2016), Ramsar Website
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