Archipelagic poetics: ecology in modern Scottish and Irish poetry

Campbell, Alexandra (2018) Archipelagic poetics: ecology in modern Scottish and Irish poetry. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines a range of poets from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland from the Modernist period to the present day, who take the relationship between humans, poetry and the natural world as a primary point of concern. Through precise, materially attentive engagements with the coastal, littoral, and oceanic dimensions of place, Louis MacNeice, Hugh MacDiarmid, Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, Kathleen Jamie, John Burnside, Moya Cannon, Mary O’Malley and Jen Hadfield, respectively turn towards the vibrant space of the Atlantic archipelago in order to contemplate new modes of relation that are able to contend with the ecological and political questions engendered by environmental crises. Across their works, the archipelago emerges as a physical and critical site of poetic relation through which poets consider new pluralised, devolved, and ‘entangled’ relationships with place. Derived from the geographic term for ‘[a]ny sea, or sheet of water, in which there are numerous islands’, the concept of the ‘archipelago’ has recently gained critical attention within Scottish and Irish studies due to its ability to re-orientate the critical axis away from purely Anglocentric discourses. Encompassing a range of spatial frames from bioregion to biosphere, islands to oceans, and temporal scales from deep pasts to deep futures, the poets considered here turn to the archipelago as a means of reckoning with the fundamental questions that the Anthropocene poses about the relationships between humans and the environment. Crucially, through a series of comparative readings, the project presents fresh advancements in ecocritical scholarship, with regards to the rise of material ecocriticism, postcolonial ecocriticism, and the ‘Blue Humanities’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Ecopoetry, ecocriticism, archipelagic studies, Scottish and Irish studies, blue humanities.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Maley, Professor Willy and Borthwick, Dr. David and Miller, Dr. Gavin
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Dr Alexandra Campbell
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-9102
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 14:00
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 07:48

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