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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), and on representations of asylum seekers and refugees in contemporary literature, visual art and film (Postcolonial Asylum, Liverpool University Press, 2011, written with the assistance of AHRC research leave and available in paperback in August 2013). 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, and various aspects of asylum seeker narratives.
David’s research interests take in many aspects of the experience and representation of displacement. He has published on various incarnations of travel, transculturalism and migration, and his current research activities focus on two main areas:
1. issues surrounding asylum and the concept of sanctuary: in particular, the relationship between asylum/refugee discourse and postcolonial studies; the way asylum experience is represented and the disciplinary migrations involved; ideas of hospitality, exceptionality and (ir)regularity; the political, conceptual and geographical spaces associated with asylum; and absences within the concept itself (e.g. in terms of gender, sexuality or environmentally-driven displacement). He is especially interested in contrapuntal reading strategies as a way of engaging with accounts of asylum and refugee experience; and more broadly in all aspects of what Derek Gregory has called ‘the colonial present’.
2. writing which engages with place and the environment: especially representations of climate change; the relationship between place and subjecthood; landscape and memory; 'eco-critical' readings of inhabited spaces (cities, slums, borderlands) and neo-imperial contexts; literary form and the possibilities of 'ecopoeisis'; and the convergence between postcolonial and eco-critical reading strategies.
He also much inclines towards the work of J.M Coetzee, W.G. Sebald, Basil Bunting, Edward Thomas, Alice Oswald, and much postcolonial poetry.
David convenes the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network. See the network blog for more information: http://www.blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/eeh/
This article was published on Nov 26, 2012