David Farrier

Senior Lecturer


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; paperback 2014), and on representations of asylum seekers and refugees in contemporary literature, visual art and film (Postcolonial Asylum, Liverpool University Press, 2011; paperback 2013. Written with the assistance of AHRC research leave). 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, various aspects of asylum seeker narratives, the playwrights Sonja Linden and Jez Butterworth, Giorgio Agamben, Edward Thomas, and Alice Oswald.

Research summary

David’s research interests take in many aspects of the experience of displacement and the representation of relationships with place. He has published on various incarnations of travel, migration, and eco-criticism, 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; related ideas of hospitality, exceptionality and (ir)regularity; and absences within the concept itself (e.g. in terms of gender, sexuality or environmentally-driven displacement).
  2. Writing which engages with place, time and the environment: especially representations of climate change and 'deep time'; Anthropocene poetics; 'eco-critical' readings of inhabited spaces (cities, slums, borderlands) and neo-imperial contexts; 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.

Research activities

View all 33 activities on Research Explorer

Project activity

David convenes the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network and is a co-investigator on the multi-disciplinary AHRC-funded project 'Caring for the Future Through Ancestral Time'.

In 2012-13 he was part of a Creative Scotland funded project, Making it Home, which used poetry-based film-making to build bridges of shared experience, dialogue and integration between two diverse groups of women in Scotland: women who are refugees, supported by the Maryhill Integration Network in Glasgow; and local women from Women Supporting Women in Pilton, Edinburgh.

View all 25 publications on Research Explorer