David Farrier

Professor of Literature and the Environment


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). In 2017 he held a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship at the University of New South Wales.

Research summary

David's most recent books consider the new reality of the Anthropocene. Anthropocene Poetics: Deep Time, Sacrifice Zones, and Extinction (Minnesota Press, 2019) is a study of contemporary environmental poetry, and Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils (4th Estate/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2020) explores what traces of present societies will persist in the deep future. Footprints won the Royal Society of Literature's Giles St Aubyn award for unpublished  non-fiction in 2017. David is particularly interested in how literature, especially poetry, responds to the challenges of the Anthropocene.


Past research interests

David is also the author of Postcolonial Asylum (Liverpool University Press, 2011), and Unsettled Narratives (Routledge, 2007).

Project activity

David convenes the Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Network.

He spent three months as a visiting scholar at the University of New South Wales in 2017, courtesy of a Leverhulme Fellowship.

In 2016 David was an expert advisor on 'Deep Time,' the 2016 Edinburgh International Festival opening evet, seen live by over 25,000 people. 


In the press

Selected Media Appearances:

BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking: Deep Time and Human History


ABC Nightlife: The Death of Cities - Fossilized Remains of the Future


Little Atoms: Footprints by David Farrier


Luis Q interviews David Farrier


Washington Post Opinion: Our Greatest Libraries are Melting Away