Heather Milligan

Thesis title: Experimental Encounters with (and against) the EcoGothic


MSt English (1900-present), University of Oxford, 2019

MA (Hons) English Literature, University of Edinburgh, 2018

Responsibilities & affiliations

Reader, James Tait Black Prize for Fiction (2021, 2022)

Fiction Editor, Epilogue Magazine (2019–)

Member, ASLE-UKI

Undergraduate teaching

  • Tutor for Literary Studies 2A and Literary Studies 2B (2022–23)

Research summary

My doctoral research on the 'ecoGothic' brings together contemporary Gothic fiction with recent work in the environmental humanities on climate collapse, deep time, and extractivism. The thesis considers the capacities of the twenty-first-century novel form to engage with environmental crises, using the Gothic's preoccupations with history, inheritance, and resurgent temporalities to foreground the historical and political dimensions of collapse. Authors include Jeff VanderMeer, Alexis Wright, and K-Ming Chang.

Current research interests

20th- and 21st-century fiction, ecocriticism, narrative form, temporality, resistance narratives, queer ecology

Affiliated research centres

Conference details

November 2022 – 3 minute thesis competition, Carnegie Scholars' Gathering, 'Experimental Encounters with EcoGothic', 2nd prize

September 2022 – Presented paper 'Queer Ecology and Evolutionary Time in K-Ming Chang's Bestiary'. ASLE-UKI Biennial Conference, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 6–8 September 2022.

June 2022 – Presented paper ‘“Nothing is proved, nothing is known”: The Ethics of Virginia Woolf’s Scepticism’. 31st Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf. Lamar University, Texas (online), 9–12 June 2022. 

August 2021 – Presented paper ‘“The totality of this mid-Collapse condition”: The Plurality of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy’. EmergencE/Y: ASLE Virtual Conference, 26 July–6 August 2021.