Peter Adkins

Early Career Teaching and Research Fellow

  • English Literature
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 3.04
21 Buccleuch Place

Post code

Post code


  • Office Hours for Semester 1: Friday, 11am-12pm (appointment by email).


Peter joined the department in autumn 2021, having previously taught in the English and Comparative Literature departments at the University of Kent. His research explores how writers reimagine the relationship between human and nonhuman life, especially within modernism. His first book, The Modernist Anthropocene (2022), explores how modernist writing responded to environmental changes that were taking place on a planetary scale. He is currently working on two follow up project. The first looks at how ideas around animal ethics and vegetarianism developed and changed in the decades between 1890 and 1940.  The second project explores how British modernists and later writers imagined, theorised and were implicated in the rise of oil culture.

Peter is a member of the International Virginia Woolf Society and was co-editor of Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace: Theory and Aesthetics (2021). He is currently editing a volume entitled Virginia Woolf and the Anthropocene (due for publication in 2023).

As of 2022, Peter has launched the Digestive Modernisms research network with Dr Marie Allitt, which aims to bring together researchers interested in food, eating and digestion within modernist culture. 

Peter has also published research on James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Edward Carpenter and Mina Loy, among others.


PhD, English, University of Kent (2019)

MA, English and American Literature, University of Kent (2015)

BA, English and American Literature with Creative Writing, University of Kent (2014)

Undergraduate teaching


Global Modernisms: Inter/National Responses to Modernity

Beastly Writing: Animals, Literaturer, Modernity

Literary Studies 1a

Literary Studies 1b

English Literature Undergraduate Dissertation

Postgraduate teaching


Modernist Aesthetics

Fairy Tales

English Literature Dissertation

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Research summary

  • Modernism
  • Anthropocene Studies
  • Animal Studies
  • Ecocriticism
  • Posthumanism
  • Vegan Studies
  • Virginia Woolf 
  • James Joyce
  • Djuna Barnes

View all 20 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

Reading the Modernist Anthropocene, University of Tartu, 16 September 2022


Beastly Modernisms, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, September 2019

Virginia Woolf, Europe and Peace: The 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woof, University of Kent, Canterbury, June 2018

Papers delivered

‘An English Highway Straight Into Hell: The Oil in British Modernism’, The Subterranean Anthropocene: The British Society for Literature and Science Winter Symposium 2022, Kings College London and University of Bristol, 12 November 2022

'Tracing Modernism's Vegetarian Influencers', Hopeful Modernisms: British Association for Modernist Studies International Conference 2022, University of Bristol, 23-25 June 2022.

'Reading Woolf in the Anthropocene' Virginia Woolf and Ethics: 31st Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf, Lamar University, Texas, 9-12 June 2022.

‘Siberian Mammoths, Rice Pudding and Iraqi Oil Fields: ‘The London Scene’ and the Capitalocene’ 30th Annual International conference on Virginia Woolf, University of South Dakota, 10-13 June 2021.

‘Consciousness and Materiality: Reading Joyce in the Noosphere’ British Society for Science and Literature Annual Conference 2020, University of Sheffield, 15-17 April 2020. 

‘Joyce, Molly and the Revenge of Gea-Tellus.’ British Association of Modernist Studies International Conference 2019, Kings College London, 20-22 June 2019.

‘Fourwalkers, Taildanglers, Headhangers: Labouring animals and animal labour in James Joyce’s Ulysses.’ Zurich James Joyce Centre Workshop 2018, Zurich James Joyce Center, 6-11 August 2018.

‘Writing the Anthropocene: Woolf, Braidotti and Posthumanist Feminism in the time of Climate Change’ at 28th Annual International conference on Virginia Woolf, University of Kent, 21-24 June 2018.

‘Modernist Anthropocene Aesthetics’ at Aesthetics in the Anthropocene, University of Sussex, 10-11 April 2018.

‘Unclean Beasts: Reading Djuna Barnes in the era of Anthropocene Studies’ at New Work in Modernist Studies 2017, University of Leeds, 15 December 2017.

‘Green, Queer, Entangled: The Use of “Nature” in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Vita Sackville-West’s The Land’ at 27th Annual International conference on Virginia Woolf, University of Reading, 29th June – 2nd July 2017.

‘The Eyes of Dead Animals: Nineteenth Century Meat Production in James Joyce’s Ulysses’ at Consuming Animals, University of York, 17-18th March 2017.

‘Nature’s Queer Tricks: Historicizing the Anthropocene with Virginia Woolf’ at MLA Convention 2017, Philadelphia, 5-8 January 2017.

‘The Ineluctable Thereness of the Anthropocene: Joyce, Modernism and Ecology’ at ASLE-UKI Postgraduate Conference 2016, University of Lincoln, 31st August – 2nd September 2016.

‘How Do Contemporary Posthuman Readings of Phenomenology Challenge Longstanding Ideas of a Recognisably “Human” Subject?’ at Cross-Disciplinary Phenomenology: A Readiness for the Questionable, University of Kent, 24th June 2016

‘Challenging Joyce: The Claim of the Nonhuman in Ulysses and Elizabeth Costello’ at XXV International James Joyce Symposium, University of London, 13-18 June 2016.