Cardiff Environmental Cultures

As a strand of the Cardiff ScienceHumanities initiative, Cardiff Environmental Cultures exists to interrogate the cultural, historical and theoretical forces that have shaped and continue to shape our relationships with the environment.

Through events that bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines and periods of study, we aim to enhance our understanding of various approaches to the ecological crises of our own moment. In the process, we also hope to explore and move closer to possible better futures.


November 24th 2020, 1:00 PM, English Research Seminar, Zoom: Professor John Parham (University of Worcester), ‘Let the Sunshine In: Poetry and Photosynthesis’ (please contact for more details and the Zoom link).

December 7th 2020, 1-1.45pm, Zoom: ScienceHumanities Unscripted – The Environmental Humanities (please contact for details and to join the event).

December 15th 2020 5:00pm, Zoom — Professional Development Seminar on ‘Embedding environmental issues in non-eco modules’ with contributions from Aidan Tynan, Ceri Sullivan, Jamie Castell, David Shackleton and Allen Webb (please contact for details and to join the event).


November 17th 2020 – Environmental Activism Workshop with Professor Allen Webb (Western Michigan University)


Dr James Castell: Jamie is interested in the role of ‘nature’ in poetry from the Romantic period to the present day. He focuses in particular on the complexity of the word ‘nature’, literary encounters with animals, various disciplinary approaches to the question of ‘life’, the importance of sound in accounts of nature, and also in how literary texts are reinterpreted through the lens of their changing ecological circumstances, including in our own age of environmental crisis.

Dr Ailbhe Darcy

Professor Carl Phelpstead: Carl is interested in ways in which the difference of medieval literature can illuminate and challenge present-day thinking about the environment. He has published articles on ecocriticism and Old Norse and early medieval English literature and is currently co-editing Eco-Norse: Essays on Old Norse Literature and the Environment with Tim Bourns of the University of Iceland.

Dr David Shackleton: David is interested in the relationship between climate change and fiction. He is starting a new project that explores how Afrofuturism and much recent speculative fiction can help us to imagine more equitable transitions to a low-carbon future. He hopes to collaborate with others who are interested in responding to the challenges posed by climate breakdown.

Professor Ceri Sullivan: Ceri is interested in asking what practical actions staff and students can take (ranging from flexing our syllabuses to publicizing our water fountains to decarbonising our pension funds) to make a lived reality of the university’s declaration that it recognised – and would tackle – the climate crisis. All ideas welcome!

Dr Aidan Tynan: Aidan’s work draws on continental philosophy and theory, particularly Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, to research topics in ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. His most recent monograph The Desert in Modern Literature and Philosophy: Wasteland Aesthetics (Edinburgh, 2020) analyses how deserts and wastelands figure in a broad range of continental philosophy since Nietzsche and literature since the Romantics. His current project is on the connections between environmental culture and far-right politics.