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Amanda Wang

Research Postgraduate

Research Postgraduate in the Department of English Studies


I am a PhD student in the Department of English Studies, working on Anthropocene poetry, posthumanities, blue humanities, ecocriticism and new materialism, under the supervision of Prof Barry Sheils and Prof Paul Batchelor.

Project Overview

My current research focuses on the entanglement and scale of humans and nonhumans in contaminated water environments within Anthropocene poetry, specifically by women from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Particularly, I am interested in the materiality and metaphoricity of fluidity and toxicity. 

My research aims to draw attention to how female bodies are impacted by various environmental toxins across different spatiotemporal scales and ethical dilemmas faced by women due to the natural-cultural intersection. My thesis considers how poetry responds to multi-scalar degradation, paying particular attention to the discourse of toxicity. Focusing on hydro-poetics, it considers the congruence of feminist phenomenology with modern cultural understandings of fluidity and flow and interrogates the place of toxicity and toxic inheritance within these understandings. 

My research interests span hydrofeminism, feminist phenomenology, deep time, multispecies collaboration, indigenous-place thought and Scottish poetry. Figures of particular interest include Timothy Morton, Donna Haraway, Stacy Alaimo, Rosi Braidotti, Jane Bennett, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Kathleen Jamie, Carol Ann Duffy, John Burnside, Elizabeth Jane-Burnett, Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner and Rita Wong. 

About Me

After having a BA degree in English in China, I studied for my master's degree in Literature and Modernity: 1900 to the Present at the University of Edinburgh where I got the knowledge of environmental humanities for the first time.

During my master's period, my research centred on the intricate interaction between humans and the natural world, particularly in aquatic environments. In my master’s dissertation on Elizabeth Bishop's poetry, drawing from Donna Haraway's insights on the Anthropocene and Timothy Morton’s idea of queer ecology, I explore the multifaceted tapestry-like network of human-nonhuman interconnectedness. I started my PhD here at Durham in 2023.

I am also a member of the Centre for Culture and Ecology and currently convene a reading group about environmental humanities with Prof Barry Sheils and Mr Andrea Carboni at the beginning of the year 2024.

I welcome any enquiries about my research, CCE reading group, and potential collaboration opportunities: feel free to get in touch via email

Research Interests
  • Anthropocene Poetics

  • Transcorporeality

  • Posthumanism

  • Environmental Philosophy

  • Blue humanities

  • Hydrofeminism

  • Queer theory

  • Lyric Poetry and Poetic Genre