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MemberDeborah Lilley

I completed my PhD thesis, ‘The New Pastoral in Contemporary British Writing’ at Royal Holloway, University of London in March 2014, and have recently relocated from London to San Francisco, California. My research interests lie in contemporary literature, ecocriticism and environmental humanities, sustainability, literary and critical theory, and digital humanities. I am now working on a monograph based on my thesis, which examines the appearance of pastoral in contemporary British writing and argues that a transformed version of pastoral can be seen to emerge in the period since 1990 in relation to ecological considerations. The work addresses the proposition that the representation and interpretation of environmental concerns calls up new circumstances for the pastoral to operate within, posing both an opportunity for the application of the conventions of the mode, and a threat to the principles upon which they are based. Analysing work by Robert Macfarlane, Roger Deakin, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, Ali Smith, Jim Crace, Kathleen Jamie, Liz Jensen, Brian Clarke, Christopher Hart and John Burnside, the thesis explores both pastoral responses to ecological concerns and the impact of ecological concerns upon the form and scope of the pastoral, contending that in these examples, the pastoral is necessarily altered by their intersection.