I am a Teaching Fellow in Contemporary and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Birmingham. I joined Birmingham in 2016 after completing my PhD, which was co-supervised between the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York and Geography at the University of Sheffield.

My research examines literature and world water crisis. I am currently completing my first monograph, titled Hydrofictions: Water, Power and Politics in Israeli and Palestinian Literature, for Edinburgh University Press. My wider interests are in the politics of natural resources, histories of environmentalism, and popular culture.

My next project extends the ‘hydrofictions’ frame to examine literary and cultural responses to water crisis in a comparative, global context. Developing the critical project begun by scholars of ‘petrofiction’, I bring together works from countries including America, Canada, China, Finland and India in order to theorise the ways in which imagining water scarcity becomes the vehicle for a range of geopolitical anxieties around the potential for resource scarcity to lead to shifts in the global balance of power and economic order. I am particularly interested in the formal strategies used to imagine water contamination or crisis, and the extent to which work on petrofictions can be usefully applied (or not) to thinking about water and world literature. The first research to come out of this project will be an article on the work of the contemporary Canadian poet Rita Wong as ecofeminist ‘hydrofiction’, and an outline of the ‘hydrofictions’ theoretical approach. I am also  working on an article on gender and ‘pop militarism’ in contemporary Israeli culture.

At Birmingham, I convene the third-year module Feminist Killjoys: Theories of Gender and Sexuality, and teach on a range of modules in contemporary and postcolonial literature. I previously convened the module Modern Tragedy, and convened the third-year module Modern Arabic Literature at the University of York.


PhD Department of English and Related Literature, University of York, co-supervised Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, funded by White Rose Hydropolitics Network.

MA Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality, University of York (Distinction)

BA (Jt Hons) English Studies and Philosophy, University of Nottingham (First)



‘”A river without water”: Hydropolitics and the River Jordan in Palestinian Literature’, Journal of Commonwealth Literature (2016)

‘”Planted over the past’: Ideology and Ecology in Israel’s National Eco-Imaginary, Green Letters (2012)

Review essays

‘”To irrigate is to govern”: recent studies in hydropolitics’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2017)

‘Rachel Havrelock’s River Jordan and Alexandra Nocke’s The Place of the Mediterranean in Modern Israeli Identity‘, Jewish Quarterly (2013)

Blog posts

Wrote and edited a blog for the AHRC-funded research network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, c. 1099 to the Present Day’.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Pop Militarism and Contemporary Israeli Warfare, Popular Culture and World Politics v. 10, Newcastle University, 23-25 November 2017.
Borrowed Waters: Rita Wong’s Hydropoetics, Fast Forward: Women’s Writing in the 21st Century, Sheffield Hallam University, 8-9 September 2017.

Hannah Boast

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