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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Professor Timothy Clark, BA, DPhil (Oxon)

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Timothy Clark is a specialist in the environmental humanities and deconstruction. 

Professor Clark's current work is engaged in the ways in which many environmental issues could be said to deconstruct some of the bases of modern Western thought. Crucial questions are: whether it makes sense to extend notions of "rights" beyond humanity; the challenge of representing environmental issues that elude the normal scales of human thought and perception; the status of personification, metaphor, emotive language and the literal in environmentalist writing; the possibility or impossibility of thinking or writing non-anthropocentrically; the limits of modes of oppositional politics for addressing environmental issues; the evasion of climate change in ecocriticism itself; the question of whether the predominantly liberal and seemingly "progressive" modes of current literary criticism are still tied to an essentially destructive understanding of the human species....?.

Clark has been a leading figure in the development of new modes of literary criticism engaged with the intellectual revolution inseparable from thinking of climate change. His recent The Value of Ecocriticism (Cambridge University Press, 2019) was "Book of the Week" in the "Times Higher Educational Supplement" for June 20th 2019.

Professor Clark has published many articles in literary and philosophical journals and eight monographs. These are Embodying Revolution: The Figure of the Poet in Shelley (Oxford UP, 1989); Derrida, Heidegger, Blanchot: Sources of Derrida's Notion and Practice of Literature (Cambridge UP, 1992, 2008); The Theory of Inspiration: Composition as a Crisis of Subjectivity in Romantic and Post-Romantic Writing (Manchester UP, 1997, 2000); Charles Tomlinson (Northcote House, 1999); Martin Heidegger, Routledge Critical Thinkers Series (Routledge, 2001, second ed. 2012); The Poetics of Singularity: The Counter-Culturalist Turn in Heidegger, Derrida, Blanchot and the Later Gadamer (Edinburgh UP, 2005); The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment (Cambridge, 2011); Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept (London Bloomsbury, 2015). He has recently edited a special of The Oxford Literary Review (38.1; July 2016) on the controversial issue of overpopulation.

Professor Clark's work has been translated into Turkish, Swedish, Hebrew, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

Research Groups

  • Critical Theory
  • Romantic and Pre-Romantic Studies

Research Interests

  • Deconstruction
  • Romanticism and Theories of Inspiration
  • Ecocriticism

Selected Publications

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