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University Lecturer in English and Children's Literature, University of Cambridge

David Whitley is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University, where he teaches film, poetry and children’s literature. He is particularly interested in the way the arts offer different forms of understanding and engagement with the natural world. He has contributed to debates about the teaching and dissemination of poetry in a variety of different contexts, including co-editing Poetry and Childhood (2010) , collaborating with the University of the West Indies on the teaching of Caribbean poetry (, and recently becoming principal investigator for the Poetry and Memory research project ( He has published articles on the work of poets with strong environmental affiliations, such as Ted Hughes, William Wordsworth, and Derek Walcott. He has also written extensively about ecological aspects of film, particularly children’s cinema. His most recent book is an ecocritical study of Disney animation, The Idea of Nature in Disney Animation: from Snow White to WALL•E (2012).
He is co-investigator for the Pathways to Understanding Changing Climate project, coordinating the Education Faculty’s input and working closely with Elsa Lee (Research Associate for the project in Education). This is an interdisciplinary project, collaborating with colleagues in the Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge University.


  • –present
    University Lecturer in English, University of Cambridge