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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne

Dr Tom Bristow is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne. He received his MA (Modern Literature) in 2003 from the University of Leicester, England, and his PhD (The Poetics of Ecological Consciousness, Literature 1780-2000) in 2008 from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Tom’s research combines concepts from geography and philosophy to underline an ecocritical reading of place. His CHE research project connects contemporary Australian literature with late eighteenth-century British poetry. Beginning with Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads (1789), British social critique and pastoral entered new terrain: the complex and modulated fusion of political and emotional subjects that outstrips the sentimental, gives rise to the creaturely, and aligns the social coordinates of subjectivity to the affective immanence of landscape. Tom is looking at the afterlives of this mode and its counterpoints in the literatures of WA, Tasmania, Northern Territory and Melbourne.

Tom was the British Academy Research Assistant to the ‘Embodied Values’ Project at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh (2007-2009), where he continued as a postdoctoral research fellow (2009-2010). Since this period, Tom has held a position as Lecturer in English at the University of New England, New South Wales (2011-2014); he has acted as the President of the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture, Australia and New Zealand (2012-2014); he has worked as a steering committee member of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (2013+); and is excited to be a contributing member of the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities for the Environment Observatory at the University of Sydney (2014+). Tom moved to Melbourne in 2014 after a number of short positions: Research Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University; Visiting Lecturer in the Department of English, University of British Columbia; and Courtesy Senior Research Fellow 1, University of Oregon.

Tom is engaged in broad humanities concerns, working as an editor on the journal PAN (Philosophy Activism Nature), and he’s interested in developing relations with museums, collecting institutions and primary schools during this period at the University of Melbourne. Tom received UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funding for his MA (Leicester); AHRC funding and a College of Humanities and Social Sciences scholarship from Edinburgh for his PhD (Edinburgh); he was the University of Edinburgh funded Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH, 2009) following his period as British Academy funded Research Assistant in the School of Geosciences (2008).


  • 2011–present
    Lecturer, University of New England


BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), MA (Hons), PhD