Phoebe Campion, King's

Degree: PhD
Course: CC
Supervisor: Dr Robert Macfarlane
Dissertation Title:

Arts of Attention in Compromised Landscapes: Radical Landscape Poetry 1970-present


Biographical Information

I graduated with a BA (1st) in English Literature from Newnham College, Cambridge in 2016 with the Agnes Cann Memorial Prize for my archival dissertation on the work of J.A. Baker. After working as an artist’s assistant for two years, I returned to Cambridge for the MPhil in Criticism + Culture (King’s College, 2018-19), graduating with a distinction and a thesis on the granular poetics of R.F. Langley’s Journals. I am currently in the second year of my PhD here at Cambridge, funded by the AHRC. I’m a staff writer for Another Gaze journal, and an editor for King’s Review magazine.

Research Interests

My doctoral work lies at the intersection of literature, visual culture and the Environmental Humanities, and examines the ways in which experimental landscape poetics and site-specific literary and artistic practices have responded to compromised British landscapes (agricultural fields, plantation forestry, upland deserts, etc.) since 1970. These landscapes, shaped by logics of extraction and accumulation, engage attention and perception in particularly fraught ways. I’m interested in how innovative poetics (particularly the work of Peter Larkin, J.H. Prynne, Carol Watts, Colin Simms, Elisabeth Bletsoe, etc.) approach and approximate these compromised ecologies ‘by degrees of distortion’ (Bogost), bringing poetic and material notions of scarcity, precarity, legibility, resource and encounter into dialogue to resist conventional definitions of eco- and activist- poetry and envisage a poetics in/of the commons.

Other areas of interest: multispecies studies; biosemiotics; New Animism & the work of Isabelle Stengers; the geo-logic of Katharine Yusoff; feminist new materialism; permaculture; the cultural geography of John Wylie; the British Poetry Revival; fieldwork and journal practices; the Black Mountain poets; folk horror & landscape punk; the work of Derek Jarman; neo- and techno-paganism; experimental documentary and artist moving-image; the films of Peggy Ahwesh & Ben Rivers; climate fiction; indigenous studies; the work of Patrick Keiller;  Holt & Smithson; the land art of Julie Brook & Agnes Denes; the architecture of Paolo Soleri; The Ottolith Group; anarchist pedagogies; militant ecologies.

Areas of Supervision

Practical Criticism, Part II Contemporary Writing in English, Part II Literature and Visual Culture, Part II Lyric. I welcome dissertation proposals from students working in my areas of interest.