Research Stream

Tom Bristow

Dr Tom Bristow is a Roderick Research Fellow at James Cook University and an Honorary Research Fellow through the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions at The University of Western Australia. He completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with CHE at The University of Melbourne in 2017 and was a Junior Research Fellow at Durham University. He received his MA (Modern Literature) in 2003 from the University of Leicester, England, and his PhD (Contemporary Literature) in 2008 from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Tom’s research combines affect theory and literary theory to underline an ecocritical reading of the pastoral tradition and its afterlives in contemporary literature.

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) before completing a postdoctoral teaching fellowship in English Literature (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 took up his position at CHE and within the Department of English and Theatre at the University of 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 collecting institutions and primary schools during this period at the University of Melbourne.



Decolonized Pastoral: A Comparative Study of Emotional Variants in Australian Literature (1925-2015)

Empathy and the more-than-human world



Decolonized Pastoral: The Australian Environmental Imaginary. Under contract with Routledge, forthcoming.

The Anthropocene Lyric: An Affective Geography of Poetry, Person, Place. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Ed., with Thomas H. Ford, A Cultural History of Climate Change. London and New York: Routledge, 2016.

Book Chapters

Bristow, T. and T. H. Ford. ‘Climates of History, Cultures of Climate’. In A Cultural History of Climate Change, edited by T. Bristow and T. H. Ford, pp. 1–14. London: Routledge, 2016.

Bristow, T. and A. Witcomb. ‘Melancholy and the Continent of Fire: The Forest Gallery, Melbourne Museum’. In A Cultural History of Climate Change, edited by T. Bristow and T. H. Ford, pp. 72–86. London: Routledge, 2016.

Bristow, T. ‘Affective Edgelands: Wildness, History and Technology in Britain’s Postindustrial and Postnatural Topographies’.  In Ecocriticism and Geocriticism, edited by Robert Tally and Christine Battista, pp. 77-93. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Bristow, T. ‘“Wild Memory” as an Anthropocene Heuristic: Cultivating Ethical Paradigms for Galleries, Museums and Seed Banks’. In The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World, edited by P. Vieria, J. Ryan and M. Gagliano, pp. 81–106. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016.

Bristow, T. ‘Reverse Archaeology or an Occult Geometry of Capital: History and Heterotopia in Iain Sinclair’s Literary Geography’.  In The Globalization of Space: Foucault and Heterotopia, edited by John Miller and Mariangela Palladino,29-47. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2015.

Bristow, T. ‘Toward History and the Creaturely: Intertextual Literary Value Space’ in Transformative Values: Human-Environment Relations, edited by Emily Brady and Pauline Phemister, pp. 69-84. New York: Springer, 2012.

Journal Articles

‘On Genre’. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 23.2 (2021): 104–12.

'Period rhetoric, countersignature, and the Australian novel'.  35.1 (2020): 35–61.

‘The Practice of Pastoral Empathy in Wordsworth’s Salisbury Plain Poems’ Australian Literary Studies 30.2 (2016): 45-65.

‘Bioregional Biography and the Geography of Affect: Spatialized Somnambulance in Alice Oswald’s Sleepwalk on the Severn.’ Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology 4 (2015): 1-21.

‘Dialogical Interspecies Ethics: Ataraxia, Desire and Hope in the Post-human world of Anne Carson's Pastoral.’ Goose: The Journal of the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada 14.1 (2015).

With Grace Moore. ‘Alert, but not Alarmed: Emotion, Place and Anticipated Disaster in John Kinsella’s “Bushfire Approaching.”’ Philology Quarterly 93.3 (2015): 343-359.

‘Living Lexicon for Environmental Humanities: Memory.’ Environmental Humanities 5 (2014): 307-311.

‘Fragmentary Introspective Observations: Animals, Emotions and Location in John Kinsella’s Poetry’ Transnational Literature 6.2 (2013).

‘Climatic Literary Geoinformatics: radical empiricism, region, and seasonal phenomena in John Kinsella’s Jam Tree Gully Poems’ Environment, Space, Place (2013): 132-170.

‘Ideas of Dwelling: Cultural Ecological Selfhood in Scottish Geography and the American post-Romantic Hinterland of John Burnside’s “Epithalamium”’ Australian Journal of Folklore 27 (2013): 108-120.

‘International Regionalism as American-Australian Dialogue: William James and Henry David Thoreau in John Kinsella’s Jam Tree Gully: Poems’ Australasian Journal of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology 2 (2012/3). 57-74.

‘Environment, History, Literature: Materialism as Cultural Ecology in John Burnside’s “Four Quartets”’ Scottish Literary Review 3.2 (2011): 149-170.


With Merridee Bailey, Katie Barclay, David Lemmings, Craig Lyons, Amy Milka, Roger Patulny and Gordon Raeburn, ‘Liveable cities: who decides what that means and how we achieve it?’ The Conversation (2015)

With Thom van Dooren and Cameron Muir, ‘Hope in a Time of Environmental Crisis’ ARC Centre for the History of Emotions (2015)

‘Emotion Space Environment’ ARC Centre for the History of Emotions (2015)

‘Of Borders and Bioregions: Locating an Activist and Discursive Movement in the Pacific Northwest’ Sydney Environment Institute (2015)

With Grace Moore, ‘Ecocriticism: Environment, Emotions and Education’ The Conversation (2013)