Dr Mandy Bloomfield

Dr Mandy Bloomfield

Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



I am an Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature. I teach across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, drawing on my research expertise in poetry, critical theory and literary environmental studies. I'm also Programme Leader for MA English Literature and MA Environmental Humanities. 


B.A., M.A. and PhD from the University of Southampton

Professional membership

Association for Studies in Literature and Environment, UK & Ireland (Committee Member)

Roles on external bodies

I am an Editorial Board Member for the Environmental Cultures series, Bloomsbury Academic, and Editorial Board Member for the journal Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. I also peer review a number of journals, including Green Letters, English, Textual Practice, Humanities, College Literature and The Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry

I am a key member of the cross-institutional Centre for Contemporary Poetry (ContemPo)



Teaching interests

Undergraduate Teaching

I predominantly teach twentieth and twenty-first century literature and critical theory. During my time at Plymouth, I have designed and led modules linked to my research interests, including Literatures of Environmental Crisis. This module explores how literature has responded to the science and the cultural implications of environmental change, from the1960s to the present. We read a wide range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, including work by Gary Snyder, Jeanette Winterson, Indra Sinha and Juliana Spahr. Another of my modules, World Literature, examines a range of poetry and fiction from around the world, in relation to contexts of colonialism and decolonisation, migration, increasing global interactions and the dominance of English as a world language. Authors studied on this module include Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite and Amitav Ghosh. 

I also very much enjoy teaching core modules on Modernism and Critical theory.

Postgraduate Teaching & Supervision

I lead the MA English Literature, subject to approval). I teach the Research Methods module on this programme and a module on Ocean Modernity. I also lead the MA Environmental Humanities programme. 

I have supervised (or am currently supervising) PhD projects on the following topics:

  • poetry, 'radical landscape' and walking
  • post-apocalyptic and eco-dystopic fiction
  • women's Nepali poetry
  • ecopoetics 

I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students interested in pursuing research in modern & contemporary literature, including areas such as poetics, ecocriticism, postcolonial writing, American literature, the legacies of modernism and literatures of the sea.

Staff serving as external examiners

I have examined PhD theses, at the Universities of London (Birkbeck), Glasgow and Bedfordshire. 



Research interests

My research encompasses modern and contemporary American, British and Caribbean writing, with a particular focus on poetry and poetics. I'm especially interested in exploring the ways in which contemporary poetry reworks the legacies of experimentation inherited from modernism and from the New American Poetry of the post-war period. In my recent book, Archaeopoetics: Word, Image,History (University of Alabama Press, 2016), I examine how and why contemporary writers have reshaped the modernist 'poem including history' to enlarge the compass of what poetry can be and do as a mode of historical investigation.

My current research explores how poetry engages the dilemmas of our present moment of ecological emergency, and I have published several articles related to this interest. A particular enthusiasm which has most strongly emerged since I began working at Plymouth in 2014 is a fascination with poetry and the sea. I am increasingly drawn to thinking about cultural imaginaries of the ocean and asking how poetries of the sea might help us better understand our shifting relationships with the watery world in our current era of environmental change. I'm working on a monograph related to these interests, provisionally entitled An Oceanic Poetics for the Anthropocene

You can find a short video about my sea-related research here.




Archaeopoetics: Word, Image, History (University of Alabama Press, 2016).


“Widening Gyre: A Poetics of Ocean Plastics.” Configurations, Special issue on Science Studies in the Blue Humanities, guest edited by Stacy Alaimo, 27.4 (in press November 2019): 501–523

“‘A fluctuating relationship with nature’: Tom Raworth’s ecopoetics. ” Critical Quarterly 59.2 (July 2017): 65–82.

“Unsettling Sustainability: The Poetics of Discomfort.” Green Letters 19.1 (January 2015).

“Palimtextual Tracts: Susan Howe’s Re-articulation of Place.” Contemporary Literature 55.4 (Winter 2014).

“Landscaping the Page: British open-field poetics and environmental aesthetics.” Green Letters 17.2 (June 2013): 121–136.

“Maggie O’Sullivan’s Material Poetics of Salvaging in red shifts and murmur.” The Salt Companion to Maggie O’Sullivan. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2011. 10–35.

“‘Dragging at the haemorrhage of uns –’: Maggie O’Sullivan’s excavations of Irish history.” Journal of British and IrishInnovativePoetry 1. 1 (2009): 11–36.

“‘Aftershock of Iconoclasm’: Ambivalence of the visual page in Susan Howe’s Eikon Basilike .” Textual Practice 23.3(2009): 417 – 437.


“Anthropocene Poetics and the ‘Open Field.’” The Cambridge Companion to the Anthropocene (Cambridge University Press, under contract)

“Traces in a geography”: Susan Howe’s Memorious Landscapes." Recovery and Transgression: Memory in American Poetry, ed. Kornelia Freitag. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.pp. 89—102.

“Maggie O’Sullivan’s Material Poetics of Salvaging in red shifts and murmur.” The Salt Companion to Maggie O’Sullivan. Cambridge: Salt Publishing, 2011. 10–35.

Other Publications

Journal Special Issue, with Clare Hanson. Beyond the Gene Special Issue.Textual Practice 29.3 (April 2015).

with Victoria Sheppard. “Introduction for Pressure to Experiment Feature.” How 2 3.1 (2007)<http://www.asu.edu/pipercwcenter/how2journal/vol_3_no_1/inconference/intro.html>

Bloomfield et al. (eds.) “Pressure to Experiment Feature.” Jacket 32 (2007)<http://jacketmagazine.com/32/index.shtml>

“Maggie O’Sullivan.” The Literary Encyclopedia (March 2012) <http://www.litencyc.com/>

“A sea that diffracts.” Foma 1.1 (2011): 1–10.

(Review) “M. NourbeSePhilip’s Zong!Wasafiri 26.2 (2011): 96 –7.

(Review)“Robert Sheppard’s The Poetry of Saying: British Poetry and its Discontents 1950–2000.” Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry 1.2 (2010): 90–3.



Conferences organised

Contemporary Poetry: Thinking & Feeling, May 20 - 22 2016, University of Plymouth

Pressure to Experiment, 28th - 29th September 2006, University of Southampton.