ASLE-UKI Online Seminar Series.

ASLE-UKI starting running regular online seminars in February 2021 as a response to the global pandemic. These have been very popular and we intend to continue running them into the future. This page provides information about our upcoming seminars as well as an archive of previous seminar topics. Seminars are normally held in January, March, May, and November and are open to all, although advance registration is usually required.

We welcome ideas for future seminars. If you would be interested in organising a seminar, or for any other queries, please contact the seminar series coordinator, Dr Todd Borlik.

Seminars are free to attend, but there are some costs involved in their organisation. If you enjoyed the seminar, please do consider making a small donation to help cover our costs.

Next Seminars
7 November 2023, 8:00-9:00am EST, 1:00-2:00pm GMT, 10:00-11:00pm Japan

Cute Ecologies

Convenor: Hannah Boast (Chancellor’s Fellow at University of Edinburgh and Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Humanities)
Date and Time: 7 November 2023, 8:00-9:00am EST, 1:00-2:00pm GMT, 10:00-11:00pm Japan

How to Take Part: Register via Eventbrite.

AWW-STRUCK has teamed up with the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI) for an online seminar focusing on intersections and entanglements between Cute Studies, ecocriticism and environmental humanities.

Cute Studies x Environmental Humanities

Cute kitten memes, cuddly toys designed to reward and encourage sponsorship of endangered species, the breeding of companion animals such as dogs and rabbits for ‘cute’ but health-threatening characteristics … Cuteness matters in the way that it shapes human attitudes towards and treatment of nonhuman beings.

This seminar continues AWW-STRUCK’s series of events on creative and critical approaches to cuteness with three papers and a Q&A.

Confirmed Speakers and Titles:

  • The egg came first: Cuteness in cross-species bonding and domestication
    Joshua Paul Dale is the author of Irresistible: How Cuteness Wired our Brains and Conquered the World (Profile Books, 2023) and a Professor of American Literature and Culture at Chuo University in Tokyo. Visit his website at:
  • ‘“Hug me, I’m endangered”: Cute charisma in the sixth mass extinction’
    Isabel Galleymore is an Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and the author of Significant Other (Carcanet 2019). Her AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Fellowship project is Cuteness in Contemporary Environmental Culture: Developing Ecopoetic Practice.
  • ‘“[T]he cute vision of the world is a world without nature”: Challenges in defining nonhuman cuteness’
    Caroline Harris is a writer, artist and publisher. Her PhD with Royal Holloway, University of London explores the poetics of deer in relation to Cute Studies. Her latest pamphlet, A Summoning Spell for Lost Deer (2023), is published by Osmosis Press.

For more about AWW-STRUCK and ASLE-UKI, please see their websites. If you have questions, do email

7 December 2023, 1:15-3:00pm GMT

Convenor: Ruth Hawthorne (University of Lincoln)
Date and Time: 7 December 2023, 1:15-3:00pm GMT
How to Take Part: Register via

Join us on (date and time to be confirmed), for a free online ASLE UKI seminar on Petro-Noir and the centrality of oil in twentieth- and twenty-first-century crime fiction. Four speakers plus a Q&A session to follow. This seminar was originally planned for May, but had to be postponed.

Confirmed Speakers and Titles:

  • Sharae Deckard (University College Dublin) – “‘Starting to Come up in Plain Sight’: Narrative Energetics, Detection, and Petro-Noir.”
  • Nathan Ashman (University of East Anglia) – “The American Roman Noir and The Oil Encounter”
  • Ruth Hawthorn (University of Lincoln) – “Oil and Native American Crime Fiction”

We will have time for a Q and A discussion, following the papers. All welcome!
Please register online via Registration is free but please register in advance. If you enjoyed the seminar, please do consider making a small donation to help cover costs.

Future Seminars

Creative and Critical Practice
Convenor: Richard Kerridge
Confirmed Speakers:
Date: TBC

The Eighteenth-Century Environment
Convenor: Brycchan Carey
Confirmed Speakers:
Date: TBC

If you would be interested in organising an ASLE-UKI Online Seminar, please contact the seminar series coordinator, Dr Todd Borlik.

Previous Seminars

Global South Ecologies (2 June 2023)

Convened by Ana Victoria Mazza with contributions from Lenka Filipova, Mònica Tomàs, Saba Pirzadeh, and Ana Victoria Mazza.

Victorian Ecologies (26 March 2022)

Discussed ecocritical approaches to Victorians and their relationship to the world around them. Convened by Sophia Jochem with contributions from Mary Bowden, Megan Kuster, Francesca Mackenney, and Joan Passey.

Environmental Displacement (17 March 2022)

Papers discussed the meaning of displacement in a warming world. Convened by Jasmin Kirkbride, Demi Wilton, and Vera Fibsian with contributions from Jos Smith, Charne Lavery, and Giovanni Bettini.

Farming, Literature, and Environment (18 November 2021)

Talks on framing, rewilding, and writing, convened by Pippa Marland with contributions from Ewan Allinson, Terry Gifford, Patrick Laurie, Lynn Cassells, and Sophie Yeo.

Early Modern Ecologies: Green Heritage (19 June 2021)

Ecocritical approaches to Shakespeare, Spencer, Milton, and others, convened by Todd Borlik and Rosie Paice with contributions from Claire Eager, Bonnie Lander Johnson, Jennifer Munroe, and Rosie Paice.

Blue Extinction: Biodiversity Loss in Aquatic Environments (27 May 2021)

A day of talks convened by Vera Fibisan at the University of Sheffield. Participants: Killian Quigley (The University of Sydney), Tom Bristow (James Cook University), Maria Beger (University of Leeds), Steve Mentz (St. John’s University), Dolly Jørgensen (University of Stavanger), Dr Tom Webb (The University of Sheffield).

‘In Vitro Meat: Ethics and Culture’ (1 February 2021)

An afternoon of talks convened by the Sheffield Animal Research Centre (ShARC). Participants: Joshua Bulleid (Monash University), Nora Castle (University of Warwick), Josh Milburn (University of Sheffield), John Miller (University of Sheffield), Alexandra Sexton (University of Sheffield), Neil Stephens (Brunel University London).