I joined Bath Spa University in January 2014, after finishing my PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. My research is informed by environmental humanities and health humanities perspectives, and I’m interested in ways these two new humanities fields can be brought closer together. As a literature scholar, I specialise in modern and contemporary British literature, with particular interest in psychology and environmentalism; experimental poetics, fiction of the 1920s and 1930s; and the Scottish novelist and nature writer, Nan Shepherd. I co-edit the ASLE-UKI journal, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. I also write poetry, prose and creative non-fiction.
In my first monograph, Guilty But Insane: Mind and Law in Golden Age Detective Fiction (OUP, 2015), I examined detective writing in the context of psychological innovation, legal debates and literary modernism. In 2018, I completed a book on Nan Shepherd’s environmental philosophy, entitled The Living World: Nan Shepherd and Environmental Thought. I am currently working on a cultural history of nature and wellbeing for a non-academic readership. I’ve also published articles and book chapters on ecological crime fiction, anthropocene feminism, war trauma and ecology, and the literature of women walking.
Between 2016 and 2018, I was an Early Career Leadership Fellow working on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project, Cultures of Nature and Wellbeing: Connecting Health and the Environment through Literature. This involved collaboration with environment and health policymakers and wellbeing practitioners, and original research into what literature tells us about our emotional and ethical entanglements with the living world. Between December 2018 and May 2019, I will be continuing this work as a Carson Writing Fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre, Munich.
My research into environment crisis blends critical and creative approaches. In 2015, I received a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for the project ‘Landscaping Change: exploring environmental regeneration and conservation using arts and humanities research methods.’ The funding supported events at the Arnolfini and Hamilton House in Bristol, exploring issues including soil degradation, water relations, sustainable transport and urban ecology from artistic, poetic, activist, and academic perspectives.
In March 2016, the Landscaping Change conference facilitated interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, featuring delegates from academic fields of literature, history, geography, theology, heritage, social science and anthropology; creative practitioners of art, theatre, poetry and digital writing; arts activists and environmental campaign groups. These events also sparked exciting new collaborations, including an ecopoetic sound poem written inspired by the Bath-Bristol Railway Path, co-produced with acoustic geographer Jonathan Prior, and a poetry and practice-based collaboration with environmental artist and researcher, Sage Brice.
I’ve held a number of visiting fellowships and residencies to support different strands of my work.In 2015, I was a Visiting Scholar in the Special Collections Centre at the University of Aberdeen, exploring Nan Shepherd’s letters and editorial archive. In June-July 2016, I was Environmental Humanities Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, where I previously held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2013. I was a Poet in Residence at the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum in 2013, and in July 2015 was Poet in Residence at SoundEye Poetry Festival in Cork, Ireland.
As a poet, I’m interested in avant garde and experimental writing and published my debut collection Self Heal in 2018 (Norwich: Boiler House Press). I co-run Sad Press, which specialises in pamphlets, translations and anthologies of new writing, and organise the Anathema Reading Series in Bristol, with support from Bath Spa University.
I currently supervise doctoral research on contemporary experimental ecopoetics, ecofeminism, and working class ecocriticisms. I am interested in hearing from prospective PhD students hoping to work in any of the fields outlined above, in particular:
- Experimental ecopoetics
- Scottish and interwar women writers
- Mental illness and wellbeing in literature
- Health and environmental humanities cross-over projects.
- PhD University of Edinburgh
- MSc Birkbeck, University of London
- BA (Hons) King's College London.
- Certificate in Professional Learning in Higher Education, Bath Spa University 2016.
- Co-editor, Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, the journal of ASLE-UK
- ASLE UKI - Member.
Areas of expertise
- Writing and the environment
- Landscape in literature
- Crime fiction
- Interwar modernisms
- Scottish women writers
- Psychology and literature
- Innovative poetry, 20th and 21st century.
Current and previous modules at Bath Spa
- EN5019 Poetry
- EN6018 Writing and the Environmental Crisis
- EN6060 Literature and Psychology
- MA EN7007 Place, Planet, Location
- MA EN7008 Writing Scotland and the Literary Renaissance.
I will be on research leave from November 2016-May 2019.
Research and academic outputs
Walton, S (2021) Everybody needs beauty: in search of the nature cure. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781526620705
Walton, S (2020) The living world: Nan Shepherd and environmental thought. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781350153226
Walton, S (2018) Self heal. Boiler House Press, Norwich. ISBN 9781911343462
Walton, S, ed. (2016) Landscaping change: an anthology of writing and images. Sad Press, Bristol.
Walton, S (2015) Guilty but insane: mind and law in golden age detective fiction. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780198723325
Walton, S (2013) Amaranth, unstitched. Punch Press.
Walton, S (2020) 'Feminism's critique of the Anthropocene.' In: Cooke, J, ed. The new feminist literary studies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 113-128. ISBN 9781108471930
Walton, S (2019) 'Body burdens: the materiality of work in Rita Wong's 'Forage'.' In: Walton, J.L and Luker, E, eds. Poetry and work: work in modern and contemporary Anglophone poetry. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 263-290. ISBN 9783030261245
Walton, S (2018) 'Studies in green: teaching ecological crime fiction.' In: Beyer, C, ed. Teaching crime fiction. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 115-130. ISBN 9783319906072
Walton, S (2018) 'Ecopoetry.' In: Castree, N, Hulme, M and Proctor, J.D, eds. Companion to environmental studies. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 393-398. ISBN 9781138192201
Landscaping change: exploring the transformation, reconstitution and disruption of environments through the arts, humanities and social sciences
Walton, S (2017) 'Landscaping change: exploring the transformation, reconstitution and disruption of environments through the arts, humanities and social sciences.' In: Where we live now: perspectives on place and policy. British Academy, London, pp. 52-55.
Walton, S (2016) 'Cider with Grundy: on the community orchard in Ambridge.' In: Courage, C, Hadlam, N and Matthews, P, eds. The Archers in fact and fiction: academic analyses of life in rural Borsetshire. Peter Lang, Oxford, pp. 129-137. ISBN 9781787071193
Walton, S (2015) 'Scottish modernism, kailyard fiction and the woman at home.' In: Macdonald, K and Christoph, S, eds. Transitions in middlebrow writing, 1880-1930. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 141-160. ISBN 9781137486769
Walton, S (2014) 'Going out, going alone: modern subjectivities in rural Scotland, 1900-1921.' In: Goodman, G and Mathieson, C, eds. Gender and space in rural Britain: 1840-1920. Pickering and Chatto, London. ISBN 978-1848934405
Marselle, M.R et al (2021) 'Pathways linking biodiversity to human health: a conceptual framework.' Environment International, 150. e106420. ISSN 0160-4120
"Slow motion cucumber decay in fridge": ecology, materiality and recycling in Peter Manson’s 'Adjunct: an undigest'
Walton, S (2019) '"Slow motion cucumber decay in fridge": ecology, materiality and recycling in Peter Manson’s 'Adjunct: an undigest'.' Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, 11 (1). ISSN 1758-972X
Nature trauma: ecology and the returning soldier in First World War English and Scottish fiction, 1918-1932’
Walton, S (2019) 'Nature trauma: ecology and the returning soldier in First World War English and Scottish fiction, 1918-1932’.' Journal of Medical Humanities. ISSN 1041-3545
Walton, J.L and Walton, S (2018) 'Introduction to Green Letters: crime fiction and ecology.' Green Letters, 22 (1). pp. 2-6. ISSN 2168-1414
Walton, S (2018) 'Framing the crisis.' Green Letters, 22 (3). pp. 231-235. ISSN 1468-8417
Prior, J and Walton, S (2017) 'The Bristol and Bath Railway Path: an ecopoetic sound collaboration.' GeoHumanities, 3 (1). pp. 246-249. ISSN 2373-566X
Stenning, A and Walton, S (2017) 'Introduction.' Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism, 21 (1). iii-x. ISSN 1468-8417
“Sooner or later most of us get hooked”: the question of insanity in Patricia Highsmith’s 'Strangers on a train' and 'The talented Mr. Ripley'
Walton, S (2015) '“Sooner or later most of us get hooked”: the question of insanity in Patricia Highsmith’s 'Strangers on a train' and 'The talented Mr. Ripley'.' Clues: A Journal of Detection, 33 (2). pp. 20-31. ISSN 0742-4248
Walton, S (2012) 'Detection in a complex age: collective control in CSI: New York.' Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, 38 (1). pp. 103-123. ISSN 1729-8792
Walton, S (2011) 'Madness and vengeance: gendered false consciousness in the golden age crime novel.' Forum: The University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, 13. ISSN 1749-9771
Walton, S (2017) Cultures of nature and wellbeing: narratives of sustainability and green healthcare. In: Living Together on this Earth: Eco-sustainable Narratives and Environmental Concerns in English Literature/s, 19 - 21 April 2017, University of Udine, Udine, Italy.
Walton, S (2017) Nan Shepherd. In: Braemar Mountain Festival, 3 - 5 March 2017, Braemar, Ballater, UK.
Walton, S (2016) Nan Shepherd's 'The living mountain'. In: Kendal Mountain Festival, 17-20 November 2016, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, UK.
Moss, S, Gee, M and Walton, S (2016) Hopes and fears in the face of environmental crisis - readings and discussion. In: Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities, 21 November 2016, Topping & Company Booksellers, Bath, UK.
Walton, S (2016) Hydropoetics. In: Wilderness, 4 -7 August 2016, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, UK.
Walton, S (2016) Roundtable/Poetry readings. In: Poetry, Creativity and Environment, 26 - 27 February 2016, University of Leeds.
Walton, S (2016) Cider with Grundy: on orchards and the commonplace in Ambridge. In: The Archers in Fact and Fiction: Academic Analysis of Life in Rural Borsetshire, 17 February 2016, University of Liverpool in London.
The Scottish landscape and crime in non-canonical texts by 20th century female crime writers, Gladys Mitchell and Josephine Tey
Walton, S (2012) The Scottish landscape and crime in non-canonical texts by 20th century female crime writers, Gladys Mitchell and Josephine Tey. In: Crime Scotland - then and now (Scottish studies in Europe conference), 31 May- 3 June 2012, Georg-August University, Göttingen, Germany.
Walton, S (2014) Camarade. In: Poetry in Collaboration, Southbank centre, London, 20 May 2014.
Walton, S (2014) Samantha Walton at London poetry festival. In: London Poetry Festival, Birkbeck College, London, 17-18 May.
Walton, S and Lindsay, J (2014) Camarade. In: Enemies: Hidden Door Arts Festival, Edinburgh, 29 April 2014.
Walton, S (2014) Samantha Walton at virtual cabaret II. In: UnAmerican Activities 5: Virtual Cabaret II, Queen Mary, University of London, UK, 13 April 2014.
Walton, S (2013) Samantha Walton at caesura #17. In: Caesura #17, Summerhall, Edinburgh, 11 October 2013.