Dr Mark Frost
I work on environment and literature in the long-nineteenth century, with particular interest in pastoral, ecocrisis, pollution, and social and environmental justice in the Victorian period (and what it tells us about the present). I focus on the cultural functions of pastoral in early-Victorian literature, and recent iterations of this has been a 2023 article on pastoral, industry, and environmental violence for English Studies; and a chapter on Wilkie Collins and environment for a 2023 Cambridge University Press collection.. My work on late-Victorian environmental disaster narratives, particularly the work of Richard Jefferies, has led to a scholarly edition of his 1885 novel, After London; and a chapter on the wider corpus of this genre. My original research heartland (John Ruskin) also remains important to me.
I would consider postgraduate enquiries relating to any of these areas, and would welcome opportunities for media interviews and other opportunities to speak about my work.
I am currently working on four projects:
1. a monograph on pastoral in early Victorian fiction that is rooted in recent ecocritical interest in the urban and rural; environmental sovereignty and hierarchies; slow violence and environmental justice criticism; boundaries/intersectionality; and deconstruction.
2. I am creating and editing an extensive four-volume collection of primary sources on environments and ecology in the long nineteenth century for Routledge. This will draw upon famous and obscure works from various sources, including published books, newspapers, and periodicals. The first volume appeared in 2022 and Volume 2 is due in 2023.
3. I have submitted an article on environmental violence and boundaries in 1920s fiction (Yevgeny Zamyatin and J.J. Connington) to a MESEA publication.
4. I am the creator and director of the Portsmouth Literary Map (https://litmap.nautoguide.com/#Home), a Faculty-funded KEF project, working alongside my colleague, Dr Maggie Bowers.
My earlier research on John Ruskin and 19th century science, politics, and culture yielded a monograph, The Lost Companions and John Ruskin's Guild of St George: a Revisionary History and articles for Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Prose, Journal of Commonwealth Literature. Green Letters, and a special issue of Critical Survey (co-edited with Paraic Finnerty).
I am interested in literature and environment in the Victorian period, and my work is rooted in a range of recent and emerging ecocritical contexts. I focus on:
- Pastoral modes in early-Victorian fiction (Dickens, Eliot, Trollope, Thackeray, Martineau, Oliphant, Surtees, Ainsworth, penny dreadfuls, silver fork novels, chartist literature).
- Issues of environmental justice, slow violence, pollution, and environmental injustice.
- Social impacts of rapid industrial, demographic, economic, and technological change in the Victorian period.
- Late-Victorian environmental disaster narratives (Richard Jefferies, William Delisle Hay, Grant Allen, Robert Barr, M. P. Shiel).
- John Ruskin.
I co-ordinate the second year UG module, Dystopian and Apocalyptic Environments: Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination', which takes my ecocritical interests into contemporary literature; and the first-year module, The Short Story: Murder, Madness and Experimentation and Popular Culture. I regularly supervise MRes students, and teach extensively on our innovative, interdisciplinary distance-learning MA in Victorian Gothic. This course has created a pathway for PhDs, and I am currently on the supervisory panel for five doctoral students.
I am available for media interviews and other opportunities to speak about my work.