Dr Emma Trott

Dr Emma Trott


I completed my PhD at Leeds in 2018. My thesis explored the relationship between creativity and the environment in the poetry of Jon Silkin and Simon Armitage in the context of a world in crisis.

My first post-doc role was as Research Fellow in Contemporary Poetics, in the School of English at Leeds, working with Professor Fiona Becket.

My second post-doc role was a one-year Wellcome Trust fellowship, also at Leeds, in which I focussed on the heart in contemporary literature, film and culture.

I am currently Lecturer in Contemporary Literature in the School of English. 


  • Assessment Lead (School of English)
  • Academic Integrity Lead (School of English)

Research interests

My research to date has specialised in post-war and contemporary poetry, examining metaphors in texts and their relation to specific contexts. My study of poets Simon Armitage and Jon Silkin shows how understanding of interconnections between nature and ostensibly human concerns including culture, politics and history are essential for development of workable, just solutions to environmental crisis. This research, initiated in my PhD, forms the subject of my first monograph, Contemporary British Ecopoetics: Creatures, Materiality, Environment, forthcoming (2025) in Routledge’s ‘Perspectives on the Non-Human in Literature and Culture’ book series. 

My current research explores the heart in contemporary literature and metaphor in medicine, building from my previous work on metaphor theory and posthumanism. Taking commonly-used heart metaphors as a starting point, I am exploring the connections between emotional and physical health and illness, and between cultural and medical modes of knowledge. I am particularly interested in literary accounts of heart surgery and my research is focusing on the ways metaphors reveal the changes to identity that occur through surgeries, and help us understand the posthuman bodies that are produced. I am also focusing on the ways literary texts represent health inequalities in heart disease, particularly around race, gender and class.

I have developed research-led, public-facing creative workshops in collaboration with Hoodwink Theatre and the British Heart Foundation, working to change the ways diverse audiences understand the role of emotion in heart disease.

I co-curated the exhibition, Poetry By Design: a re-appraisal of visual and concrete poetics, with Professor Fiona Becket, in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery (June-August 2019).

I convene the School of English’s Environmental Humanities Research Group, and am involved with the Leeds Poetry Centre and the School of English’s Medical Humanities Research Group. 

I will be delighted to hear from any prospective PhD or post-doc researchers working within any of my specialisms. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in the School of English, University of Leeds
  • MA Modern and Contemporary Literature, University of Leeds
  • BA English Language and Literature (European), University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, UK-I
  • Association for Medical Humanities
  • British Society for Literature and Science
  • Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research

Student education

I teach on a range of modules in the School of English, including modules on poetry, contemporary literature, Modernism, race and decolonisation and literature and environment. I supervise undergraduate Final Year Projects and postgraduate MA and MaR theses. I also teach literature and medical humanities to Cardiac Physiology undergraduates. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Environmental Humanities Research Group

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>