Graham Huggan

Graham Huggan


I have a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of British Columbia, and taught in the US (Harvard University) and Europe (LMU Munich) before coming to the University of Leeds to take up the Chair in Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures in 2004.


  • Director of Impact (School of English)

Research interests

My research spans the entire field of comparative postcolonial literary/cultural studies, and I also have expertise in environmental humanities (including animal studies), tourism studies (especially travel writing), and contemporary film. My most recent monograph is Colonialism, Culture, Whales: The Cetacean Quartet (Bloomsbury Press, 2018), and a major co-authored book on modern British nature writing, Land Lines, has recently come out with Cambridge University Press (2021).

Publications over the past ten years include Nature's Saviours: Celebrity Conservationists in the Television Age (Routledge, 2013), which won an honourable mention for the 2014 ESSE Book Prize, and the 300,000-word Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies (Oxford University Press, 2013), which I sole-edited and includes contributions from top postcolonial scholars from across the world. Other published work includes The Postcolonial Exotic: Marketing the Margins (Routledge, 2001); Australian Literature: Postcolonialism, Racism, Transnationalism (Oxford University Press, 2007); Extreme Pursuits: Travel/Writing in an Age of Globalization (University of Michigan Press, 2009); and the co-authored Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment (Routledge, 2010; second edition 2015). A revised collection of my essays, Interdisciplinary Measures (Liverpool University Press, 2009), demonstrates my ongoing commitment to cross-disciplinary approaches to postcolonial studies, as is also confirmed by the book series for which I am founding co-editor, 'Postcolonialism across the Disciplines' (also Liverpool University Press). 

I am on the editorial board of numerous journals in the postcolonial and environmental humanities fields, am a regular national/international examiner and reviewer, and am a current member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) and the Modern Language Association (MLA). I am also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). At the University of Leeds, I am founding co-director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies (ICPS), a cross-disciplinary forum drawing on a wide range of University teaching and research in the field of postcolonial studies. 

Over the past few years I have led two EU-funded projects: an ITN (doctoral training programme) in environmental humanities, which also involved the University of Munich (LMU), the Deutsches Museum, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH); and a collaborative research project, 'Arctic Encounters: Contemporary Travel/Writing in the European High North', which brought together partners from Denmark, Iceland, Norway and the UK. Environmental humanities-inspired projects in which I am either currently or have recently been involved include two follow-on projects in connection with the AHRC-funded ‘Land Lines: Modern British Nature Writing’, and the AHRC/DFG-funded ‘Corridor Talk: Conservation Humanities and the Future of Europe’s National Parks’. I also currently direct a Leverhulme-funded doctoral training programme in Extinction Studies.

I regularly organise events at Leeds --many of them postgraduate-oriented-- for the projects and programmes I lead, for the ICPS, and for the School of English-based Postcolonial Research Group (PRG). I am also convenor of 'Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies', the School of English's postcolonial MA scheme.

I have supervised PhD research, both at Leeds and elsewhere, on a wide range of topics and would welcome the opportunity to supervise further work in all areas of the postcolonial field, the crossover area between literary and environmental criticism (including animal studies), tourism studies and travel literature, and contemporary film.  

Recent activities

I continue to give invited talks all over the world, with some of the more recent ones in South and Southeast Asia (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam). I have also acted as an external reviewer for the Chinese University of Hong Kong. 

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


  • PhD (University of British Columbia)
  • MA (University of British Columbia)
  • BA Hons (University of Cambridge)

Professional memberships

  • ASLE
  • MLA
  • Royal Society of Arts

Student education


Postcolonial Literature
Northern Lights: Imagining the Arctic 


Postcolonialism, Animals and the Environment

Research groups and institutes

  • Literary studies

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>