Dr Chris Pak BA, MA, PhD


Research Assistant

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Chris Pak

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


An early career researcher currently working on the Leverhulme funded project ‘People, Products, Pests and Pets: the Discursive Representation of Animals’ at The University of Birmingham. I specialise in the study of the ecocritical and ecopolitical aspects of science fiction and other fantastic literatures (and other cultural works), although I maintain broad interests in American literature, Noir and postmodernism.


  • PhD (University of Liverpool)
  • MA Science Fiction Studies (University of Liverpool)
  • BA English Literature and Language (University of Liverpool)


I am particularly drawn to issues of global politics, the relationship between the sciences, philosophy and the arts, cognition and language, landscaping and human-animal studies. My PhD thesis considers the eco-philosophical and eco-political engagement of science fictional narratives of global planetary adaptation, or terraforming. It considers the environmental philosophical notion of nature's otherness and respect for the non-human, the cognitive and physical processes involved in landscaping, and the use of the pastoral, ecology and science in terraforming narratives.


Theoretical and Critical Perspectives, Liverpool John Moore’s University.


I continue to expand and publish my research into terraforming and its connection to the geoengineering of Earth, the human relationship to nature explored by these narratives and the ways in which they engage with environmental philosophical issues.

Other activities

I am a member of both the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, UK and Ireland (ASLE-UKI), and act as the liaison between these two organisations. I instituted and co-organised the successful Current Research in Speculative Fictions (CRSF) conference at the University of Liverpool, an annual event that is now in its fourth year – more information about this event can be found on the conference website, http://currentresearchinspeculativefiction.blogspot.co.uk/

Visit my personal website for more information about my research and activity, including links to research papers: http://www.chrispak.wix.com/chrispak.


  • ‘Terraforming and Proto-Gaian Narratives in American Pulp SF of the 1930s-1940s’, The Eaton Journal of Archival Research 1 (2013), 38-55. <http://eatonjournal.ucr.edu/articles1/pakfinal.pdf>.
    ‘Terraforming 101’, SFRA Review 302 (2012), 6-15 <http://sfra.org/sfra-review/302.pdf>. (Mary Kay Bray award winning paper).
  • ‘“A Creature Alive But Tranced and Obscurely Yearning to Wake”: Gaian Anticipations and Terraforming in the European Science Fiction of H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapledon and Stanislaw Lem’, Hélice: Reflexiones Críticas Sobre Ficción Especulativa, 15 (2012), 12-19.
  • ‘“A Fantastic Reflex of Itself, An Echo, A Symbol, A Myth, A Crazy Dream”: Terraforming as Landscaping Nature’s Otherness in H.G. Wells’s The Shape of Things to Come and Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men and Star Maker’, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, 111 (2012), 14-31. (Foundation Essay Prize winning paper).
  • ‘Discovering a Higher Plane: Dimensionality and Enlightenment in Flatland and Diaspora’, Prime Time: Mathematics in Popular Culture, ed. by Jessica Sklar (North Carolina: Macfarland, 2012), pp. 304-313.
  • ‘The Language of Postnationality: Cultural Identity via Science Fictional Trajectories’, Postnational Fantasy: Essays in Postcolonialism, Cosmopolitics and Science Fiction, ed. by Masood Ashraf Raja, Jason W. Ellis, and Swaralipi Nandi (North Carolina: McFarland, 2011), pp. 56-70.
  • ‘Computers in Science Fiction: Anxiety and Anticipation’, Science Fiction and Computing: Essays on Interlinked Domains, ed. by David Ferro and Eric Swedin (North Carolina: Macfarland, 2011), pp. 38-53.
  • ‘Environmental Philosophy and Space in Literature: Landscaping and the Chronotope’, Brief: Online Journal of Snippets 1: American Literature (2011) <http://www.brief.umcs.eu/amlit/brief-1_american-literature.pdf>, 5-6.
  • ‘Ecocriticism and Terraforming: Building Critical Spaces’, Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & the Arts, 10 (2010) <http://forum.llc.ed.ac.uk/current_issue/10/Pak.php>.
  • ‘The Dialogic Science Fiction Megatext: Vivisection in H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr Moreau and Genetic Engineering in Gene Wolfe’s “The Woman Who Loved the Centaur Pholus”’, Green Letters: Representing Animals, 12 (2010), 27-35.
  • ‘Confronting or Sidestepping Race in SF Film Adaptations: I, Robot and I Am Legend’, US China Foreign Language, 8 (2010) <http://www.linguist.org.cn/doc/uc201001/uc20100108.pdf>, 59-64.

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