Dion Dobrzynski

Dion Dobrzynski

Department of English Literature
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: Forest Ecology in Fantasy Fiction
Supervisors: Professor John Holmes, Professor Jon Sadler and Dr Will Tattersdill 
PhD English Literature

Qualifications

  • BA English Literature (Durham University)
  • MLitt Environment, Culture and Communication (University of Glasgow)
  • PGCE (University of Nottingham)

Research

In the context of ecological crises exacerbated by rampant deforestation, my project is an interdisciplinary study of the function and representation of forests in the fantasy worlds of William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Their fictional forests will be considered as ecologies including imaginary as well as real beings, which in turn epitomise alternative ethical and psychological conceptions of life as part of a forest configured in relation to place, space, and time.

I experimentally combine literary ecocritical and social-science methodologies to explore how responses to actual forest environments compare to and are shaped by fiction. Through an extended partnership with Ruskin Land in Wyre Forest, I will host focus groups and ‘reading walks’ in the forest to establish the potential of fantasy fiction to imaginatively, emotionally and ethically engage urban populations in forests.