Dr Hannah Boast BA (Jt Hons), MA, PhD

Photograph of Dr Hannah Boast

Department of English Literature
Teaching Fellow in Contemporary and Postcolonial Literature

Contact details

Room 129, Arts Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I teach and research contemporary and postcolonial literature. I am particularly interested in literary and cultural engagements with water, environment and resource politics. My research focuses on Israel, Palestine and the Arab world.


  • BA (Jt Hons) English Studies and Philosophy, University of Nottingham (2009)
  • MA Cultures of Empire, Resistance and Postcoloniality, University of York (2010)
  • PhD, University of York (2016)


I joined the University of Birmingham in 2016. I was previously based at the University of York, where I completed a doctoral thesis on hydropolitics in contemporary Israeli and Palestinian literature. This research was funded by a White Rose studentship and co-supervised in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield. While at York, I convened a third-year module on Modern Arabic Literature and worked as Coordinator of the international, AHRC-funded network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, c. 1099 to the Present Day’.


Semester 1

  • Plays and Performance
  • Prose

Semester 2

  • Tragedy
  • New World Orders
  • 21st Century Literature

Postgraduate supervision

I’d be happy to hear from prospective postgraduate students interested in Middle East literature, ecocriticism, the culture and politics of water, or the environmental humanities.


I'm adapting my thesis into a monograph, titled Hydrofictions: Water, Power and Politics in Israeli and Palestinian Literature. I argue for the necessity of recognising water’s critical importance to any theorisation of modern and contemporary literatures and cultures from Israel/Palestine, and foreground water as a crucial new area of research in scholarship on resource fictions. This project draws on a wide range of disciplines, including Science and Technology Studies, political ecology and environmental history.

I am developing plans for a future monograph on environment and climate in Israeli and Palestinian literature. I also intend to extend my work on 'hydrofictions' more widely, examining literary and cultural responses to water scarcity in a comparative, global context.


‘“A river without water”: Hydropolitics and the River Jordan in Palestinian Literature’, Journal of Commonwealth Literature 51:2 (2016), pp. 1275-86.

‘Review Essay: The Place of the Mediterranean in Modern Israeli Identity by Alexandra Nocke and River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line by Rachel Havrelock’, Jewish Quarterly (2013), pp 54-57.

‘“Planted over the past”: Ideology and Ecology in Israel's National Eco-Imaginary’, Green Letters 16 (2012), pp. 46-58.