Dr Thomas (Tom) Bristow

Nominated Research Fellow

Nominated Fellow, September 2016 – February 2017

Home Institution at that time:

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, University of Melbourne



Tom won an Edinburgh scholarship and AHRC funding for his PhD in Literary Studies at the University of Edinburgh after completing BA and MA degrees at the University of Leicester. Following fellowships at IASH and Department of English Literature, he has been located in Australia. He is currently a key member of the Mellon Humanities for the Environment Australia Pacific Observatory, University of Sydney, and an Australian Research Council Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Tom also acts as editor for the journal Philosophy Activism Nature, and he is an advisory board member of the Australasian Consortium for Humanities Research Centres. Tom has been awarded fellowships with the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, the Department of English Literature at the University of British Columbia, and the Department of English at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Anthropocene Lyric: An Affective Geography of Poetry, Person, Place (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and co-editor of A Cultural History of Climate Change (Routledge 2016).


From the Sublime to the Anthropocene

As part of a theoretical project on Pastoral, Tom will be considering the Anthropocene metaphor, and its implications for the constitution of the environmental subject. By focusing on the role of “parataxis” in the determination of ethical poetics, Tom will contribute to scholarship on Anthropocene heuristics that has traditionally focused on the principles necessary for a subject to understand human impact on earth systems and the deep history of species. This scholarship has generated an account of the need to collapse the humanist distinction between natural history and human history, which stresses the global interdependencies across ecologies and bioregions, yet understates the role of affect and the essential active capacity of the human subject in the constitution of immanent knowledge.