Dr Philip Dickinson

Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies and World Literature


I work mainly in the areas of postcolonial and environmental literature and theory. My work to date has fallen broadly into the following overlapping areas:

  • Afterlives of Romanticism in postcolonial aesthetics (literature and theory), culminating in my 2018 monograph, here, review here.
  • Animism, or colonial regimes of animation, culminating in a 2021 double special issue of New Formations, ‘Animism in a Planetary Frame,’ co-edited with Sam Durrant and with a substantial co-authored introduction and an individual essay contribution. A recent essay in Angelaki on time and animacy in William Kentridge is also an offshoot of this project [open access, link here].
  • Enclosure, understood in relation to the history of land and property and as a broader concept for interrogating colonial onto-epistemologies. This involves a book project on land, enclosure and extractivism in postcolonial literature, and a more localised, collaborative project on parliamentary enclosure in the north west.

I’d be delighted to hear from prospective PhD students working in and around any of these areas.



Romanticism and Aesthetic Life in Postcolonial Writing. Palgrave Macmillan. 2018.

Edited Special Issues

‘Animism in a Planetary Frame’, New Formations 104-105 (Summer/Autumn 2021), co-edited with Sam Durrant [double issue].

Refereed Articles

‘Time after time: William Kentridge’s Heterochronies’, Angelaki 27.5 (2022), 97-112 [open access].

‘Dispossessing Animism: Zong! and Spiritual Baptism’, New Formations 104-105 (Summer/Autumn 2021): 77-104.

‘Raja Shehadeh’s Palestinian Walks and the Concrete Ecology of Settlement’, Interventions 20.2 (2018): 294-307.

‘Enclosure, Dispersal, and The Enigma of Arrival’, ariel 47.3 (2016): 45-66.

‘Feeling, Affect, Exposure: Ethical (In)Capacity, the Sympathetic Imagination, and J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace’, Mosaic 46.4 (2013): 1-19.*

*Lead essay published with open-access introduction by Dawne McCance, here.

Refereed Book Chapters

‘Itineraries of the Sublime in the Postcolonial Novel’, The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel, ed. Ato Quayson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 152-165.

Editorials, Reviews, Web Contributions

Introduction to double issue: ‘Animism in a Planetary Frame’, New Formations 104-105 (Summer/Autumn 2021): 4-14.

The Enigma of Arrival: Migrancy and Mutability’, Discovering Literature, British Library (2020). Link here.

Review of Laurent Dubreuil, Empire of Language: Toward a Critique of (Post)Colonial Expression, Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 4.2 (2017).

Education, Appointments

I joined Lancaster in May 2017 from Columbia University, where I held a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto, where my thesis won the A. S. P. Woodhouse Prize, and I hold BA and MA degrees from the University of Leeds.