Paul Ferguson studied for his BA(hons) 1st class, at Lancaster Univeristy. After securing AHRC funding he then went to complete an MA (dist) and a PhD again at Lancaster University where he also taught for several years. Following the successful completion of his PhD, which dealt with the commodification of dissent in 1950s British literature, Paul continued to work at Lancaster teaching on the Theory and Practice of Criticism module before coming to work at Cumbria University in 2011. He teaches on a range of courses for the English undergraduate programme, something that reflects his own diverse literary interests, including two of the core first year modules (Introduction to Literary Studies and Texts and Readers). He also teaches two second year modules, Renaissance Genres and Literature and Film, as well as two third year modules, Popular Fiction and The 21st Century British Novel. In 2018 he is introducing a new module, Literature and the Environment, which will look at the diverse relationships found between literature and the environment and will cover topics such as representing nature, representing crisis, anthropocentrism, and the emergence of anthropocene.

Paul’s recent interests are directed towards both representations and accounts of the relationship between humans and nature, and in particular towards representations that either reinforce or destabilise the dominant anthropocentric animal/human binary. Much of his recent research has been underpinned by ideas emerging from the related fields of ecocriticism, postcolonial theory and Critical Animal Studies and has included work on disparate writers such as Daniel Defoe and David Mitchell, as well as Michel Faber’s Under the Skin and Jonathan Glazer’s subsequent film adaptation of the same name.

Qualifications and memberships

  • PhD Literature
  • MA Contemporary Literary Studies
  • BA hons English Literature
  • Associate of the HEA
  • Member of ASLE

Academic and research interests

  • Ecocriticism
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Humanism/post-Humanism
  • Critical Animal Studies
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Post-apocalypse narratives
  • Postwar British fiction
  • Theories of cooptation
  • Alexander Trocchi
  • Dennis Potter


'Me eatee him up': Cannibal Appetites in Cloud Atlas and Robinson Crusoe', which appeared in Green Letters 19.2 (2015) pp. 144-156. [Access online:]

Recent external roles

  • Visiting Lecturer Scottish Universities’ Summer School August 2016