The World Literature Network has a number of successful research clusters that operate under its auspices, or in association with various of its members. These include:

If you would like any further information on any of these clusters, to share details of your own work, or to discuss any potential collaborations, then please do contact the named participants directly via the links below.


Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Work:

This cluster is led by Sorcha Gunne and Kate Houlden, and includes contributions from Chris Campbell, Sharae Deckard, Treasa de Loughry, Dan Hartley, Christinna Hobbs, Kerstin Oloff and Amy Rushton amongst others.

Building on, and expanding, current world-literary emphases, we are interested in exploring the ways in which materialist feminism, transnational feminism and queer theory work with, and challenge, world-systemic thinking at the level of content, theory and form.

To date, we have organised a number of events/panels and produced various publications:


  • 2019: Kate Houlden and Sorcha Gunne (co-written). ‘ The Gendering of Irish and Caribbean Food/Land Crises in Children’s Novels by Marita Conlon-McKenna and James Berry’. The Irish University Review Special Issue: Food, Energy, and Climate: Ireland in the World-Ecology, Guest Editors L. Collins and S. Deckard, 49.1: (forthcoming).
  • 2019: Sorcha Gunne. ‘Feminist Politics and Semiperipheral Poetics: Eavan Boland and Aislinn Hunter’. Atlantic Studies Global Currents. Special Issue: The World-Literary system and the Atlantic, Guest Editors: S. Gunne and N. Lazarus, 16.1: 126-141 DOI: 10.1080/14788810.2018.1472360
  • 2018: Amy Rushton. ‘”A Bubble in the Vein”: Suicide, Community and the Rejection of Neoliberalism in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life and Miriam Toews’s All My Puny Sorrows‘. In: S. Deckard and S. Shapiro eds. World Literature, Neoliberalism and the Culture of Discontent. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan [in press]
  • 2018: Chris Campbell, ‘Tarzan the Ape Man: “Screening the Subordination of Women, Nature and Colonies” in the 1930s’. In: N. Atia and K. Houlden eds. Popular Postcolonialisms: Discourses of Empire and Popular Culture. New York: Routledge
  • 2018: Dan Hartley, ‘”Slavery to an Assembly Line is Not a Liberation from Slavery to the Kitchen Sink”: Assessing Social Reproduction Theory’s Challenge to Liberal-Feminist and Classical-Marxist Paradigms’. In: G. Olsen, M. Horn-Schott, D. Hartley and R. Schmidt eds. Beyond Gender: An Advanced Introduction to Futures of Feminist and Sexuality Studies. Abingdon: Routledge
  • 2017: Kate Houlden. ‘Queering the World or Worlding the Queer? New Readings of Anna Kavan’s Who Are You? (1963)’. Women: A Cultural Review Special Issue: Anna Kavan 28.4: 295-311 DOI: 10.1080/09574042.2017.1388580
  • 2017: Kerstin Oloff. ‘Marie Vieux Chauvet’s World-Gothic: Commodity Frontiers, “Cheap Natures” and the Monstrous-Feminine’. In: S. Casanova-Vizcaíno & I. Ordiz eds. Latin American Gothic in Literature and Culture: Transposition, Hybridization, Tropicalization. New York: Routledge
  • 2017: Sorcha Gunne. ‘Something Terrible Happened: Spectacles of Gendered Violence and Nadine Gordimer’s The House Gun‘. In: B. Martín-Lucas and A. Ruthven eds. Narratives of Difference in Globalized Cultures: Reading Transnational Cultural Commodities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 185-202
  • 2016: Kerstin Oloff. ‘Zombies, Gender and World-Ecology: Gothic Narratives in the work of Ana Lydia Vega and Mayra Montero’. In: C. Campbell and M. Niblett eds. The Caribbean: Aesthetics, World-ecology, Politics. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 46-62


Conference Panels:

Conference Papers:

Associated Networks

Bodies in Transit Project 

Feminist Dissent, A Journal

TransLit: Sustainable Trans/national Literacies: Ethics, Affect, Pedagogy

Decolonial Research Group, NTNU

Arts In-between Local/Global Research Group



This cluster currently encompasses the work of Chris Campbell, Michael Niblett, Kerstin Oloff and Treasa De Loughry.



  • 2018-2021: Leverhulme Research Grant: “World Literature and Commodity Frontiers: The Ecology of the ‘long’ 20th Century.” Michael Niblett (Warwick) and Chris Campbell (Exeter)
  • 2018: Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, USA – Subvention Grant, $1000. Treasa De Loughry & Alexandra Campbell.
  • 2014-2017: Career Development Seed Funding: Food, Energy, Climate and Cultural Representation. Sharae Deckard.
  • 2014: Dublin UNESCO City of Literature funding: “Landscapes of Crisis,”, readings with Mike McCormack and Dave Lordan. Sharae Deckard.
  • 2012-2014: Horizon Scanning Seed Funding: World Systems/Systems of the World; to organize Environmental Humanities seminar series and World-Ecology symposium. Sharae Deckard.


  • 05/2018. Ocean Matters, Bristol Aquarium. Organised by Treasa De Loughry and Alexandra Campbell
  • 05/2016. Aesthetics of Crisis: Ecology, Disaster and Representation, Durham University, sponsored by the IHRR. Organised by Kerstin Oloff. Keynote Speakers: Mark Anderson (Georgia) and Louise Hardwick (Birmingham)
  • 07/2016. 2nd annual conference of the World-Ecology Network, World-Ecology, World-Culture, World-Economy: Crisis, Slump, Revolution?. Durham University. Keynote Speakers: Jason W. Moore (Binghamton); Kate Soper (London Met); Haroon Akram-Lodhi (Trent); Dave Temple
  • 05/2016. Food: Commodities, Crisis, Justice. UCD Humanities Institute. Organised by Sharae Deckard, Treasa De Loughry and Sean Shanagher

Conference Panels:

  • 08/2018: ‘Petro-Modernity, Marine Plastic, Art’; Petrocultures, Glasgow; Treasa De Loughry, ‘Petro-Plastic Poetics: Waste, Negative Value and the World-Ecology’
  • 09/2017: ‘The Gendered Politics of Globalization in World Literary Space’; Postcolonial Studies Association, Annual Convention, Institute of English Studies, London; Sorcha Gunne, Kate Houlden, Treasa De Loughry (‘We the People: World-Ecology, Rice and Gender in Thailand’)

Conference Papers:

  • 11/2018: Treasa De Loughry, ‘Petrolic Waste and World-Literary Imaginaries’, Centre for Environmental Humanities, Bristol [invited]

Associated Networks:

Maritime Humanities Group, Exeter and Plymouth universities

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment UK

Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment US

World-Ecology Network


World-Literature and Mental Health:

This emergent cluster explores the myriad ways in which disability studies, critical psychology, historical materialism, development studies, postcolonial and decolonising critiques, and transnational queer and gender theories intersect, and challenge, world-systemic thinking. It is led by Amy Rushton and includes Anna Kemball. If your own research speaks to these concerns and you would like to become a contributor to the cluster, please contact Amy. Click here to see Amy talk about how her research and experience relate to global mental health.

To date, the cluster has presented and published the following research:


  • Amy Rushton. ‘On the back of a hyena: depression and the (post-)colonial context in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s This Mournable Body’, Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings, Special Issue on ‘Literature, Health, Medicine’, ed. Clare Barker and Shirley Chew [forthcoming]
  • 2019: Amy Rushton. ‘‘Who’s responsible – you fucking are’: contesting narratives of the ongoing ‘mental health crisis’ in the UK’, Key Words: Journal of the Raymond Williams Society, Special Issue on ‘Crisis’ [in press]
  • 2018: Amy Rushton. ‘‘A bubble in the vein: suicide, community and the rejection of neoliberalism in Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life and Miriam Toews’s All My Puny Sorrows’, in World Literature, Neoliberalism and the Culture of Discontent, ed. Sharae Deckard and Stephen Shapiro (Palgrave Macmillan) pp. 195-213
  • 2018: Anna Kemball. “”Names that we do not understand’: Reframing schizophrenia and spirituality in The People-faces.” Journal of New Zealand Literature (JNZL) 36.1 (2018): 76-93

Conference Panels:

  • 09/2019: Statement on ‘mad communities and gendered injustice’ for ‘World-Literary Criticism and Gendered Injustice’ roundtable on, convened by Dr Kate Houlden, with Sharae Deckard, Treasa De Loughry, Kerstin Oloff, and Rashmi Varma, Postcolonial Studies Association 2019 Convention, University of Manchester
  • 09/2018: ‘Global Health Futures, Interdisciplinary Perspectives’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing in African Literatures and Cultures’; Medical Humanities Futures, 2nd Congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, University of Leeds; Esme Cleall, China Mills, Amy Rushton, Emily Timms, Frances Hemsley (MH-related papers)

Conference Papers: