Dr Matthew Whittle

Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature
+44 (0) 1227 826583
Dr Matthew Whittle


BA (Sheffield); MA, PhD (Manchester) 

Matthew Whittle’s teaching and research concentrates on postcolonial and global literatures, with special emphasis on the climate emergency, migration, diaspora, and decolonisation. Matthew’s co-authored book, Global Literature and the Environment (Routledge) contextualizes ecological breakdown within the history of capitalist-imperialism, exploring how literature helps us to imagine and create a habitable and just world for all forms of life. In doing so, it combines a range of theoretical approaches, including postcolonialism, Indigenous studies, ecocriticism, cultural materialism, and animal studies.

Matthew’s previous book, Post-War British Literature and the “End of Empire” (Palgrave Macmillan), explores responses to British imperial decline, focusing on decolonisation, Americanisation, and immigration to Britain. He has also published articles and book chapters on dystopian literature and contemporary art, as well as working with Human Rights charities and NGOs, including IncomindiosUK and the Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group. His research has informed contributions to The Independent, Newsweek, Wire and The Conversation.

Matthew is a member of the Centre for the Global Study of Empire and the Kent Animal Humanities Network. In addition, he is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, the University of Kent’s representative Trustee at the Powell-Cotton Museum, and was a co-founder and steering committee member of the Northern Postcolonial Network.

Matthew is currently working on a collaborative project exploring climate-induced migration in literature, as well as editing a scholarly edition for Manchester University Press of Anthony Burgess’s novel about the end of empire and immigration, The Right to an Answer.

Research interests

  • Postcolonial studies, with a specific interest in postcolonial ecocriticism, post-imperial Britishness, Caribbean literature, and Southern African literature
  • Twentieth-century and contemporary literature
  • Animal studies, concentrating on species extinction/endangerment in colonial and post-colonial contexts


Matthew would consider PhD proposals that relate to any of the above topics.  

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