Island Poetics



The Island Poetics Research Project is an international, multidisciplinary study of the spatial imagination of island topographies across contemporary popular literature, film, television, computer games, music, and advertisement. 

In broad terms, the aim of this collaborative research project is to go beyond earlier approaches to island studies that focus on interpretive readings of the island as a colonial trope, and to develop a more sustained understanding of the poetics and spatiality of islands across multiple media, genres, and geographical regions. We aim to probe the multiple ways in which islands are constructed through, by, and in fiction; in this sense, we advocate a poetic approach to islands studies as a means of calling for a nuanced understanding of the particularities of islands as they are experienced by characters, readers, and viewers.


Member Institutions

Dr. Daniel Graziadei
University of Munich, Germany

Dr. Britta Hartmann
Independent Scholar, Tasmania

Dr. Ian Kinane
University of Roehampton. U.K.

Dr. Johannes Riquet
University of Tampere, Finland

Dr. Barney Samson
University of Essex, U.K.


Selected Publications

Graziadei, Daniel, Britta Hartmann, Ian Kinane, Johannes Riquet, Barney Samson. Island Poetics. [Co-authored volume, in preparation.]

Graziadei, Daniel, Britta Hartmann, Ian Kinane, Johannes Riquet, Barney Samson. “On Sensing Island Spaces and the Spatial Practice of Island-Making.” Island Studies Journal 12(2), November 2017. 239-252.

Graziadei, Daniel, Britta Hartmann, Ian Kinane, Johannes Riquet, Barney Samson. “Island Metapoetics and Beyond.” Island Studies Journal 12(2), November 2017. 253-266.



Members of the Island Poetics Research Project have presented papers and panel discussions at a number of national and international conference events and symposia, including the International Comparative Literature Association (Vienna, 2016), the Reseau d’Excellence des Territoires Insularies (Orkney, 2015), the International Small Island Studies Association (Taiwan, 2014), the Island Dynamics Conference (Cyprus, 2013), Islands of war, Islands of Memory (Cambridge, 2013), the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies (Madeira, 2013),and Cartographies of the European Past: Nation, Region, Transnation (Mainz, 2012)

The IPRP has also organised a number of colloquia and workshops, including the inaugural Island Poetics Symposium, which was held between the University of Essex and Birkbeck, University of London in 2015, and which was funded by the British Association for Film, Television, and Screen Studies. The symposium was open to members of the public and included a series of guest lectures, panel presentations, and workshops. The IPRP is currently planning the next Island Poetics Symposium to coincide with the tercentenary celebrations of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.

Other conference events organised by members of the IPRP include Landscapes of Liminality: Between Spaces and Places (Dublin, 2014) and Travelling Narratives: Modernity and the Spatial Imaginary (Zurich, 2013).