Arts of Place

A meeting-point for all who care what we make of our surroundings.


“Arts of Place promotes work on cultural histories of landscape, locality and environment. We want to foster rich understandings of places past and present. Our events and mailing list are open to all. Please do join us.”

Alexandra Harris and Jessica Fay, University of Birmingham

All Welcome at our
Monday Conversations this Spring

15 February 2021, 5-6pm.
We’ll be in celebratory mood as we launch our website. To mark the occasion we’ll be talking with Fariha Shaikh, Thomas Kaye and Will May about their current work.
Register for Zoom link.

19 April 2021, 5pm.
Andrew Hodgson and Ralph Pite will be taking new journeys with Edward Thomas.
Register for Zoom link.


Haunted Shores, 26 March 2021
Coastlands, Coastal Waters, and the Littoral Gothic
A symposium on gothic coasts organised by Jimmy Packham together with Emily Alder (Edinburgh Napier) and Joan Passey (Bristol). The call for papers is here and you’ll find updates on Twitter here.


Meet our collaborators

Alexandra Harris

Professorial Fellow in English at the University of Birmingham.

Jessica Fay

Teaching Fellow in Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century Literature, University of Birmingham

Will May

Associate Professor in English, University of Southampton

Fariha Shaikh

Lecturer in Victorian Literature, University of Birmingham

What’s on your bookshelf?

Arts of Place members and friends offer a trove of short reflections on items from their bookshelves that have shaped their thinking about place. From classic pieces of nature writing, to contemporary works of criticism and theory, via local history, poetry and novels, we are creating an archive of book recommendations that will help enrich our perspectives.


Explore our writing, talks, collaborations, and opportunities

Difficult Paradises

Conversation: Tim Dee, Michael Malay, and Liam Olds ask what beauty means in the context of ecological renewal.

Wordsworth’s art of place

Essay: In the year of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday, Jessica Fay explores the contemplative stories he tells about ruins.

Literature for quiet times

Podcast: Alexandra Harris talks to Kate McLoughlin about William Cowper’s great poem of quiet home life, The Task.

Join our mailing list

Keep up with Arts of Place

Featured image: David Cox, The Cross Roads, oil on panel, 1850, Birmingham Museums and Art Galleries.
Find out more in our Bookshelf entry on Common Land in English Painting, 1700-1850