Allison Adler Kroll
TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities), Environmental Humanities Group, University of Oxford
I have spent much of my career writing about heritage culture and landscape conservation. My first doctorate is in nineteenth- and twentieth-century English literature, and my thesis traced the literary history of heritage institutions, including the National Trust, in England from their imaginative foundations in the early nineteenth century to their rise as an industry in the twentieth century and beyond. My current book project, Moments of Vision: Lightscapes, European Nature Writing, and Modern Identity, is an environmental humanities study that places modern English writing about nature in a European context. The focus is on lightscapes and vision in relation to modern identity and the localisms through which that identity often emerged within a secularising culture. I explore the quality of luminosity in the work of Woolf, Proust, Valery, Auden, and von Arnim (among others), as well as in that of modern ‘nature writers’, especially in terms of how light shapes our perception of individual landscapes. I am also currently completing work on a history thesis which revolves around the relationship between royal, imperial, and aristocratic landscapes and the circulation of ideas about landscape in Britain and France, 1760-1818.
I co-organise the TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities) Environmental Humanities programme, a network of academics who write about the environment, conservation professionals, and environmentally-engaged artists. Our programme collaborates with a number of heritage and conservation organisations, including the National Trust, the RSPB, the Woodland Trust, and Historic Royal Palaces.