Senior Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing
I am the author of The Chernobyl Privileges (a novel), shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award in 2019, and The Pig in Thin Air, a memoir about climate change and the food we eat. I am a professional writer of novels, memoir, essays and the author of other forms of creative writing such as video script, podcasts, and journalism. I'm passionate about working with student writers to develop their craft, confidence and experience.
I've won a number of awards and commissions to produce work, such as from arts agency New Bridge Project (Newcastle) to write a series of aural narratives that are also walks, engaging with climate emergencies and the Deep Adaptation agenda.
I've also previously worked as a journalist, editor and editorial manager across a number of national magazines and online sites in music, the arts, and environmental journalism. I've written for The Guardian, The Independent, Lithub.com, The Millions, and have had regular columns on veganism for Plant Based News and elsewhere. I also write organisational communications strategies and commissioned reports.
As a theorist, I work in the fields of Critical Animal Studies, eco-criticism, and creaturely writing as part of a wider anti-speciesist exploration of language and creative production. My subject areas include plant-based food policy, veganism, activist praxis, environmental and animal protection, and narrative framing.
I have a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing from Sussex University and a PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. I’ve been teaching and lecturing since 2005.
Teaching and supervision
- Creative Writing
- The Business of Writing
- Digital Writing
- Environmental Writing
- Climate Fiction
- Animal Fiction
Research interests for potential research students
I'm interested in all forms of creative and critical writing that engage with questions of relations across human-nonhuman boundaries, anti-speciesist narratives, and the production of creative work in experimental and 'creatural' forms.
I am most interested in novel, memoir and essay forms, in any genre including literary fiction, sci-fi, cli-fi, and creative-critical hybrids.
I'm particularly interested in approaches that combine literary study with cognitive linguistics, cognitive poetics and other forms of narrative theory to explore the ways in which meaning is created through literary language. I want to discover how this can help us shift our current exploitative relationships with other animals and the planet.
I am currently working on two new projects:
1. a speculative fiction novel about the climate crisis
2. a podcast series on the 200th anniversary of the Martin's Act 1822.
Other areas of interest and current work include:
- Nature writing through a vegan lens
- Animals, language, creativity
- Climate fiction and climate essays
- Vegan lifestyles in/as writing
- Crafts of creatural writing
- Hybrid forms of memoir
- Masculinity, mental health and food
I toured the UK with my 'How to Turn a Man Vegan in 45 Minutes' presentation which has shown at festivals in Edinburgh, London, Nottingham – Vegan Campout Festival, Gateshead, Belfast, Bristol, Brighton and the University of Chester Festival of Diversity.
I am a member of the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland, with a full submission to REF2014 in UoA 36. Our research was identified as 65% world or international leading (4* or 3*) in the recent exercise.
My most recent funded project was as co-I on an AHRC Connected Communities project working with colleagues from Newcastle, Sheffield and Bristol: (R)agency? The lived practices of anger.
- Critical animal studies; animal rights, suffering and injustice
- Writing the animal
- Emotions in culture and society
- Writing production processes
- Animal feelings (e.g. despair and denial of animal exploitation)
- Environmental journalism practice and principles
Current research work:
- Exploring relations between animals, identity and affect
- Veganism, vegan practices, bearing witness to animal suffering
- Ongoing interest in the processes of writing, especially in relation to animals
Academic awards and funding
- AHRC Connected Communities: (R)agency? The Lived Practices of Anger; Co-Investigator on anger and injustices felt by creative practitioners. £35-£40k as part of four institution collaboration (2015)
- Paul Hamlyn Foundation Artworks Project; Co-Investigator on perceptions of participatory arts practice amongst creative writing academics: £7.5k as part of larger £247,000 project (2011-12)
- ADM-HEA Education for Sustainable Development; Principle Investigator for ‘Sparking Sustainability’ to build sustainable teaching/learning into curriculum; £4,940 (2010-11)
- ADM-HEA Education for Sustainable Development Fund: Founder and Convenor of the MeCCSA Climate Change, Environment and Sustainability Network; £3k (2010-11)
- Winner of the Innovation in Teaching Award, University of Sunderland (2008-09)
Lockwood, Alex (2021) A “useful uselessness”: vegan geographies of bearing witness at the slaughterhouse gates. In: Vegan Geographies. Lantern Books, New York. (In Press)
Lockwood, Alex (2019) H is for Hypocrite: reading 'New Nature Writing' through the lens of vegan theory. In: Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism (Cultural Ecologies of Food). University of Nevada Press, Nevada, pp. 205-222. ISBN 9781948908108
Lockwood, Alex (2017) “With a hope to change things”: an exploration of the craft of writing about animals with the founders of Zoomorphic magazine. In: Writing for Animals: New perspectives for writers and instructors to educate and inspire. Ashland Creek Press, Ashland Creek. ISBN 9781618220585
Lockwood, Alex (2013) ‘Affecting Environments: Mobilising Emotions and Twitter in the UK Save Our Forests Campaign’. In: Environmental Conflict and the Media. Environmental Crisis and the Media . Peter Lang, New York.
Lockwood, Alex (2012) ‘Recruiting the Imagination: the Environmental Literary Journalism of Rachel Carson’. In: Global Literary Journalism. Northwestern University Press, Chicago, pp. 338-351.
Lockwood, Alex (2012) The Shore is not a Beach. In: Land and Identity: Theory, Memory, and Practice. Spatial Practices: An Interdisciplinary Series in Cultural History, Geography and Literature (13). Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp. 259-281. ISBN 978-90-420-3460-0
Lockwood, Alex, Mitchell, Caroline and Evi, Karasanathanapolou (2011) ‘Sparking Sustainability: an example from media practice’. In: Teaching Sustainability, Teaching Sustainably. Stylus, Grand Valley State. ISBN 978-1579227395
Lockwood, Alex (2009) Preparations for a Post-Kyoto Media Coverage of UK Climate Policy. In: Climate Change and the Media. Global Crises and the Media (Vol 5). Peter Lang, New York, pp. 186-199. ISBN 978-1-4331-0460-2
Lockwood, Alex (2019) What would inclusive journalism have felt like for the pig? Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies, 8 (1). pp. 25-43. ISSN 2001-0818
Lockwood, Alex (2018) Bodily Encounter, Bearing Witness and the Engaged Activism of the Global Save Movement. Animal Studies Journal, 7 (1). pp. 104-126. ISSN 2201-3008
Lockwood, Alex (2016) Graphs of Grief and Other Green Feelings: the uses of affect in the study of environmental communication. Environmental Communication. ISSN 1752-4040
Lockwood, Alex (2012) ‘The Affective Legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring’. Environmental Humanities, 1 (1). pp. 123-140. ISSN 2201-1919
Lockwood, Alex (2011) Seeding Doubt: How Sceptics have Used New Media to Delay Action on Climate Change. Geopolitics, History and International Relations 2.
Conference or Workshop Item
Lockwood, Alex (2011) ‘Media, Politics and the Save Our Forests Campaign’. In: Environmental Politics and Conflict in an Age of Digital Media, 17-18 November, 2011, Tasmania, University of Tasmania.
Lockwood, Alex (2011) ‘Affecting Environments and critical theory’. In: New Climes: Critical Theory, Environmentalism, and Climate Change, 13th-14th June, 2011, University of Exeter, Falmouth Campus. (Unpublished)
Lockwood, Alex (2011) ‘Affecting Environments: emotional experiences between media and place in the Save Our Forests campaign’. In: Mediating Environmental Change Conference, 3rd-4th March, 2011, Bournemouth University. (Unpublished)
Lockwood, Alex (2010) The Affective Response of Literature in the Long-Form Journalism of Climate Change. In: Conference: International Association of Literary Journalism Studies.
Lockwood, Alex (2009) Preparations for a post-Kyoto press coverage of climate change policy. In: Presented to MeCCSA annual conference, 16th January 2009, University of Bradford..
Lockwood, Alex (2008) Seeding Doubt: how sceptics use new media to delay action on climate change. In: Presented to the Association of Journalism Education, annual conference, Bradford, September 2008.
- Veganism and masculinity
- Critical animal studies
- Writing about animals
- Creative writing
- Animal journalism