Philip Steer

Philip Steer
Massey University · School of Humanities

Doctor of Philosophy

About

27
Publications
765
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
30
Citations
Introduction
My research and teaching focuses on three main areas of literature and culture: (1) The literature and political economy of settler colonialism in the Victorian era, focusing especially on Australia and New Zealand, and its relationship to metropolitan culture; (2) The relationship between narrative, empire, and the environment in the nineteenth century; and (3) New Zealand literature, especially the novel and poetry, from its origins to the contemporary moment
Additional affiliations
June 2010 - present
Massey University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
August 2004 - September 2009
Duke University
Field of study
  • English

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
The Pākehā (settler) writing that flourished in New Zealand in the middle decades of the twentieth century is often seen as an attempt to ground settler culture in the precolonial earth. Produced at a time when erosion was seen as a pressing national and global environmental crisis, however, this essay argues New Zealand literary culture in fact wa...
Article
Anthropocene criticism of Victorian literature has focused more on questions of temporality and predictability than on those related to climate in the nineteenth century. Climate knowledge is central to the regional novel, which is attuned to the seasonal basis of agriculture and sociality, but the formal influence of the British climate also becom...
Book
How did the emigration of nineteenth-century Britons to colonies of settlement shape Victorian literature? Philip Steer uncovers productive networks of writers and texts spanning Britain, Australia, and New Zealand to argue that the novel and political economy found common colonial ground over questions of British identity. Each chapter highlights...
Chapter
In its reading of the bone people, this chapter reexamines Keri Hulme’s controversial borrowings from literary modernism in light of her claims to represent a postcolonial identity derived from Māori cultural traditions. The chapter distinguishes between a “modernist critical realism” deriving from Ernest Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson and a more...
Chapter
This essay revises existing accounts of the Victorian novel by locating it within the coal-powered energy system that increasingly made it possible. Revisiting our most familiar accounts of mediation, we explore how coal energy might be visible in cultural productions unable or unwilling to engage this system, as a system, directly. Through reading...
Chapter
The current global environmental crisis is an uncanny but perversely material aftereffect of Victorian England, the world’s first fossil-fueled industrial society and its most powerful global empire. Our entanglement with this past challenges current procedures of cultural analysis, requiring a new attention to form and method, and bridging the div...
Article
Victorian literary criticism is yet to fully engage with the new historiography of the 19th‐century settler empire. That body of work has focused attention on a vast transnational network of population, capital, and information exchange, and attending to the centrality of shared ideas of British identity has revealed a uniquely close relationship b...
Chapter
This chapter examines the colonial Gothic novel. Pervasive in the literatures of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Caribbean, the colonial Gothic is more appropriately described as a mode rather than a discrete genre, and its representational possibilities have been shaped by three broad phases of generic transformation and cross-fertilizatio...
Article
Full-text available
In 1829, Edward Gibbon Wakefield published his first statement of a “systematic” theory of settler colonization, A Letter from Sydney: The Principal Town of Australasia. Wakefield offered a novel economic theory of the relationship between population density and successful colonization, hinging on the establishment of a minimum or “sufficient” pric...
Article
The Australian gold rushes of the 1850s provide an exemplary test case for exploring the impact of Greater Britain—the settler colonial empire—on the Victorian novel and political economy. British gold diggers' nomadism operated in seeming antithesis to the colonies' explosive growth, which posed a conceptual challenge both to political economy's s...
Article
In the late 1880s, around the time he decided to settle on the Samoan island of Upolu, Robert Louis Stevenson's writing began to take a strikingly different shape as he attempted to infuse it with the flavor of his new surroundings. “When Stevenson traveled to the margins of the empire,” John Kucich observes, “he suddenly found new ways of organizi...
Article
Full-text available
Does New Zealand matter to the rest of the world? For various reasons the question has always seemed important here, a kind of hollow echo bouncing around national politics, economics and culture, and reflecting back most strongly from concrete measures of overseas recognition: a seat on the United Nations Security Council; an Oscar or a Booker Pri...
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Frank Sargeson's repositioning of Henry Lawson as a 'colonial' writer, away from the more familiar categories of nationalism and realism, offers a provocation for re-considering his own short fiction. In taking up that challenge, this essay diverges from recent attempts to trouble the periodization of writing from the 1930s and 40s: rather than arg...
Article
Full-text available
Review of The Settler’s Plot: How Stories Take Place in New Zealand.

Network

Cited By