Toby Horkan

Toby Horkan

Postgraduate Researcher


  • BA (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • MA (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • PhD / DPhil


I am a PhD student in the Centre for Water Cultures and the School of Humanities at the University of Hull, researching the texts, stories, memories and emotions surrounding Spurn, a sandy spit on the East Yorkshire coast. I am interested in how people represent their experiences with place and landscape in writing, and in particular how rapidly changing places such as Spurn are formed through the polyphonic interplay of countless human and non-human stories and narratives, as well as how different narratives for places may cause conflicts over how to manage their futures. My research is highly interdisciplinary, incorporating theoretical and methodological approaches from areas like English, Human Geography, Marine Science, and History.

Recent outputs

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Presentation / Conference

Writing remoteness: Language and place-making at Spurn

Horkan, T. (2023, June). Writing remoteness: Language and place-making at Spurn. Paper presented at Energy and Environment Institute Summer Conference 2023, University of Hull

Research interests

Place, landscape, the language and literature of place, coastal/marine art and literature, geocriticism, ecocriticism, coastal humanities, green-blue humanities, environmental humanities, natural and cultural heritage, critical heritage studies, affect and emotion, conservation, marine/coastal ecology, more-than-human geographies

Awards and prizes

Longfield-Jones Prize for Classical Archaeology


Prize for the best performance in Archaeology among the graduating class of 2019 in the Department of Classics at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Scholarship role

University of Hull, Centre for Water Cultures Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship

2022 - 2026