Derek Gladwin

Dr. Derek Gladwin

Assistant Professor

Research and teaching areas:

Arts-Based Research

Critical literacies/pedagogies

Decolonizing pedagogies and knowledges

Digital literacies

Environmental theory and practice

Multiliteracy and multimodality

Storytelling & Narrative Inquiry

Teacher Education



I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Language & Literacy Education (Faculty of Education). I am also an affiliate faculty member in the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), Master of Educational Technology (MET), Master of Arts in Children’s Literature (MACL), and Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP). Previously, I have held international visiting research fellowships at the National University of Ireland, Galway, University of Amsterdam, University of Edinburgh, and Trinity College Dublin. I also served as a UBC Sustainability Fellow at the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (2018-2021) and now as a Wall Scholar (2022-2023) in the Catalyst Program for Climate and Nature Emergency.


Broadly speaking, my research aims to produce transdisciplinary conversations about education and other critical fields – particularly environmental studies, tech, media, humanities, and the arts – by examining approaches through narrative, language, literacy, and textual representations in society and culture. The following four strands within literacy education can be found throughout my work: (a) social and cultural approaches to environmental literacy and sustainability education; (b) textual literacies, including digital media, literary, and visual culture; (c) narrative inquiry, storytelling, and well-being; (d) futures literacies on imagining and creating sustainable and decolonized futures.

My intention is to ultimately promote social understanding and relational action on environmental, health and well-being, and cultural issues through public forms of education and literacy. For example, my second authored book Ecological exile (2018) examines how texts in literary, film, and digital culture educate publicly about spatial injustices resulting from fossil fuel production and climate change. Another example is my edited volume Gastro-modernism (2019), which considers the function of food literacy in the cultural and literary history of modernity. My latest authored book Rewriting our stories (2021), which is public scholarship aimed at general audiences, explores how the language and literacy of stories can educate and empower people to engage in greater empathy and well-being.

Ongoing research and publishing concentrations include empathy education, energy transition and literacy, futures literacies, and teaching environmental children’s literature, among others. I am also Senior Editor for Environmental & Sustainability Education in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, published by Oxford University Press.

Transdisciplinary Collaboration

As an active contributor to fostering transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary education at UBC, I co-lead a collaborative cohort PhD model that affords graduate students a unique opportunity to experience educational programing, internships with partners in industry, government, and civil society, and special courses and mentorship from faculty. The project offers a broader transdisciplinary approach to co-create new knowledge and enable change collaboratively rooted in research on climate emergency around challenges, such as regional decarbonization, environmental literacy, and low carbon mobility. Another example of my commitment to transdisciplinarity and collaboration is a multi-authored book titled Solarities: Seeking Energy Justice – emerging from a research think-tank I belong to called After Oil Collective (subgroup of the Petrocultures Research Group) – that addresses complex problems of social transition and education on renewable energy.

Public Scholarship

In addition to traditional research, I am also committed to producing public scholarship focused on literacy education – publishing op-eds, online articles, and academic-trade books, as well as facilitating workshops and contributing to media interviews.


For media requests, speaking or publishing invitations, or graduate student inquiries, please send me an email.


Gladwin, D. & N. Ellis (Jan. 15, 2023). Revolutionizing Climate Education in Universities. What on Earth with Laura Lynch, CBC, Canada

Gladwin, D. (2021, Nov. 8). Rewriting Our Stories [Podcast]. Unmistakable Creative, USA.

Gladwin, D. (2021, July 12). Use a different story to reframe your fears [Print online]. Vancouver Sun, Canada.

Gladwin, D. (2021, June 7). R.E. W.R.I.T.E with Dr. Derek Gladwin – Episode 109 [Podcast]. Dhaani, United Kingdom.

Gladwin, D. (2021, May 18). Vancouver educator Derek Gladwin explores how storytelling is a way to overcome fear in new book [Print online]. Stir Vancouver Magazine, Canada.

Gladwin, D. (2021, April 14). The education of storytelling [Radio broadcast]. Planta: On the Line, The Commentary, Canada.

Gladwin, D. (2021, Feb. 16). Author Derek Gladwin speaking about his book Rewriting Our Stories [Radio broadcast]. On the Level Radio, 93.1 Life FM, Ireland.

Gladwin, D. & Harris, P. (2019, October 23). Political discourse [Radio broadcast]. Nai Taazi, Spice Radio 1200AM, Canada.

Gladwin, D. (2019, April 18). Meat and the environment: Do Canadians know what’s at stake? [print interview]. CBC, Canada.


Transdisciplinary Collaborative PhD on the Climate Emergency (2021-2023)
Transdisciplinary collaborative PhD pilot program focused on the climate emergency.
Funding: Climate Emergency Fund, UBC Sustainability (Co-PI)

Narrating Energy Transitions and Literacy through Storytelling (2020-2023)
Interdisciplinary project investigating ways of imagining sustainable energy transitions and futures by teaching energy literacy through models of storytelling.
Funding: SSHRC Insight Development Grant (PI)

Collaborative PhD Models to Support a Transdisciplinary Research Ecosystem (2021-2023)
Prototype a model for transdisciplinary research through the structure of a collaborative PhD in the areas of low carbon futures/planetary health and regenerative development.
Funding: Advancing Education Renewal (Co-Investigator)

Empathy Education: Intersectional Approaches to Youth & Civic Engagement (2021)
Collaborator for research with the Beacon Fellow, Prof. Pat Dolan (UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth, and Civic Engagement)
Funding: Ireland Canada University Foundation (Co-PI)

Interdisciplinary Sustainability Education (2018-2021)
Course and program development project focused on sustainability and environmental education from a literacy perspective.
Funding: UBC Sustainability (Co-PI)

Indigenous Perspectives in Environmental Literacy (2020-2021)
Curriculum development involving the links between environmental and Indigenous education.
Funding: Indigenous Curriculum Enhancement Grant (Co-PI)

Futures Literacy (2020-21)
Pilot project undertaking an inquiry into the role of futures literacies in education.
Funding: SSHRC Explore Grant (PI)

International Youth Deliberation on Energy Futures (2019-2021)
An online collaborative curriculum project with 20 high schools from 17 countries focusing on global energy literacy.
Funding source: Future Energy Systems (Co-Investigator)

Awards & Honours

Wall Scholar, Climate and Nature Emergency Catalyst Program, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, University of British Columbia (2022-2023)

Sustainability Fellowship, UBC Sustainability, University of British Columbia (2018-2021)

Visiting Research Fellowship, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam (2019)

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Waterloo (2017-2018)

Visiting Research Fellowship, Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin (2017)

Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Prize, University of British Columbia (2016)

Visiting Research Fellowship in the Environmental Humanities, IASH, University of Edinburgh (2015)

Visiting Research Fellowship, Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (2015)

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of British Columbia (2015-17)

Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal Award, University of Alberta (2014)


LLED 481: Digital Media in English Language Arts Education

LLED 565/480: Energy Literacy in Educational & Environmental Futures

LLED 565: Environmental Literacy

LLED 442/565: Trends and Issues in Teaching Environmental Children’s Literature

ETEC 541: Energy Literacy in Society & Digital Culture

Selected Publications

Authored Books
Multi-authored Books

After Oil Collective (Kirkey, A., Boetzkes, A., Moore, A., Dawson, A., Vemuri, A., Johnson, B., Bellamy, B.R., Köstem, B., Wellum, C., Ravenscroft, C., Howe, C., Barney, D., Gladwin, D., Boyer, D., Miller, E., Jagoe, E-L., Günel, G., Macdonald, G., Bakke, G., Tollefson, H., Davis, H., Clarke, I., Szeman, I., Cross, J., Diamanti, J., matchett, j., Wenzel, J., Beier, J.L., Auerbach, J., Kinder, J.B., Wangel, J., Förster, K., Whyte, K., Miall, L., Bratishenko, L., Beaumier, L., Longboat, M., Simpson, M., High, M.M., Ianeva, M-M., Badami, N., Starosielski, N., Jekanowski, R.W., Ruiz, R., Williams, R., Gunster, S., Wilson, S., Roburn, S., Orpana, S., Balkan, S., Ariztía, T., & Furuhata, Y.) (2022).
Solarities: Seeking energy justice. University of Minnesota Press.

Edited Books

Gladwin, D., ed. (2019).

Gladwin, D. and Cusick, C., eds. (2016).

Brazeau, R. and Gladwin, D., eds. (2014).
Edited Journal Issues

O’Connor, M. and Gladwin, D. (2017).
Irish environmental humanities. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 40, 38-50.

Articles and Book Chapters
Gladwin, D. & Ellis, N. (2023) Energy literacy: A conceptual framework for energy transition. Environmental Education Research (Online ahead-of-print).
Ramachandran, A., Abdi, K., Giang, A. Gladwin, D., & Ellis, N. Transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary programs for collaborative graduate research training. Educational Review (online ahead-of-print).
Gladwin, D., Karsgaard, C., Shultz, L. (2022) Collaborative learning on energy justice: International youth perspectives on energy literacy and climate justice. Journal of Environmental Education, 53(5), 1-10.
Horst, R. & Gladwin, D. (2022). Multiple futures literacies: An interdisciplinary review. Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, 19(3), 1-24.
Gladwin, D., Horst, R., James, K., Sameshima, P. (2022)) Imagining futures literacies: A collaborative practice. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 22(7), 27-39.

Gladwin, D. (2020). Topobiographical inquiry: Lived spaces, experiences, and ecologies. Éire-Ireland, 55(1/2), 129-149.
Gladwin, D. (2019). Introducing Le Menu: Consuming Modernist Food Studies. In D. Gladwin (Ed.), Gastro-modernism: Food, literature, culture (pp. 1-18). Clemson University Press.
Gladwin, D. (2019). Ecological and Social Awareness in Place-Based Stories. Canadian Journal of Irish Studies 42: 138-157.
Gladwin, D. (2017). Ecocriticism. Oxford Bibliographies in Literary and Critical Theory. Web.
Gladwin, D. and Cusick, C. (2016). Ireland’s "ABC of Earth Wonders". In D. Gladwin and C. Cusick (Eds.), Unfolding Irish landscapes: Tim Robinson, culture, and environment (pp. 1-18). Manchester University Press.
Gladwin, D. (2016). Documentary Map-making and Film-making in Pat Collins’s Tim Robinson: Connemara. In D. Gladwin and C. Cusick (Eds.), Unfolding Irish landscapes: Tim Robinson, culture, and environment (pp. 73-86). Manchester University Press.
Gladwin, D. (2016). Ecocritical and Geocritical Conjunctions in North Atlantic Environmental Multimedia and Place-Based Poetry. In R. T. Tally Jr. and C. Battista (Eds.), Ecocriticism and geocriticism: Overlapping territories in environmental and spatial literary studies (pp. 37-54). Palgrave Macmillan.

Brazeau, R. and Gladwin, D. (2014). James Joyce and Ecocriticism. In R. Brazeau and D. Gladwin (Eds.), Eco-Joyce: The environmental imagination of James Joyce (pp. 1-17). Cork University Press.
Gladwin, D. (2014). Joyce the Travel Writer: Space, Place, and the Environment in James Joyce’s Nonfiction. In R. Brazeau and D. Gladwin (Eds.) Eco-Joyce: The environmental imagination of James Joyce (pp. 176-194). Cork University Press.
Gladwin, D. (2014). The Bog Gothic: Bram Stoker’s "Carpet of Death" and Ireland’s Horrible Beauty. Eco-gothic, special issue of Gothic Studies, 16(1), 39-54.
Gladwin, D. (2014). The Literary Cartographic Impulse: Imaginative Island Topographies in Ireland and Newfoundland. Text and Beyond Text: New Visual, Material, and Spatial Perspectives, special issue of Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, 38(1/2), 158-183.

Gladwin, D. (2013). Eco-haptic photography: Visualizing bogland in Rachel Giese’s The Donegal Pictures. Photography and Culture, 6(2), 157-174.

Gladwin, D. (2013). Gendered troubles on screen: Reproducing nationalism in Mike Leigh’s Four Days in July. In M. DiPaolo and B. Cardinale-Powell (Eds.), Devised and directed by Mike Leigh (pp. 251-275). Bloomsbury.

Gladwin, D. (2012). Navigating Irish ecocriticism in Eamonn Wall’s Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions. Irish Studies Review, 20(3), 323-328.

Gladwin, D. (2012). No country for young men: Chinese modernity, displacement, and initiatory ritual in Chinese sixth generation cinema. Asian Cinema, 23(1), 31-44.

Gladwin, D. (2011). Staging the trauma of the bog in Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats. Irish Studies Review, 19(4), 387-400.

Gladwin, D. (2007). The Steinbeckian land ethic: Environmentalism and The Red Pony. The Steinbeck Review, 4(1), 65-80.

Selected Online Articles

Gladwin, D., & Ellis, N. (2023, March 4). In a complex world, our graduates need to be systems beings. University World News: The Global Window on Higher Education.

Ramachandran, A., Abdi, K.,Giang, A.,Gladwin, D., & Ellis, N. (2022, November 15). Transdisciplinarity: Universities have a choice to lead. University World News: The Global Window on Higher Education.

Ellis, N. & Gladwin, D. (2022, July 19). How climate storytelling helps navigate complexity and find solutions. The Conversation.

Gladwin, D. (2021, October 24). Peatland folklore lent us will-o-the-wisps and jack-o-lanterns, and can inspire climate action today. The Conversation.

Gladwin, D. (2021, July 28). Why climate change education needs more empathy. Oxford University Press Blog.

Gladwin, D. (2020, April 20). We could power a new green movement by talking about energy change. The Conversation.

Gladwin, D. (2020). What are the ecological and educational futures of peatlands? In RE-PEAT Collective (Eds.), Peat anthology: EU edition (pp. 124-126). University of Amsterdam Open-access.

Gladwin, D. and Harris, P. (2019, October 16). Politicians aren’t solely to blame for nasty election discourse. Ottawa Citizen.

Gladwin, D. (2017, August 5). Valuing our Ecological Futures. Oxford University Press blog.

Gladwin, D. (2017, June 10). The Ecological and Cultural Futures of Peatlands. Trans-Disciplinary Conversations on Peatlands Blog.