I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Language & Literacy Education (Faculty of Education). I am also affiliate faculty in the 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). I am currently Senior Editor for Environmental & Sustainability Education in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education, published by Oxford University Press.

Research and Teaching
Having worked as a professional musician, high school teacher, writer, editor, college instructor, and narrative coach, the range of my research and teaching in education is quite varied. Broadly speaking, my research aims to produce transdisciplinary conversations about education and other critical fields – particularly environmental studies, media, humanities, and the arts – by examining approaches through narrative, language, literacy, and representation in society and culture.

Many of my educational, professional, and lived experiences have, more specifically, informed the following four areas in 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 about sustainable and decolonized futures.

My intention is to 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 recently edited volume Gastro-modernism (2019) 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 of stories can educate and empower people to engage in greater empathy, compassion, and well-being.

Ongoing research and publishing concentrations include empathy education, energy transition and literacy, futures literacies, decolonizing education, and environmental children’s literature, among others.

Positionality Statement
My family originally comes from European settlers of Norway and Wales. I have married into an Indigenous family (Métis from the Lac Ste. Anne and Lac La Biche communities) and have welcomed Indigenous teachings and traditions with respect and responsibility. I also situate myself as an educator to the Indigenous territory on which UBC is located – on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). As an uninvited guest, I feel privileged and honoured to work here. When considering my relationships with this land, I recognize the agency of the more-than-human world and the living ecologies that are part of it. Within this context, I am committed to decolonizing and anti-racism education.

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


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.


Narrating Energy Transitions and Literacy through Storytelling

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

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

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

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

Curriculum development involving the links between environmental and Indigenous education.
Funding: Indigenous Curriculum Enhancement Grant (Co-PI)

Futures Literacy

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

International Youth Deliberation on Energy Futures

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


Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Waterloo (2017-2018)
Visiting Research Fellowship, Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin (2017)
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)
Vanier Canada Scholarship, University of Alberta (2011-2014)


LLED 481: Digital Media in English Language Arts Education
LLED 565/480: Energy Literacy in Educational & Environmental Futures
LLED 565: Environmental Literacy
LLED 439: Performance Text & Film
LLED 442/565: Trends and Issues in Teaching Environmental Children’s Literature

Selected Publications

Authored Books
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. (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. (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.