Rachel Falconer

Rachel Falconer is Professor of English Literature at the University of Lausanne. She has wide-ranging interests in poetry and fiction, with published research focusing on contemporary literature and its relation to the past, particularly classical and early modern poetry. In Hell in Contemporary Literature (2005), she explored the legacy of Virgil and Dante's descents to the underworld in contemporary fiction, and she is now researching Seamus Heaney's long-standing poetic dialogue with Virgil's Aeneid book six. Other major research topics have included: Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism and theory of the chronotope (fiction's representation of time and space), crossover fiction (children's literature read by adults), and Primo Levi's Holocaust writing. Current research interests have led her to focus on contemporary nature poetry and theories of ecopoetics, as well as the soundscapes of poetry, and the close but complex relations between poetry, music, and natural sound. This last area of interest has led to the formulation of her current book project: The Poetry of Birds: an essay in eco-poetics, a study of bird poetry by Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Kathleen Jamie, R F Langley, Michael Longley, Helen Macdonald, Peter Reading, and R S Thomas.