Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Cydney Phillip

Dr Cydney Phillip is an IAS Quirk Postdoctoral Fellow in Languages of the Anthropocene

Cydney Phillip is an interdisciplinary researcher currently investigating the ecological repercussions of transatlantic slavery and how they are recorded and resisted through contemporary modes of storytelling.

Her work has been published in Jesmyn Ward: New Critical Essays (Edinburgh University Press, 2023) and is forthcoming in an article for Journal of Comparative American Studies. 

In 2023, Cydney completed a CHASE-funded PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her thesis, “Twenty-first Century Narratives of the Plantationocene from the U.S. Gulf Coast”, engaged with grassroots artistic responses to ecologically mediated, racialised violence, from Hurricane Katrina to the petrochemical pollution of the land and riverscape in Louisiana. This project focused on the ways in which writers, photographers and hip-hop artists from the southern shorelines of the U.S. offer alternative epistemologies of the Plantationocene and prompt us to consider how plantation structures of the past and present are indebted to water. 

Cydney is currently working on turning her thesis into a monograph, exploring how artists and activists from the American Gulf South construct memories of the Plantationocene whilst also textually, visually and sonically rupturing the narrative codes of the Plantation and its ecological afterlives. 

Alongside academic writing and research, Cydney has worked with charities and non-profit organisations to design and deliver educational programmes and social arts initiatives that build community cohesion and spark collective inquiry. 

Together with her IAS postdoctoral colleague Abigail Bleach, Cydney will co-convene a Languages of the Anthropocene research cluster, facilitating explorations of how language and narrative represent, negotiate, and reshape more-than-human ecologies in times of emergency.