Lane, Sydney


M.Sc., Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies, Distinction,
University College London (2019)
M.A., English, University of Montana (2015)
B.S., Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, magna cum laude,
University of Florida (2011)

Sydney Lane is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her Master of Arts in English from the University of Montana and her Master of Science in Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies from the University College London. Sydney looks at 19th-century British literature and contemporary Anglo-American speculative fiction from a transhistorical and transatlantic perspective as well as through an interdisciplinary framework that draws from the environmental humanities, science and technology studies, and object relations psychoanalysis. Her dissertation explores how British Romantic literature—including texts like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and The Last Man (1826) as well as Percy Bysshe Shelley’s quasi-speculative-fictional epic poem Queen Mab (1813)—not only narrates the socialized roots of impending disaster on a global scale but also strives to imagine a future that combines environmentalism and social equality. These texts imagine that this more just future is dependent on which kinds of aesthetics and ethics of care (e.g. epistemic styles and communicative methods) are used to connect developing embodied minds to their object worlds. Sydney is also interested in how these Romantic agendas resemble ideas apparent in many “eco-psychological” speculative fictions, like Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis Trilogy (1987, 1988, 1989), Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy (2003, 2009, 2013) as well as Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy (2014) and his Borne novels and stories (2017, 2017, 2019). Namely, that a focus on the planetary-scale ethical implications of human development within the erotic ecologies of early emotional life has an important part to play in articulating the meaning of social interdependence in queer multispecies kinship networks and a truly progressive green politics. Her publications include “‘Love Your Monsters’: Anthropocene Discourse and Green Psychoanalysis in Jeff VanderMeer’s Borne (2017) and The Strange Bird: A Borne Story (2018),” forthcoming in Surreal Entanglements: Essays on Jeff VanderMeer’s Fiction, edited by Louise Economides and Laura Shackelford (Routledge Studies in World Literature and the Environment) and “The Horror of Interdependence: Climate Migration Anxiety by the Radical Right in Pella Kågerman and Hugo Lilja’s Aniara (2018) and Ari Aster’s Midsommar (2019),” forthcoming in Philosophy, Film, and the Dark Side of Interdependence, edited by Jonathan Beever (Lexington Books, November 2020).



South Hall 2432-E

Office Hours: 

Spring 2020 - Please email for appointment.


(805) 893-4622


Mailing Address: 

English Department
UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9580


Literature and the Environment
Literature and the Mind
Creative Writing
Romantic Literature
Theories of Gender and Sexualities
Victorian Literature

Recent Courses Taught