Richard Routley/Sylvan is widely regarded as having pioneered the academic subfield of Environmental Philosophy. Less well known are his contributions to nuclear thought which were mostly self-published from his office in the 1970s and 80s. Through archival research, this project performs the most thoroughgoing investigation into Sylvan’s nuclear ethics and politics ever undertaken.︎

Principal investigator: N.A.J. Taylor︎ Institutional partner: John Denis Fryer Memorial Library of Australian Literature︎
The University of Queensland
 and Deakin University’s Contemporary Histories Research Group
Funding: $20,000 (external + in kind) + $7,500 (internal)
Key outputs: a monograph and companion Omeka digital exhibition︎

Oceania Project

Under contract to Palgrave Macmillan’s global outreach programme, this sole-authored book project asks what role visual images and artefacts play in the American, British and French nuclear imaginary, but also for the enduring experience and representation of nuclear colonialism in Oceania. Doing so not only remedies the relative neglect of Oceania in the nuclear literature despite its central role in the development of the American, British and French nuclear weapon capabilities, but also contributes to the broader “visual turn” currently underway in International Relations by offering a better scholarly understanding of one of the discipline’s central concerns: nuclear security and survival.︎

Principal investigator: N.A.J. Taylor︎ 
Key output: a monograph under advanced contract Palgrave Macmillan

People tend to think of "harm" as limited to the individual human body or psyche. However, nuclear harms violate not only the human body, but also the biosphere on which all life depends. Despite this, ethical thinking on the nuclear age remains human-centred. To render these human-biosphere connections visible in nuclear discourse, this project problematizes Andrew Linklater's efforts to globalise the liberal harm principle by (re)constructing the Antipodean nuclear philosophy of the late environmental philosopher, Richard Routley/Sylvan, through archival research.︎

Principal investigator: N.A.J. Taylor︎ 
Institutional partner: John Denis Fryer Memorial Library of Australian Literature︎
Sponsors: Australian Federal Government and The University of Queensland
Funding: $110,000 (external)
Key output: an award-winning doctoral thesis︎