I have taught widely within my area of specialism, including introductory courses and advanced seminars in contemporary political and social philosophy, feminist philosophy, environmental philosophy, contemporary aesthetic theory, literary theory and cultural theory.
Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Planetary Futures: Theory, Art, Pedagogy (designed, 2024, MA)
Aarhus University, Denmark
Women and Nature: Ecofeminism in Theory and Practice (designed, 2022–23)
Introduction to Feminism: Theory, Art, Activism (designed, 2021–22)
Contemporary Art and Culture: World-Making in Troubled Times (co-designed, 2020–21, MA)
Introduction to Sociological Theory and Analysis of the Contemporary (co-taught, 2020–21)
Gender Theories in Historical and Political Context (co-taught, 2020–21)
University of Warwick, UK
Critical Theory in Modern Languages (co-taught, 2017–18, MA)
Modern French Thinkers (module convenor, 2016–17)
France and Globalisation (module convenor, 2016–17)
Modern French Language: Translation (2016–17)
University of Cambridge, UK
Critical Theory and Method Seminar (in colleges, 2012–14)
Academic Writing (2013–14)
Description of selected courses
Planetary Futures: Theory, Art, Pedagogy
We live in an age of planetary changes: the ongoing environmental degradation and rapid technological developments impact radically the ways we engage with the world. How to think in an age of climate change? How to teach in a world where the established patterns of thought and pedagogical practices seem incompatible with the challenges we face as a planetary species? How to constructively engage with a generational conflict between the old and the young, teachers and schoolchildren, that fuels so much of the climate debate? This seminar engages with a wide range of theories that attempt to find a new vocabulary for our troubling present. It considers various practices – artistic, pedagogical, activist – that attempt to make sense of our disorienting world. It engages with ecology, digital society, technological design and postdigital world. The focus of this seminar lies on pedagogy and futurity: we explore a wide range of ideas that can become a valuable resource for future generations. In brief, the aim of this seminar is to rethink pedagogies as ‘planetary pedagogies’ for the 21st century.
Women and Nature: Ecofeminism in Theory and Practice
Is there a connection between the oppression of women and the oppression of nature? Can our current ecological crisis be averted if we address the exploitation of women too? Ecofeminists say ‘yes’ to both questions. They claim that our domination over animals, earth and people for the sole purpose of generating wealth is at the root of our environmental predicament. Women and nature are intimately intertwined and we need to critically examine this relation. This introductory seminar offers a comprehensive overview of the most significant ecofeminist thinkers to date and identifies their major interventions in politics, culture, philosophy and art. We look at various forms of ecofeminism: vegetarian, spiritual, materialist as well as consider ecofeminist activism in contemporary environmental movements. We examine ecofeminist artworks, community projects and spiritual practices. What is more, we engage with the question of gender: Does one have to be a biological woman to be an ecofeminist? Finally, we consider a critique of ecofeminism to evaluate ecofeminism’s potential for future political, social and cultural change.
Introduction to Feminism: Theory, Art, Activism
Feminism is alive and kicking. Whether it is the global #metoo debate, Pussy Riot’s guerrilla performances in Moscow, SlutWalks in Toronto or Black Protests in Poland, we continue hearing about feminist fight for women’s rights and freedoms. When did this activism start and what did it initially look like? How did women begin formulating feminist ideas and organising to fight for their rights? This introductory seminar offers a comprehensive overview of the most significant feminist thinkers to date and identifies their major interventions in art, culture and philosophy. We look at feminists from the Middle Ages up until today and consider feminist theory, art, literature and political activism. This wide historical span allows us to appreciate that feminism is not a purely 20th century phenomenon but has a much longer tradition, featuring inspiring female figures that have often been forgotten. We reconsider women’s spaces, re-examine the representations of women as ‘Other’, investigate power relations in texts and social structures, raise the question whether men and women are ‘essentially’ different because of their biology, explore whether there is something like female language, writing and cinema and whether men have also access to them. The approach in the seminar is transdisciplinary: we draw on a variety of intellectual resources (historical and theoretical texts, political manifestos, films, artworks, novels) to fully consider the problems posed by feminism (gender roles, biological essentialism, power structures, female representation, female art etc.). Finally, we ask: What is the future of feminism?
Contemporary Art and Culture: World-Making in Troubled Times
The many environmental upheavals of our time, climate change in particular, has had a deep impact on our contemporary culture and art. Within the last 20 years we have seen a rise of new imaginaries, as well a reiterations of narratives that have been key to all civilizations: stories of who ‘we’ are, what cosmology we live in, where we come from and how the story of us will come to and end. The theme of this course is how the notion of living in a damaged landscape, a fragile ecology, challenges fundamental cultural narratives of subjectivity, time, place, belonging and how these new notions are expressed in art. We have not yet landed in this new reality, and are still exploring what kind of ‘world-making’ is possible in troubled times.
Modern French Thinkers
This module explores some of the most important ideas and significant developments in French thought from the 1930s to the present day. It addresses a number of important works by key thinkers of this period, setting these works in their wider intellectual and historical contexts, and exploring the context and impact of various politically-committed writers who became such a feature of France between the Second World War and the turn of the century. First part focuses on the concept of myth and mythology (Simone de Beauvoir, Luce Irigaray, Roland Barthes). Second part engages with the notion of emancipation (Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Jean-Luc Nancy). This module offers crucial insights into the pressing concerns and key questions that continue to spark off intense philosophical debates in France today.
France and Globalisation
France’s attitudes towards globalisation are as dramatic as they are contradictory. On the one hand, French discourse can equate globalisation or mondialisation with ‘McDonaldization’, the erosion of national culture, or the triumph of the free market over social justice. On the other hand, companies such as Total, AXA, Peugeot, Carrefour, and EDF, or brands such as L‘Oréal, LVMH and Dior are known and active throughout the world, and French companies employ almost 5 million people outside of France. This module examines some of the reasons for this complex attitude, and looks especially at what globalisation represents for France today in the eyes of key different commentators and analysts. Economic, political, philosophical, ecological, and related dissenting perspectives are covered. We explore key French notions of declinism, resistance, exceptionalism, and francophonie in the context of globalisation, and we become familiar with a number of influential and recognizable French figures and commentators. We look at the relevance of Atlanticism, of anti-Americanism, and of various forms of altermondialismes and ‘degrowth’ arguments. We do not focus, however, in any specialist way on economic theory or tools.
Critical Theory and Method Seminar
The course offers an introductory overview of a range of concepts, schools, and individual theorists or philosophers. The topics covered introduce students to some of the key ideas that have influenced knowledge and research in the humanities in recent decades. Their aim is to help students understand the theoretical approaches, which underpin a great majority of the teaching in literature, film, and linguistics, which occurs in the Modern and Medieval Languages Faculty at the University of Cambridge. Students are encouraged to integrate these aspects of critical thought and theory into their wider learning and study within their final exams.