Job title: Chancellor's Fellow

Tel: +44 (0)131 651 5779


Current PhD students

Beichen Yu

PhD Supervision Topics

I joined ESALA in 2013 where I teach courses on Architectural Theory and Environmental Humanities.

I completed my PhD in Philosophy in 2009 at the University of New South Wales. My thesis developed work on political communities that I started in my undergraduate thesis, part of which was later published as "Haraway's Lost Cyborg". Focusing particularly on what is often called "small p politics" I looked at questions of identity and community and how understandings of being-with-others shift when underlying metaphysical frameworks are challenged or reworked. I was particularly interested in the way that feminist reworkings of community seemed to be accompanied by shifts in concepts of time.

This work criticised the narrowness of continental philosophical approaches to time, which are often the focus of philosophical work on political time, and argued for drawing on research on social time developed in the social sciences in order to better understand the temporal politics of feminist theories of community such as those developed by Young, Friedman, Anzaldúa, Diprose and Secomb. This work was then brought into conversation with Derrida's work on time, political community and political change.

Since completing my PhD I have extended the approach developed in my thesis to look at questions of time and community more broadly, bringing in other interests in environmental philosophy, though still with a focus on grassroots activism. This includes work on local food movements, Transition Towns, alternative economies, species extinctions and activist re-workings of clock designs.

In the process I've have become rather ill-disciplined and have worked with broader sets of research methods including participatory research and 'field philosophy'. This has led to further projects such as a project looking at the possibilities of more-than-human participatory research.

I'm currently working on a book on time and political communities which consolidates much of this work and explores why activists might want to focus more closely on issues to do with time within their work. I'm also contributing to work on Temporal Design, Environmental Humanities, Extinction Studies and Transition Research via the various networks and working groups that I'm involved in.