Philosophy at Royal Holloway has a vibrant and diverse research culture.
Philosophy at Royal Holloway has established strengths in Anglo-American Philosophy, European Philosophy, Political Philosophy, and the History of Philosophy. All staff are research active, regularly publishing, attracting research funding, and speaking at conferences. Further information can be found an individual staff profiles accessed via the Philosophy Staff Directory.
The Department hosts a regular research seminar, inviting visiting speakers to talk to both staff and students. Some of the most recent talks can be seen at our YouTube channel.
The Department's Centre for Continental Philosophy was established in 2019, and provides a focal point for the research in political theory and philosophy that engages with the continental tradition across the Department and the College as a whole. Members of the Centre for Continental Philosophy are engaged with a diverse range of issues across the continental tradition, as well as with its connections with the Anglo-American tradition, and its interdisciplinary connections with fields such as literature and theology.
Political philosophers and theorists also contribute to the Contemporary Political Theory Research Group. Members of the Philosophy team are also affiliated to the College's Gender Institute and the Hellenic Institute.
Staff are involved in a number of wider research centres and networks, including the London Centre for Ancient Philosophy, the London Post-Kantian Seminar, and the London Historiography of Philosophy Working Group.
Philosophers at Royal Holloway have also brought their research to bear on the wider community and you can read more about our impact and public engagement.
Areas of Research Strength
Dr Suki Finn and Dr Rebecca Roache both work on topics in practical ethics. Roache has written on the ethics of human enhancement and is a research associate at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. Finn has written about ethical issues relating to pregnancy, surrogacy, and ectogenesis.
Dr Henry Somers-Hall and Professor Nathan Widder both work on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. Somers-Hall co-edited The Cambridge Companion to Deleuze. Widder has written widely on Deleuze and recently hosted the annual Deleuze and Guattari Study Camp and Conference at Royal Holloway (2019). Somers-Hall co-edited and Widder contributed to A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). Together, Somers-Hall and Widder have co-supervised multiple PhD projects on Deleuze through to successful completion.
Royal Holloway has recently appointed three new people all with interests in feminist philosophy and theory: Dr Suki Finn, Professor Laura Sjoberg (PIR), and Professor Sarah Childs (PIR). Finn has published in the philosophy of pregnancy and has interests in the connections between queer theory and philosophy. Sjoberg is working on a book on the relationship between sex acts and the constitution and enforcement of state borders. Her larger interests are in feminist and queer theorizing about security. Childs' latest book is on feminist democratic theory, Feminist Democratic Representation (Oxford University Press, 2020), co-authored with Karen Celis (VUB), and her wider interests lie with gender and political representation, parliaments and political change, both empirically and theoretically.
In 2022, Royal Holloway will also host the annual conference of the Society for Women in Philosophy.
Historiography of Philosophy
Dr John Sellars and Dr Daniel Whistler both have research interests in the historiography of philosophy. In 2019 Sellars co-organized the conference 'Philosophy as a Way of Life in the History of Philosophy' with colleagues at King's College London. In 2020 Whistler co-organized the conference 'The Geography of Truths: Nations, Territories and the History of Philosophy', along with fellow members of the London Historiography of Philosophy Working Group.
Kantian and Post-Kantian Philosophy
Dr Anthony Bruno and Dr Daniel Whistler both work on Kantian and Post-Kantian philosophy, including German Idealism and Phenomenology, with particular interest in the work of Schelling. Bruno is one of the organizers of the London Post-Kantian Seminar (supported by the AHRC) and is editor of Schelling’s Philosophy: Freedom, Nature, and Systematicity (Oxford University Press). Whistler is author of Schelling's Theory of Symbolic Language: Forming the System of Identity (Oxford University Press).
Stoicism is a central research topic for Dr John Sellars (Philosophy) and Dr Liz Gloyn (Classics). Sellars has written multiple books on Stoicism, one of which has been described by reviewers as "excellent", "outstanding", and "the best introduction to the subject". Gloyn works primarily on Seneca; her monograph The Ethics of the Family in Seneca was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017, and was described as "a significant achievement". Together they organized a workshop devoted to Musonius Rufus in April 2019 and are currently co-editing a volume on Musonius. They plan a series of Royal Holloway Stoic Workshops in future years, beginning with one on ethics in the early Stoa (postponed from 2020).
Read more about Stoicism at Royal Holloway.