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Centre for Continental Philosophy

Centre for Continental Philosophy

The 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 University as a whole. Members of the Centre for Continental Philosophy are engaged with a diverse range of issues across the continental philosophical tradition, as well as with its intradisciplinary connections with the Anglo-American tradition, and its interdisciplinary connections with fields such as literature and theology.

The Centre for Continental Philosophy comprises three main strands of research into the European tradition: the German idealist tradition, the French tradition throughout the twentieth century, and the relationship of the European tradition to the Anglo-American tradition. Many members of the research centre work across these strands.

Closely connected to the Centre is our taught MA in European Philosophy, and we supervise a number of PhD students working across the European tradition.

The Centre’s Director is Henry Somers-Hall, with a management committee of Anthony Bruno, Daniel Whistler, and Nathan Widder. You can find out more about the members of the research centre and their research interests by following the links below:


  • Dr G. Anthony Bruno: Kant and post-Kantianism, phenomenology
  • Prof. Robert Eaglestone: Heidegger, Arendt, Levinas, Derrida, ethics, aesthetics, philosophy of history, Holocaust and genocide studies
  • Dr Neil Gascoigne: Phenomenology and its connections to debates in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy
  • Prof. Julian Johnson: Music history and the aesthetics of music 
  • Manhua Li: Foucault, Kant, Chinese philosophy
  • Dr Christos Marneros: Intersections between political theory, legal theory and continental philosophy
  • Dr Danielle Sands: Philosophy of religion, animal studies, ethics, aesthetics
  • Dr John Sellars: The reception of ancient philosophy in modern European thought, esp. in Nietzsche, Foucault, and Hadot
  • Prof. Laura Sjoberg: gender and security, with foci on politically violent women, feminist war theorizing, sexuality in global politics, and political methodology
  • Dr Henry Somers-Hall: Kant and post-Kantianism, French existentialism, post-structuralism
  • Dr Daniel Whistler: Kant and post-Kantianism
  • Prof. Nathan Widder: Post-structuralism and contemporary continental-informed political philosophy

Graduate Students

  • Lydia Azadpour: Post-Kantian idealism, philosophy of nature, philosophy and history of science
  • Evrim Bayindir: Phenomenology, post-structuralism, the problem of nihilism
  • Pablo P. Castelló: Human and animal language, political agency
  • Vladimir Ivlev: French Post-structuralism, Contemporary Political Theory, Futurism
  • Kynthia Plagianou: 20th Century French Philosophy and epistemology
  • Josephine Taylor: Feminist and environmental philosophy, literature
  • Josh Williams: Derrida and contemporary environmental theory

The Centre for Continental Philosophy holds a regular research seminar during term time. Dates and speakers for this term (Spring 2023) are:

  • Friday, January 20th, 2.00-3.30: 'Is there truth in a dynamic world? Dispelling A Dogma of Thought,' Dr. Tina Rock (Dundee)
  • Friday, February 10th, 2.00-3.30: 'The Question Before the Law, or Derrida's Reading of Kafka,' Prof. Andrew Haas
  • Friday, March 24th, 2.00-3.30: TBA, Prof. Len Lawlor (Penn State)

The seminar is held online, and you can find recordings of all previous talks here. The seminar is open to all. If you would like to attend, please contact Henry Somers-Hall.

  • Our next event will be a workshop, 'Translation and the Archive in the Continental Tradition', to be held at Senate House in London on May 19th. 
  • The Centre for Continental Philosophy seminar runs during term time, and features speakers from within and outside the Centre itself. Details of the Spring term programme to follow. 
  • We currently host a regular reading group in central London, run by Prof. Nathan Widder, on the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Please contact Prof. Widder for more details. 
  • We also co-host a seminar on philosophy and the arts with Comparative Literature and Culture. Contact Dr Daniel Matore for further details.
  • Members of the Centre for Continental Philosophy have run a number of large events in recent years, including the Annual Society for European Philosophy/Forum for European Philosophy annual conference, and the Deleuze and Guattari Studies conference, both held at Royal Holloway in 2019.

The Centre for Continental Philosophy hosts a very active community of scholars. Here are some recent publications:

  • Bruno, A., ed., Schelling’s Philosophy: Freedom, Nature, and Systematicity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)
  • Sands, D., 'Gaia Politics, Critique, and the "Planetary Imaginary"', SubStance 49.3 (Nov. 2020), 104-121
  • Sands, D., ed., Philosophy and the Human Paradox: Essays on Reason, Value and Identity (London: Routledge, 2020)
  • Sellars, J., ‘Indifference versus Affirmation: Michel Foucault on the Stoic Idea of Life as a Test’, in K. Lampe and J. Scholtz, eds, French and Italian Stoicisms (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 113-26 
  • Sellars, J., ‘Self or Cosmos: Foucault versus Hadot’, in Marta Faustino and Gianfranco Ferraro, eds, The Late Foucault: Ethical and Political Questions (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 37-51    
  • Somers-Hall, H., ‘Merleau‐Ponty’s Reading of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism’, Southern Journal of Philosophy 57.1 (2019), 103-31
  • Somers-Hall, H., Judgement and Sense in Modern French Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022)
  • Whistler, D., and Berger, B., eds, The Schelling Reader (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) 
  • Widder, N., ‘The Mathematics of Continuous Multiplicities: The Role of Riemann in Deleuze’s Reading of Bergson’, Deleuze & Guattari Studies 13.3 (2019), 331-54

If you are interested in applying for a PhD in Continental Philosophy at Royal Holloway, in the first instance, contact one of our members who you feel best fits your project. We are a part of the AHRC Techne consortium, and have a history of success in attracting funding. Here are some current and recent topics we have supervised:

  • ‘Temporal Ethics’
  • ‘The Non-identical Self: Nonlinear ontologies as incompatible with the Self’ 
  • ‘The Ironist and the Sophist: Responses to representation in Rorty and Deleuze’ 
  • ‘Thinking as music, and thinking as dancing: novelty in eternal return’ 
  • ‘Heidegger on Exclusion: Dwelling without the Shelter’ 
  • ‘How to construct a line of flight: A psychoanalytic genealogy of Deleuze and Guattari’s concept’ 

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