I am a philosopher at the University of Nottingham, specializing in social philosophy. I joined the department as an Assistant Professor in September 2016. Before that, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge.I hold a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Sheffield, and a BA and MPhil in Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.
When I’m not doing philosophy (and sometimes when I am) I enjoy walking, meditation, sewing, and board games. I grew up in the Lake District and I think I'll always miss the fells.
My research is primarily in social philosophy, especially the ontology of social categories. I'm interested in how social categories such as races and genders exist, and how these categories are bound up with systematic injustices. I'm also interested in feminist philosophy and critical philosophy of race more broadly, in the philosophy of sex and sexuality, and in social epistemology. Topics I have written about include rape myths, pornography, and gender identity.
I am currently writing a monograph, Ontology and Oppression: Race, Gender, and Social Construction which examines the nature of social categories that are bound up with oppression, such as gender and race, and the ways in which emancipatory social movements can best respond to such categories in view of the important role they play in many people’s identities. In it, I argue that the very fact of being socially constructed as a member of a certain social group, such as the group women, can be wrongful, and, indeed, oppressive. However, I also show that identities based on these social group memberships can still be valuable.
I believe that philosophy has great potential to facilitate positive social change, and I enjoy using my research to work with organisations and the public. At the moment, I act as a consultant on sexual violence prevention for the Nottingham Consent Coalition, a local body made up of statutory and charitable organizations. I am also active in campaigning for trans rights.
If you think that I could be of use to your organisation, please get in touch.
Here are some of the things I have produced for a public audience:
A short opinion piece in The Conversation, on disagreements about gender recognition
A long-form essay on feminism and trans inclusivity (with Lorna Finlayson and Rosie Worsdale)
Talking about feminist philosophy (at about 12:45):
I am part of The Consent Coalition, a group of organisations within Nottinghamshire who are working together to raise awareness of the importance of consent and banish myths about rape and sexual violence.