Philosophy and Inclusive Societies: gender and queer studies; cultural studies

Graduate School: Arts and Humanities

PhD programme: Human Sciences

Application Deadline: 16 April 2018

Start Date: 1st October 2018

Duration: 36 months


Today’s Europe is being traversed by profound changes, connected to unprecedented migration waves affecting mainly its Southern and Eastern borders, to the increasing presence of sexual, racialized, gendered, cultural and migratory minorities in its public sphere, and to progressive movements for inclusion paired with resurgent conservative politics advanced by exclusionary, populist actors.

This call invites projects that philosophically reflect on the changes that Europe has recently undergone, providing an original intervention in the fields of political philosophy, race and postcolonial and cultural studies, as well as gender and queer studies.

The research proposal should fall under at least one of the following research directions:

  1. Questioning the philosophical canon

Since the second half of the twentieth century, sexual, gendered, racial and other minorities have been questioning the philosophical canon. Such critical knowledge has been produced by single scholars and/or collectives whose legacy has often been forgotten, if not overlooked or explicitly dismissed within philosophy. A possible research could recover such figures or movements, and genealogically retrace their relevance for today’s policies towards a more inclusive European society.

  1. The experience of minorities at the margins of Europe

Southern and Eastern Europe is being particularly invested, not only by unprecedented migration flows, but also by strong movements of opposition to gender equality, sexual rights, and other progressive claims. This situation demands a reflection on the relationship between centre and peripheries; and on the geopolitical location of concepts such as modernity, on the one hand, and tradition, on the other. A possible line of research would thus draw on the experience of minority groups and subjects located at the margins of the continent to engage with contemporary politico-philosophical questions.

  1. Rationality and affectivity

Ever since rationality has constituted the central issue in philosophical research. However, passions, emotions and affectivity are of essential importance and have to be treated by philosophy. In the case of cultural, political or social diversities these issues become as central as the rational approach. A possible research might focus on the relationship between rationality and affectivity from the point of view of sexual, gendered, racial and other minorities in times of migration, intercultural dialogues and claims for inclusion.

  1. Race, postcolonial, gender and queer studies in dialogue with the European tradition

The very fields of race studies, postcolonial studies, gender studies and queer studies maintain an uneasy relation with Europe. On the one hand, the European subject has been critiqued by practitioners in such fields, thereby making it difficult to restage ideals of universality and objectivity. On the other hand, these disciplines have often travelled to Europe in translation – mainly from the United States -, thereby silencing minority voices from Europe, which often predate, or can help nuance, the hegemonic framework. A philosophical intervention would thus trace the history of concepts or ideas that resonate with the English-speaking tradition, yet are rooted in a continental narrative and hold a certain degree of autonomy.


INFO For further information about the above-mentioned research topics, please contact Prof. Lorenzo Bernini (

FOR ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES (like application procedure, eligibility criteria, documents to be prepared), please email