The most pertinent question that occupies my thinking can be summarised as follows: why do we, that is, why do technologically advanced Capitalist societies, continue to engage in practices that we know are slowly making the planet inhospitable for human life? This is a question that haunts anyone who knows anything about climate change.
I argue that the only way to approach climate change is through a radical rethinking of the role of humanity in shaping nature. Only massive human intervention can elevate nature to a level of spontaneous self-determination. In other words, only a politics that embraces the radical ecology of rewilding can combat climate change.
Film, media, censorship
My PhD focusses primarily on how the BBFC and UK legislation has censored and manipulated depictions of animal death in film and television. Both institutions have changed their approach over time due to changes in such things as the technical legal definitions of ‘animal’, the ethical stance of the BBFC, and public responses to the effects of censorship. More than this, the way that the BBFC make their decisions regarding censorship express a particular ethical disposition that prioritises the visual experience of audiences over the suffering of animals.
I think that the unorthodox approach to my research enables a much more thorough and critical insight into the inner workings of institutional censorship in the UK. By utilising Adornian philosophy in a field that is usually occupied by traditional historical research methods, I hope to expand the conversation on the role of censorship in structuring the ethical assumptions of the British public.
Through Marxist and post-marxist philosophy, as well as psychoanalysis, my research attempts to elevate the contentious notion of class-struggle to the foreground of politics. My conviction is that the fragmentation of contemporary struggles, from identity politics to environmental issues, is itself a symptom of modern capitalism.
The philosophy of Theodor W. Adorno
Adorno’s work has constantly guided my philosophical development due to its relentless rigour and strict application of the dialectic. Particular elements of Adorno’s philosophy that are of interest to me are: ‘immanent critique’, ‘exact fantasy’, ‘determinate negation’, and ‘non-identity’.