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Michelle Boulous Walker


Dr. Michelle BOULOUS WALKER's research interests span the fields of European philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, and feminist philosophy. Her teaching interests in philosophy include intersections with politics, film, and literature. Her recent research in Slow Philosophy engages with the work of Emmanuel Levinas, Theodore W. Adorno, Luce Irigraray, Michèle Le Doeuff, and others. A new project focuses on questions of philosophy and the politics of laughter.

Her other activities include:

Head: European Philosophy Research Group (EPRG) affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH).

"Both my teaching and research focus on the practice of philosophy – its historical, disciplinary, and institutional dimensions. I have published two monographs . The first, Philosophy and the Maternal Body: Reading Silence (Routledge: London & New York, 1998), explores the complex exclusions that keep women’s voices silent within the history of Western philosophy. The second, Slow Philosophy: Reading Against the Institution (London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic: 2017), explores the challenge of time pressure on learning, pedagogy, and research in philosophy, and more broadly in the humanities. In these works, I explore the internal threats to philosophy (its blind spots, exclusions, and silences) and it external threats (the demands of the digital age). I am interested to work within the institution of philosophy to engage these challenges. In a series of book chapters and international journal articles I have pursued this ethical examination of philosophy. I inquire into the effect of philosophy’s exclusions in order to make it a more inclusive intellectual domain, and I explore strategies that help philosophers respond more creatively to the pressures of the modern academy. I combine an engagement with the traditional questions and methods of philosophy with an investigation of the implications of these for contemporary issues of human agency and human knowledge."

Research Interests

Philosophy and Laughter: Ethical, Political, & Pedagogical Dimensions