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Richard Douglas

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

The Meanings and Moral Framings of the Good Life

Richard Douglas is being funded by the ESRC to undertake a PhD on the meanings and moral framings of the good life, as part of the multidisciplinary and multi-institutional Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity. His research is investigating the contradictions which the idea of environmental sustainability poses to modern visions of an indefinite future of material progress.

Previously he has worked as a committee specialist at the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (on topics such as the economics of climate change and emissions trading), and as a senior analyst at the National Audit Office (examining government housing policy, and the financial sustainability of local government services). He has an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge, where he studied under Stefan Collini, Melissa Lane, and Quentin Skinner, and specialised in the influence of scientism on politics and literary criticism. He has written extensively on the environment, economics, and politics in a range of publications, including the International Journal of Green Economics, Social Epistemology, Monthly Review, Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, Capitalism Nature Socialism, Political Quarterly, Open Democracy, and a book, Future Ethics (2010).

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Irving Huerta

PhD student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Investigative Journalism and its impact on Policy Making

Irving Huerta is a Mexican journalist now enrolled in an MPhil & PhD in Politics, with a research project on Investigative Journalism and its impact on Policy Making. He is mostly interested in the solving process of a public issue brought to light by investigative journalistic pieces.

Irving is a co-author of the book “La Casa Blanca de Peña Nieto” ("The Mexican President’s white house"), published in 2015, about a property owned by the Mexican presidential family and built by a governmental contractor.

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Carla Ibled

PhD student and Associate Lecturer
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Carla Ibled is a PhD candidate and associate lecturer in the Department for Politics & International Relations. Her research interests emerge from a critical engagement with contemporary discourses of neoliberalism, with a particular focus on the subjectivising, psychic and embodied effects of these discourses.

Information about you:

Carla Ibled is a PhD candidate and associate lecturer in the Department for Politics & International Relations. Her research interests emerge from a critical engagement with contemporary discourses of neoliberalism, with a particular focus on the subjectivising, psychic and embodied effects of these discourses. Her work is interdisciplinary, drawing on insights from psychoanalysis (particularly the work of Jacques Lacan and his interlocutors), cultural studies, critical theory and the emergent field of psycho-social studies.

Thesis:

Her thesis is an examination of contemporary discourses of neoliberalism, focusing on the psychic undercurrents and subterranean desires of purportedly economistic texts. This excavation is done via the psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan and the work of contemporary social theorists who draw on Lacan’s concepts. Through a series of critical readings of key neoliberal texts – the economic theories of Milton Friedman, Gary Becker and Friedrich Hayek, but also autobiographical writing by entrepreneurs and social critics – she argues that what is at stake in the neoliberal project is not just a reformation of social and economic forms but a violent rearticulation of the subject and the self.

Academic qualifications:

  • PhD in Politics - Goldsmiths, University of London (2013-present)
  • MA in Social and Political Thought – University of Sussex, 2011
  • BA in History – Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2010

Research Interests:

Critical neoliberal studies, psychoanalysis and politics (Lacan, Freud, Kristeva), poststructuralism, cultural studies, political philosophy and economic history

Teaching:

Carla teaches on the following Undergraduate Modules:

  • World Politics
  • Contemporary International Relations Theory
  • Liberalism and its critics
  • Modern Political Thought

Publications:


Ibled, Carla. 2018. “The ‘Fear Index.’”, in: UCL Urban Laboratory, Counterspeculations, Episode 7. URL: https://soundcloud.com/uclurbanlab/counterspeculations-7-carla-ibled.

Ibled, Carla. 2018. “The ‘Fear Index’ - The autonomization of the social imaginary of finance”, Public Seminar. URL: http://www.publicseminar.org/2018/06/the-fear-index/

Conference papers:

"Addicted mothers as abject outsiders: the reconstitution of a neoliberal ethic of the self in Darren McGarvey's Poverty Safari (2017) and J.D. Vance Hillbilly Elegy (2016)" – ‘Outsiders’, Goldsmiths Literature Seminar Annual Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference 2019

“‘Founder as Victim, Founder as God’ (Peter Thiel): a psychoanalytical perspective on the neoliberal imaginary of entrepreneurship” - Goldsmiths Politics & International Relations PhD 2018 conference

“The 'fear index': the autonomisation of the social imaginary of finance” - Navigating Finance and the Imagination: Walking with Castoriadis in the City of London, UCL Urban Lab/ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL - Lakehead University, Canada, 2018

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Albina Lindt

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

EU level renewable electricity and renewable fuels legislation

Albina Lindt’s thesis is dedicated to the study of EU-level renewable electricity and renewable fuels (mainly biofuels) legislation, encompassing the directives of 2001, 2003, 2009 and the ILUC directive. Within this policy area, she focuses on the formulation stage within the policy cycle. This implies a detailed reconstruction of policy-making processes aimed at stipulation of target values and definitions for renewable energy sources – two interrelated policy issues at the core of the directives. Carla pays special attention to the application of policy formulation tools, such as future scenario modelling, for the purpose of decision making. Being more generally interested in the different inputs of EU institutions into the policy formulation process, the overarching goal of the thesis is to assess the driving forces behind the legislative outcome.

Tom Kerridge

PhD student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Collective co-Production

Tom Kerridge’s research explores how collective co-Production is used, and examines its effect on the quality of life for participant’s with chronic illnesses. Collective co-production, where groups deliberate amongst themselves and with providers produce a service is rare within public services, has meant that academics do not often study its effectiveness as a means of improving service user’s lives. This research seeks to rectify this situation, exploring how collective co-production is used to effect quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses.

The research employs an ‘appreciative inquiry’. This provides examples of how collective co-production has been used at its best in the past. This understanding will then be compared to data, gained from observing collective co-production case studies. The results of these investigations will be used to explore how collective co-production effects quality of life. In doing this, it is hoped that my research can discover whether there is a causal link between collective co-production involvement and changes in chronic illness patient’s quality of life.

Peter Rees

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Immigration and Rights: Towards a performative theory of citizenship

Peter Rees research is entitled ‘Immigration and Rights: Towards a performative theory of citizenship’. He holds a BA in English from the University of Sussex and an MSc in Social and Political Theory (Distinction) from Birkbeck, University of London. His work is situated at the intersection between the fields of contemporary political theory and citizenship studies, with particular interests in post-foundational and post-structuralist thought, theories of performativity and critical migration studies. His current research explores the relationship between universal (human) rights and citizenship through an empirical focus on contemporary migration and conditions of rightlessness. His research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Katharina Richter

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Connections of social debates in the global South with radical environmental and economic thoughts in the global North

Title: 

Struggling for another form of life: Provincialising the Degrowth debate

Katharina’s thesis connects contemporary social debates in the global South, in this case Latin America, with radical environmental and economic thought in the global North. Over the last decades, Latin America has witnessed an upsurge in counter-hegemonic social theories and movements in response to neo-liberalism. Some of these are based on the emancipation of indigenous peoples and belief systems. In Ecuador, the mainstreaming of indigenous rights has been marked by constitutional change based on Andean cosmovisions such as sumak kawsay/buen vivir (good living in Quechua and Spanish). These require the subordination of the economy to human well-being and nature. Similarly, the Degrowth school of thought aims to re-situate the economy within planetary boundaries yet can be said to have limited relevance to non-industrialised countries. Her thesis aims to broaden the ontological and epistemological horizon of the Degrowth debate by considering whether social theories from Latin America could provide an ethical and normative framework for a decolonial politics of Degrowth.

Bio:

Katharina Richter is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Goldsmiths. As an associate lecturer, she has taught on a variety of topics relating to political theory and international relations, with a focus on colonialism and the making of the modern world. Her research interests include political economy, degrowth, climate change, ecology, alternatives to development and decolonisation. Previously, she has had a post at the Reiner Lemoine Institute in Berlin, co-authoring a study on decentralised renewable energy systems. She holds a MSc in Ecological Economics from the University of Edinburgh. 

Academic qualifications:

  • PGCert Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Goldsmiths
  • MSc Ecological Economics, University of Edinburgh
  • BA International Relations and Human Rights, Malmö University

Research Interests:

Climate change, degrowth, Latin American politics and social theory, postcolonial studies, political economy and political theory, cultural studies, anthropology, ecology and political ecology

Teaching:

Katharina has been teaching in the Department for three years, covering first and second-year undergraduate modules (Colonialism, Power, Resistance; Politics and International Relations of the Middle East). In 2019 she obtained the PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Publications:

Blechinger, P., Richter, K. & Renn, O. 2015. “Barriers and Solutions to the Development of Renewable Energy Technologies in the Caribbean”. In: Groh, S. et al (Eds.) Decentralized Solutions for Developing Economies: Addressing Energy Poverty through Innovation. Springer Proceedings in Energy, XXIV.

Richter, K. and Blechinger, P. 2014. “Barriers and Solutions to the Development of Renewable Energy Technologies in the Caribbean”, Proceedings of the International Conference Innovating Energy Access for Remote Areas: Discovering Untapped Resources April 10th to 12th, 2014; University of Berkeley, pp. 93-96.

Keith Sonia

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Motivations of participants in violence at sporting events in the Balkans

In an article published in 1986, Dunning, et al. outlined some of the sociological reasons one might analyse to help explain the phenomenon of football violence. One reason, they argue, is economic inequality. When football spectators act out in a violent manner, it is a “reassertion of social control by the lower or rough working class in the face of the widening gap between the rich and the poor.” This project seeks to identify the motivations of those that participate in violent action at sporting events in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina in order to determine whether or not they differ from the motivations of their fathers.

However, the research also examines the lack of frequent incidents at another popular sport in the nations in questions, basketball. Indeed, in order to achieve a fuller, more complete profile of the sport in these nations, one would have to endeavour to include basketball. So then, in seeking to solve this particular puzzle, Keith asks the following question: “What is the socioeconomic profile of football and basketball fans in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina and how does that inform violence and violent political rhetoric in the respective nations?"

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Michail Theodosiadis

PhD students
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Michail Theodosiadis’ topic is populism

Populism and the vita civile; a study on hope and common decency

This thesis contrasts hope with optimism and pessimism; it offers a philosophical synthesis premised on Hannah Arendt, Simone Adolphine Weil, William James and John Milton, comprising different perspectives (classical republicanism, Christian republicanism, conservatism and classical liberalism). In agreement with Christopher Lasch, the present study claims that only a populism premised on the vita civile could satisfy the criteria of hope as a probability for justice, truth and beauty. First, this populism opposes the centralization of power and the arbitrary imposition of rule, considered as the only means of protection by pessimistic estimates. Second, it questions the false certainty of optimism, the lingua franca of modern liberalism, which excludes human involvement from all important decisions while projecting the impersonal market pattern as the sole arbiter of all human affairs, seeing history on a steady trajectory towards a destination of assured happiness. Instead, hope seeks to adjust Arendt’s classical republicanism to James’ idea of meliorism and pragmatism. It questions the liberal rosy view of human nature and espouses an approach close to the Christian notion of Original Sin. But instead of surrendering to the fatalism of pessimism, hope (or meliorism) sees ‘salvation’ as a probability; it shares the unshakable conviction that wrongs can be made right when the ‘common people’ concentrate power as close to home as possible, and instead of being locked out from the political structures and hierarchies where laws and legislations are imposed and executed, can access and reshape them. The vita civile shares a high respect for tradition and heritage. Common memories shape a popular identity that could function as a basis for political action. Transcendent archetypes and religious insights, as Alexis De Tocqueville, Weil, et al., argued, can on certain occasions inspire prudence over corruption.

Academic qualifications:

BA in Arts and Social Sciences (Kingston University of London)

MSc in Social and Political Theory (Birkbeck, University of London)

PGCE in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Research Interests:

American Revolution, classical republicanism, Christian republicanism, conservatism, classical liberalism

Teaching:

Political theory

Publications:

June 2019: “Reclaiming Emily Brontë: tragedy and the Will to power”, book chapter (5) in Language, Power, and Ideology in Political Writing, in the IGI Global

 

John Paul Belk

PhD student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

My research project will shed light on the nature of neoliberalism through a critical chronological examination of the ideology in Puerto Rico from 1980 to 2016

Thesis Title 

“Neoliberalism and Puerto Rico from 1980-2016” (Working title)

Bio 

John Paul Belk is a M.Phil/Ph.D. candidate in Politics. His research is centered around political theory and political economy. Within these main areas, he mainly focuses on topics dealing with neoliberalism, debt, coloniality, governmentality, and discourse. Additionally, his work explores the political history of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.

Summary

My research project will shed light on the nature of neoliberalism through a critical chronological examination of the ideology in Puerto Rico from 1980 to 2016. From this, I will extrapolate a precise conceptual understanding of how neoliberalism has behaved in the island, and settle on a workable definition of the ideology itself, contributing to the conversation about neoliberalism at large. My project will highlight how the ideology shifts and molds to different legal-political realities, how the island’s (post) colonial status has played a pivotal role in regards to neoliberalism, how neoliberalism shaped the state by way of public policy, discourse, and governance, and what its effects of neoliberalism on the island are today.

Academic Qualifications 

M.Phil/PhD candidate in Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London; 2019-present

Diploma in Strategic Thought and Political Communication, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; 2019

M.A. in Political Theory, University of York, U.K; 2017

Master’s in Visual Anthropology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia; 2014

B.A. in History, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus; 2012

 

Pier Paolo Motta

PhD Candidate
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Pier is examining the field of critical theory and the relation between political action and language

Thesis:

Politics of the unspoken: Max Horkheimer’s quest for justice

Information about me:

Pier Paolo is a PhD candidate in Politics and International Relations. His research explores the field of critical theory and investigates the relation between political action and language. His thesis focuses on the late thought of Max Horkheimer in the light of the influence of Schopenhauer’s philosophy. In particular, his research examines Horkheimer’s concepts of ‘administered world’ and ‘longing for the totally other’ and shows how the late critical theory of the Frankfurt School imagines a politics of the unspoken.

Research Interests:

Critical Theory

Frankfurt School

Political philosophy

Postcolonial and Cultural studies

Language studies and linguistics

Academic qualifications:

  • BA in Language Mediation and Intercultural Communication at University of Milan
  • MA in Mass Media and Politics at University of Bologna

Professional activities:

Pier Paolo works as editorial researcher for the journal Theory, Culture & Society

He is graduate trainee tutor for the module Radical Philosophy: Discourse, Power, Desire (2019/20)

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Philipp Kenel

PhD student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Researching the intersection of 'the economic' 'the social' and 'the political'

Thesis:

Social Entrepreneurship Discourse(s) in Media, Policy and Practice:
The Case of Germany

Information about me:

Philipp is working as a lecturer at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in the areas of social science, social economy and social entrepreneurship. His research and teaching comprises the intersection of ‘the economic’, ‘the social’ and ‘the political’, leading to investigations of how individuals, organizations or societies are organizing, or might want to organize, economic life. Philipp has published work on critical diversity (management) studies and on feminist perspectives on economics. He is also a trained secondary school teacher.

Research Interests:

  • The ‘SE field’: social entrepreneurship, social and solidarity economy, social enterprise

  • Economics education and the plural economics debate

  • Gender and diversity studies

Academic qualifications:

  • MEd Politics and English for Secondary Education, Freie Universität Berlin
  • MA Social Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • BA International Political Studies, Middlesex University

Teaching:

  • Business, Organizations and Work (introductory social science course)
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Alternative Business Practices
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • 'Human Costs' of Global Markets

Professional activities:

Prior to being a lecturer and researcher at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, Philipp has worked at the Berlinale (International Film) Festival, at different startups and in sustainability consulting. Alongside his work in higher education, Philipp is also teaching Politics for students in secondary school (Gymnasium).

Featured work:

Kenel, Philipp/Gather, Claudia/Lottmann, Ralf (2018): „Das war noch nie Thema hier, noch nie!“ Sexuelle Vielfalt in der Altenpflege – Perspektiven für ein Diversity Management. Pflege & Gesellschaft, 23 (3), pp. 211-227

Kenel, Philipp (2020): Feministische Impulse für mehr Pluralismus in den Wirtschaftswissenschaften. In: Olteanu et al. (eds.) Wirtschaft und Geschlechterverhältnisse. Baden-Baden: Nomos (in review).

Tancrède Fulconis

PhD Student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Tancrède is conducting research into Universalism, Exception and Othering in (Post) Colonial France

Thesis Title:

Policing the Political: Universalism, Exception, and Othering in (Post)Colonial France

Academic qualifications:

  • MA in Law Development and Globalisation at SOAS

  • BSFS in Foreign Service at Georgetown University

Research Interests:

Postcolonial Theory, Poststructuralism, Structuralism, (Post)Marxism, Decolonial Theory

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Nils Peters

PhD Student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Nils is researching the rise of tech companies and processes of capitalisation that have facilitated it. Nils is also the PhD Rep for the current cohort 2019-20

Thesis Title & Summary:

My thesis explores the rise of tech companies and processes of capitalisation that facilitate it. It seeks to question larger narratives about contemporary capitalist dynamics by building from an analysis of the concrete settings for the creation of capital, especially within data-driven corporations. It further investigates to what extent techniques of economic valuation link the construction of technological futures with present-day contestations of power.

Academic qualifications:

  • MPhil/PhD Politics, Goldsmiths, University of London (2018-present)
  • MA International Political Economy, PAIS, University of Warwick (2016-2017)
  • BSc Economics, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany (2012-2016)

Research Interests:

Capitalisation, financialisation, digital economy, asset condition

Teaching:

Graduate Trainee Tutor, Issues in Political and Cultural Economy (First year module)

Tom Henderson

PhD Student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

Study of the political and the expressive ontology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Thesis Title & Summary:

Working title: ‘Political ontology and the experience of politics: a phenomenological approach to the political’

In my doctoral research I bring together contemporary theoretical approaches to the political and the expressive ontology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Merleau-Ponty died decades before the rise of political ontology – understood to mean the general claim that Being is somehow ‘political’ – in the work of thinkers like Nancy, Esposito, Žižek, and Laclau and Mouffe. But despite foreshadowing many of these more recent thinkers’ philosophical concerns and intuitions, his thought is usually only passingly or superficially engaged with in this sub-field of political theory, or even dismissed outright. My project sets out to challenge this omission, presenting Merleau-Ponty’s ontology as a rich and original way to think through the fundamental problematics of political ontology, and finding in his work the makings of a convincingly ‘political’ account of Being.

Academic qualifications:

  • MA, Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, 2014
  • BA (Hons), Politics and Sociology, University of York, 2011

Research Interests:

political ontology, phenomenology, radical democratic theory, Merleau-Ponty, political theology

Teaching:

I previously taught on the 1st year undergraduate course ‘Media, History and Politics’ in the Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.

Professional activities:

I am currently a visiting student the University of Copenhagen, where I am a member of the Political Theory Research Group in the Department of Political Science.

Publications:

‘Post-Foundational Ontology and the Charge of Social Weightlessness in Radical Democratic Theory: A Response to Lois McNay’s The Misguided Search for the Political’, Brief Encounters, 1, 2017, http://briefencounters-journal.co.uk/BE/article/view/23

Photo of Tadas Vinokur

Tadas Vinokur

PhD Student
politics (@gold.ac.uk)

A critique of the philosophy of political violence

Thesis Title & Summary:

The Politics of Affect: A new form of Violence Within the Emerging Post-Soviet Democracy.

In this research, I propose a critique of the philosophy of political violence, which – in my view – suffers from highly partisan and equivocal terminology. The thesis will maintain that the typical analyses of violence (W. Benjamin, H. Arendt, M. Foucault etc.), which are often based on the ready-made conceptual distinctions of friend-enemy and institutional-individual, are not sufficient in describing the modern-day politics of affect. Throughout the research, the collapse of the Soviet Union will be used as an example of recent history, which supports my thesis about the philosophy of violence. Even though relatively peaceful, the 1989 revolutions radically changed the ensuing physical, economic, legal and psychological interactions of everyday Post-Socialist politics. For this reason, the 1989 revolutions will be interpreted as extremely violent events insofar as they managed to drastically transform the daily lives of post-Soviet individuals. This research will thus undertake to rigorously document the waves of political events (affects) that made the period of ‘glasnost’ and the ensuing 1989 revolutions so effective (violent). This analytic approach will allow me to interpret violence not merely as a manifestation of a destructive force but also as an index of a long-term sociopolitical transformation. With this in mind, G. Deleuze and F. Guattari’s philosophy will be referenced in order to describe the eruptions of nationalism in post-Soviet states in the 1990s as a collection of powerful ‘refrains’, which introduced new physical restrictions on citizens as well as new legal and ideological regulations. The sudden introduction of democracy and free-market economy in the post-communist Eastern Europe – even though a positive event – will be interpreted as an extended and extremely violent procedure, which forced the now autonomous post-Soviet states to assume new political responsibilities, gain new international allies and formulate new interpretations of their respective cultural histories.

Academic Qualifications / Education:

Ph.D. Candidate., Politics, Goldsmiths University of London, anticipated 2024

Summer School of Critical Theory, Birkbeck, University of London, Summer 2019

M.A., Art and Politics, Goldsmiths University of London, 2019 (With Distinction)

Studied Aesthetics and Politics, California Institute of the Arts, 2018-2019

Studied Philosophy, San Francisco State University, 2017-2018

B.A., Professional Music and Philosophy, Berklee College of Music, 2017 (Dean’s List)

Research Interests:

Continental Philosophy, Biopolitics, Aesthetics, Psychoanalysis.    

Teaching:

‘Contemporary Politics of Gender and Sexuality’ Lecture at the Tolerant Youth of Lithuania Summer

Camp, Molėtai, Lithuania 23/08/2018

‘The Fundamentals of Social Democratic Politics’ Presentation at the Liberal Youth Gathering, Alytus,

Lithuania, 9/07/2018

“The History of Worker’s Rights Movements’ Conference and Discussion at the Social Democratic

Youth Camp, Klaipėda, Lithuania 1/07/2018

‘Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign Evaluation’ Lecture at the Social Democratic Youth

Gathering, Klaipėda, Lithuania 20/05/18 ( https://youtu.be/9zMFrEocGqY )

‘Deleuzean Philosophy of Difference’ Presentation and Lecture at ‘Wornpath’, Portland, 22/03/2018

( https://pc-pdx.com/show-detail/117364 )

‘Andrew Culp’s ‘Dark Deleuze’ Presentation at California Institute of the Arts, 13/02/2018

(https://youtu.be/DWYGNiD3PRQ)

‘Chomsky’s Political Philosophy’ Lecture at San Francisco State University 7/11/2017    

(https://youtu.be/kt3fTfXYUGA )

Professional Activities:

Tadas Vinokur is an educational content creator at Flicker Theory Reviews (www.youtube.com/tadasvinokuras)

Publications:

Vinokur, Tadas: “For a New Terminology of Violence”, ‘&&& Platform’ Journal, 2019 August

Vinokur, Tadas: “Multitude and Its Discontents”, ‘&&& Platform’ Journal, 2019 September