Dr Sam McAuliffe

Sam’s research is in modern European philosophy and critical theory, with an emphasis on art and aesthetics.

Staff details

Dr Sam McAuliffe


Senior Lecturer


Visual Cultures


s.mcauliffe (@gold.ac.uk)



Sam McAuliffe’s research is based in modern European philosophy and critical theory, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary art and aesthetics, addressing questions such as the politics of the image, the experiments in language and form characteristic of twentieth-century literature, the theory and practice of utopia, and the fate of nature in the post-Enlightenment period. He also has a particular interest in the models of experience produced as a function of administered society.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2012, PhD, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths
  • 2004, MA, Philosophy and Literature, University of Warwick
  • 2003, BA Hons. English Literature (School of English and American Studies), University of Sussex


Currently teaches the following modules: ‘Space and Time’ (BA Year 1), ‘Philosophies of Nature’ (BA Year 3) and ‘Utopias’ (BA Year 3); has previously taught several other courses including ‘Introduction to Art History’ (BA Year 1) and ‘Philosophy and…’ (BA Year 3), as well as modules on the MA in Contemporary Art Theory: ‘Objects and Affects,’ and ‘Judgment and Creation’.

Research Interests

Modern European Philosophy and Critique (Nietzsche, Adorno, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze, Derrida, Canguilhem, Foucault), Aesthetics, Modern and Contemporary Art, Twentieth-Century Literatures and Literary Theory, Political Cinema, Utopia and the Imaginary, Critical Ecology, Modern History of Sensible/Inner Experience

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

McAuliffe, Sam. 2023. Part and Whole: On Some Uses of Landscape in the Films of Huillet and Straub. In: Martin Brady and Helen Hughes, eds. The Cinema of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. Cambridge: Legenda, pp. 45-59. ISBN 9781839540585

McAuliffe, Sam. 2022. Utopian Realism. In: Peter Marks; Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor and Fátima Vieira, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literatures. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 219-230. ISBN 9783030886547

McAuliffe, Sam. 2022. The Changeability of the World: Utopia and Critique. In: Kathrin Thiele; Birgit M. Kaiser and Timothy O’Leary, eds. The Ends of Critique: Methods, Institutions, Politics. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 57-75. ISBN 9781786616470


McAuliffe, Sam. 2019. Precarious Ascent: Trace and Terrain in René Daumal's Mount Analogue. Modern Language Notes, 134(4), pp. 783-805. ISSN 0026-7910

McAuliffe, Sam. 2019. Black Dust: Raymond Queneau and The Encyclopedia of the Inexact Sciences. Paragraph, 42(2), pp. 154-169. ISSN 0264-8334

Conference or Workshop Item

McAuliffe, Sam. 2023. 'The Frame of World-as-Resource'. In: Terra Critica x Rural Imaginations. Veenhuizen, Netherlands 13-17 June 2023.

McAuliffe, Sam. 2022. 'Aesthetic Education: Visual Cultures Public Programme Autumn Term 2022'. In: Aesthetic Education. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom 13 October - 15 December 2022.

McAuliffe, Sam. 2022. 'Rising, Falling'. In: Critical Transformations: Terra Critica 2.0. Utrecht University, Netherlands 8 - 10 June 2022.