Dr. Sam McAuliffe

Staff details

Position Lecturer
Department Visual Cultures
Email s.mcauliffe (@gold.ac.uk)
Dr. Sam McAuliffe

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


Book section

2020. Utopian Realism: Two Perspectives on the Reality of the Future. In Fátima Vieira; Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor; Peter Marks, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literatures. London: Palgrave (forthcoming).

2019. A Professional Conscience: On an Episode of Self-Accusation in Raymond Queneau’s The Last Days. In Garry L. Hagberg, ed. Narrative and Self-Understanding: Between Literature and Philosophy. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-030-28288-2 2019

2017. Fable. In Mercedes Bunz; Birgit M. Kaiser; Kathrin Thiele, eds. Symptoms of the Planetary Condition: A Critical Vocabulary. Lüneburg: Meson Press. ISBN 978-3-95796-085-6

2017. Inner Voice. In Mercedes Bunz; Birgit M. Kaiser; Kathrin Thiele, eds. Symptoms of the Planetary Condition: A Critical Vocabulary. Lüneburg: Meson Press. ISBN 978-3-95796-085-6


2019. Precarious Ascent: Trace and Terrain in René Daumal’s Mount Analogue. In Modern Language Notes, 134(4). ISSN 0026-7910

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

2010. The Mouth Freed For Thought. in Plí: Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 21. ISBN 1 897646 14 3

2010. Breaking Off: A Note on Adorno and Mimesis. In Goldsmiths Fine Art and History of Art Catalogue.

Conference or Workshop Item

2019. ‘Autosociobiography: Annie Ernaux and the Collective Sensorium’. In: Terra Critica VII: Critique and Society. Whose Society? Kings College London, 4-6 July 2019.

2019. ‘Painting, Writing and the Time of an Encounter (Félix Fénéon, by way of André du Bouchet)’. In Modernist Art Writing/Writing Modernist Art, University of Nottingham, 24-25 June 2019.

2019. ‘Introduction to Straub and Huillet’s “Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene” and “Moses and Aaron”’. British Film Institute, London, 14 March 2019.

2018. ‘Surrealism and the Confessional Society’. In Royal Academy Schools, 22 October 2018.

2018. ‘Marguerite Duras and the Master Image’. In Film-Philosophy, University of Gothenburg, 03 July 2018.

2018. ‘The Radio Question’. In London Conference in Critical Thought, University of Westminster, 30 June 2018.

2017. ‘Decorum and Insolence in Robert Walser’s Dialectic of Manners’. In Play, Recreation, and Experimentation: Literature and the Arts since the Early Modern Times, University of Kent, 09 December 2017.

2017. ‘The Way Out: Kant and Kafka on Nature and History’. In American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Utrecht University, 09 July 2017.

2017. ‘The Imagination of Detail: Barthes and the Politics of Utopia’. In London Conference in Critical Thought, School of Law and Social Sciences, London South Bank University, 30 June 2017.

2017. ‘The Dissimilar’. In The Ethics of Critique, Penn State University, 12 May 2017.

2016. ‘On This Side of Life: Monstrosity and Mechanicity in Canguilhem and Derrida’. In Derrida Today, Goldsmiths, University of London, 09 June 2016.

2015. ‘Utopia and Critique’. In Critical Transactions: Engaging the Humanities East and West, School of Humanities, Hong Kong University, 17 December 2015.

2015. ‘A Margin of Error: Bildersprache and its Critique in Otto Neurath, Adorno, K.P. Brehmer’. In London Conference in Critical Thought, UCL, 26-27 June 2015.

2014. ‘A Trace of What Has Not Occurred’. In Archives for the Future, University of Westminster, 29 March 2014.

2014. ‘Whoever Sees God Dies’. In Knowledge Exchange, Goldsmiths, University of London, 04 March 2014.

2013. ‘Second Nature (Lukács, Benjamin, Adorno)’. In 9th Bienal do Mercosul, 2013: Weather Permitting, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 17 October 2013.

2013. ‘Nocturnal Space’. In The Deepest Darkness: Robin Mason, Block 336 Gallery, London, 10 May 2013.

2012. ‘Adorno and the Aporia of Aesthetic Autonomy’. In Novas Reflexões sobre Arte, Prefeitura Municipal de Porto Alegre, Brazil, 04 April 2012.

2012. ‘The Eschatology of the Voice’. In Derrida-Konferenz, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 16 March 2012.

2011. ‘Of Part and Whole: Derrida and the Nuclear Thing’. In InC: ‘Force and the Worst’ series, Goldsmiths, University of London, 29 March 2011.

2010. ‘Pedagogy and the Proper Name’. In The Future of Pedagogy: The Concept and the Disaster, ICA, London, 26 September 2010.

2010. ‘On Being Broken.’ In After Fiction, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark, 05 June 2010.

2009. ‘Determinate Negation: “The Whole is the Untrue”’. In InC Hegel series, Goldsmiths, London, 04 December 2009.

2009. ‘Deleuze and the Index of the Possible’. In Hayward Conversations: On the “Thought-Event” of Deleuze, Hayward Gallery, London, 02 September 2009.

2008. ‘The Melancholy of Form’. InC Adorno series, Goldsmiths, London, 11 November 2008.

2006. ‘Thinking in Thought: Deleuze and the Philosophy of the Image’. In Image and Imagination, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark, 09 June 2006.

Conference Organiser

- ‘On Error,’ international interdisciplinary conference held at Goldsmiths, University of London, 29-30 October, 2010.

- Co-organiser of The Future of Pedagogy: The Concept and the Disaster, ICA, London, 12-26 September 2010.

Academic Affiliations

- Member of Terra Critica: Interdisciplinary Network for the Critical Humanities (http://terracritica.net)

- Member of InC, Centre for Research in Continental Philosophy at Goldsmiths (2008-12)


- ‘Image and Thought in Adorno, Blanchot and Deleuze’