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




- “Inner Voice,” in Symptoms of the Planetary Condition: A Critical Vocabulary, eds. Mercedes Bunz, Birgit M. Kaiser and Kathrin Thiele, Meson Press, 2017.

- “Fable,” in Symptoms of the Planetary Condition

- “The Mouth Freed For Thought,” in Plí: Warwick Journal of Philosophy, vol. 21, 2010.

 - “Breaking Off: A Note on Adorno and Mimesis,” in Goldsmiths Fine Art and History of Art Catalogue, 2010.


Conference, Workshop, Seminar Papers

- “The Way Out: Kant and Kafka on Nature and History,” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, Utrecht University, 09 July 2017.

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

- “The Dissimilar,” Terra Critica: The Ethics of Critique, Penn State University, 12 May 2017.

- “On This Side of Life: Monstrosity and Mechanicity in Canguilhem and Derrida,” Derrida Today, Goldsmiths, University of London, 09 June 2016.

- “Utopia and Critique,” Critical Transactions: Engaging the Humanities East and West, School of Humanities, Hong Kong University, 17 December 2015.

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

- “The Facticity of Inwardness: Inner Speech in Adorno’s Politics of Language,” Terra Critica, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, 29 May 2015.

- “A Trace of What Has Not Occurred,” Archives for the Future, University of Westminster, 29 March 2014. 

- “Whoever Sees God Dies,” Knowledge Exchange, Goldsmiths, London, 04 March 2014.

- “Second Nature (Lukács, Benjamin, Adorno),” 9th Bienal do Mercosul, 2013: Weather Permitting, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 17 October 2013. 

- “Nocturnal Space,” The Deepest Darkness: Robin Mason, Block 336 Gallery, 10 May 2013.

- “Adorno and the Aporia of Aesthetic Autonomy,” Novas Reflexões sobre Arte, Prefeitura Municipal de Porto Alegre, Brazil, 04 April 2012.

- “The Eschatology of the Voice,” Derrida-Konferenz, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, 16 March 2012.

- “Of Part and Whole: Derrida and the Nuclear Thing,” InC ‘Force and the Worst’ series, Goldsmiths, London, 29 March 2011.

- “Pedagogy and the Proper Name,” The Future of Pedagogy: The Concept and the Disaster, ICA, London, 26 September 2010. 

- “On Being Broken,” After Fiction, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, Copenhagen University, Denmark, 05 June 2010.

- “Determinate Negation: ‘The Whole is the Untrue’” (with Blair Ogden), InC Hegel series, Goldsmiths, London, 04 December 2009.

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

- “The Melancholy of Form,” InC Adorno series, Goldsmiths, London, 11 November 2008.

- “Thinking in Thought: Deleuze and the Philosophy of the Image” at 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’