Oisin Keohane

(0)1382 384541
Lecturer in Philosophy and Postgraduate Co-ordinator (Philosophy)



Dr Oisín Keohane’s main research areas are:

  • cosmo-nationalism and nationalism in philosophy
  • linguistic justice and the philosophical dimensions of English as a world language (‘Anglobalisation’)
  • carnal hermeneutics and the philosophy of nudity

He attempts to cross the analytic-continental divide, and the three ‘traditions’ that most influence him are: Phenomenology, the Frankfurt School and so-called Ordinary Language Philosophy.

Before coming to Dundee, he taught at the London School of Economics, the University of Toronto (where he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow) and the University of Johannesburg. He has also been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University.

As a cinephile, he loves, in particular, the films of Ozu, Renoir, Godard, Rohmer, Hawks, Capra, Kiarostami, Koreeda and Ophüls. He also loves a good hike."



Dr Oisín Keohane’s research interests include the following:

  • ‘Continental’ Philosophy (esp. Heidegger, Derrida, Benjamin and Adorno)
  • Ordinary Language Philosophy (Austin, Wittgenstein and Cavell)
  • Philosophy of Art (esp. the nude, film-philosophy, painting, and the philosophy of literature)
  • Political Philosophy (esp. cosmo-nationalism, ‘Anglobalisation’, linguistic justice, biopolitics and animal philosophy)
  • Philosophy of Sex and Love (esp. Levinas, Nancy, Beauvoir and Cavell)
  • Philosophy of Language (esp. translation)
  • History of Philosophy (esp. German Idealism, American Transcendentalism and Phenomenology)
  • The essayist tradition in Philosophy (as found in the works of thinkers like Emerson, Thoreau, Adorno, Benjamin and Valéry)

Dr Keohane has completed one monograph and is currently working on two other book projects:

 Cosmo-nationalism: American, French and German Philosophy

His first book (forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press) examines both the national character of philosophy (e.g. the very idea of ‘German Philosophy’ or ‘French Philosophy’) and the philosophical character of the national. It focuses on Kant, Fichte, Tocqueville, and Emerson, as well as Derrida’s unpublished seminars on philosophical nationalism. The argument of the book takes on two rivals: on the one hand, those social scientists who dismiss the philosophical aspects of nationalism as epiphenomenal and, on the other hand, those philosophers who dismiss nationalism as something external to philosophy. His central thesis is that nationalism always involves a non-empirical construal about what man is and which group is best fit to represent humanity.

 How to Do Things with Anglobalisation: Towards Linguistic Justice

In his second book project, he argues that rather than being simply for or against English as a world language (what he calls ‘Anglobalisation’), one needs to find, in specific contexts, the best negotiation between linguistic justice and transnational democratic needs. This research can be divided into four aspects: 1) reconceptualising languages in the age of ‘Anglobalisation’, 2) the philosophy of globalisation, 3) linguistic justice, and 4) philosophical untranslatables. The book revisits some of the major ideas of the linguistic turn via the emerging field of linguistic justice, with a view to providing solutions to the dominance of English in philosophy and the world at large.

 Being Without Clothes: A Phenomenology of Venus

His third project is on carnal hermeneutics and the philosophical status of nudity in film, painting and sculpture. This is an interdisciplinary work which seeks to combine a philosophical interest in the nude (in such figures as Nancy, Derrida, Jullien and Agamben) with the nude as a genre in art history (in such figures as Kenneth Clark, T.J. Clark, Nanette Salomon and Lynda Nead). As well as examining the philosophical and artistic history of the nude, it also analyses the contemporary uses of nudity, from the nude selfie to nudity as a means of political protest.




‘Philosophy and the Globalisation of English’, in issue 75 of The Philosophers’ Magazine, pp. 38-44 (2016).

‘The Impossible Force of Mightlessness: Translating Derrida’s impouvoir and Heidegger’s Machtlose’, book chapter in Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida: The Question of Difference, edited by Lisa Foran and Rozemund Uljée, Contributions to Phenomenology series of Springer Press, pp. 117-132 (2016).

‘The Encore of the Untouchable: Kantorowicz, Benjamin and Derrida’, book chapter in the second volume of Figurationen des Politischen (Figurations of the Political), edited by Martin Doll and Oliver Kohns, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich, pp. 267-294 (2015).

‘Bodin on Sovereignty: Taking Exception to Translation?’, in vol. 38 issue 2 of Paragraph, pp. 245-260 (2015).

‘Fichte and the German Idiom: The Metaphysics of the Addresses to the German Nation’, in vol. 19 issue 2 of Nations and Nationalism, pp. 317-336 (2013).

‘Out of Earshot of the School: Tocqueville and the “American Philosophical Method”’, book chapter in Stanley Cavell, Literature and Film: the Idea of America, edited by Áine Kelly and Andrew Taylor, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 132-157 (2013).

‘Tongue-tied Democracy: The Bind of National Language in Tocqueville and Derrida’, in vol. 4 issue 2 of Derrida Today, pp. 233-256 (2011).


Co-translation (with Dr Elizabeth Geary Keohane) of Marc Crépon’s piece ‘L’invention de l’idiome : l’événement de l’intraduisible’ [‘The Invention of the Idiom: The Event of the Untranslatable]. Paragraph, vol. 38 number 2, pp. 189-203.