PhD project

Poetry – Communism – Philosophy

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Application deadline

30 June 2024

The project aims to take seriously and examine systematically the political implications of the fact that there is no poetry that is not addressed to all. If poetry creates a “gift to language” (A. Badiou) it can be taken to be an expression of a desire for what is shared, for the common; for a poetry as a commons.

  1. Poetry is an art of the common(s) because it manifests as an invention in and of what is most common: language.
  2. Poetry is an art of the commons because it makes plain the speculative and affirmative possibilities of form.

To investigate this twofold and genuinely creative potential of poetry means to not only examine from a multiplicity of cultural perspectives how poetry creates and emphasizes the commons, it also means to rethink what we take to be common, what we take to be the commons, what we take to be communal, or circulated and (dis)possessed; what we take to be poetic, poethical, and political; what we think is communist in politics and what forms of poeisis make, and make apparent, this relation.

The project examines the interlinkage of poetry and egalitarian politics, by being attentive to the variform modalities and specificities which may best articulate their relationship. The project allows for an exploration of poetic communisms, poetic articulations of the common, of comparative studies of the politics of poetry, or of philosophical explorations of the relationship between poetry or poetries and communism(s).

Projects proposals which use creative practice and creative writing methodologies, as well as those in philosophical, cultural, and comparative poetics are welcomed. Project proposals may be practice-based, philosophical, and/or engage with one or many poet/thinkers whose work articulates with the above aims.

This project is suitable for applicants for a PhD in English or a PhD in Philosophy, depending on the background of the candidate.

Diversity statement

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.

How to apply

  1. Email Dr Heather Yeung to:
    • Send a copy of your CV
    • Discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).
  2. After discussion with Dr Heather Yeung, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. 

Candidates should apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in English and Creative Writing or the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Philosophy

Learn about applying for a research degree


Principal supervisor


Reader in English Literature +44 (0)1382 384536

Second supervisor