Our new transdisciplinary research cluster for Ontologies, Ecologies and Ethics is engaged across the fields of art and film history and theory, continental philosophy, critical ecologies, plant and animal studies, environmental humanities, ethics, affect theory, critical and political theory, feminist and gender studies, colonialism, realisms, and materialisms.

Research in the cluster explores human and other-than-human ecologies; notions of nature; ontologies of media, things, matter, and bodies; and creative rather than prescriptive ethics.

It examines singular practices in relation to general theories and philosophies, and vice versa.

Research degree students

We welcome PhD applications in these areas. The cluster is associated with a fee-waving VC studentship. Candidates should be practitioners of critical thinking and ideally have a background of engagement with art or lens-based images. They should be interested in challenging theory through practice, or practice through theory.


  • ‘On Immaterialism’.
  • ‘Why I find it Unethical to Write about Myself as an Artist’ in Silke Panse, ed., Ethical Materialities in Art and Moving Images (forthcoming, Bloomsbury Academic, 2024).
  • Routledge Handbook on Law and Animals (with Edward Mussawir, eds) (commissioned by Routledge, anticipated publication 2025).
  • Eating the World: The Risks and Regulation of the Global Commodity Trade (with Martin Clark) (Forthcoming, Counterpress 2024).
  • Animal Gods (new research project, applying for major grant funding).
  • ‘Introduction: Ethical Materialities and Material Ethicalities’ and ‘Spinoza’s Affectual Ethics: Causing, not Making’ in Silke Panse, ed., Ethical Materialities in Art and Moving Images. (Forthcoming, Bloomsbury Academic, 2024).
  • Monograph on the bodies of moving images with Spinoza, Deleuze and Uexküll (Minnesota University Press).
  • Monograph Songs of Innocence through Experience.
  • ‘On the Mode of Existence of Industrial Objects: The Photography of Bernd and Hilla Becher’.
  • ‘The Rhetoric of Materiality’.
  • ‘Sites of democratic urban practice: revisiting participatory housing in Bologna 1968–1977’ (collaboration with Dr Anna Wakeford Holder, Sheffield Hallam University).

Explore more projects

Head to our UCA Research Online platform to browse all our research projects.