Department of Philosophy

Katie Monk

What kind of philosophy do you do?

I have worked on abstract questions in philosophy of language, like 'how do words pick out things in the world' and 'what does a name mean'?

I am now interested in philosophy of language's application to social structures - especially in trying to figure out the meaning of words like 'gender', 'sex' and 'disability', and how the meanings of these words might affect our political commitments.

I take an explicitly feminist and antiracist approach to these questions; centring voices and experiences which are typically underrepresented in academia. I am most attracted to philosophy which is relevant to political struggle. In particular, I think that often the first step to liberation can be in precisely describing what the problem is. I am currently interested in philosophy which can help us do that.

Katie Monk

What do you like about teaching?

I really love teaching. I tend to teach topics which are very connected to current political issues, and many students have a lot to say about how these have touched their lives. I’ve felt hugely privileged to be able to hear and learn from students experiences.

What advice do you have for students?

I think when I was an undergraduate student there were lots of things I felt really angry about, but I doubted myself. I worried that I was just being "emotional" and "difficult". What I would say to current undergraduates is that if there is something you feel strongly about then listen to that feeling and consider sharing your ideas with others. You might find that lots of people share your thoughts, and perhaps together you can think about working to change things. 


Department of Philosophy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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