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Dr Conor Heaney

Dr Conor Heaney

  • Academics

Lecturer in Liberal Arts & Politics (Education)

Biography

Conor recently completed his PhD in Social & Political Thought at the University of Kent (viva passed with no corrections, 01/03/19), where he was also both a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Assistant Lecturer. His project, entitled Rhythmic Ecology: Mindscaping the Rhythms of Everyday Life, is an examination of the relationship between contemporary capitalism, mental health, and digital technology, conducted through an engagement with the under-researched area of rhythmanalysis (supervised by Dr Iain MacKenzie and Dr Charles Devellennes).

Prior to this, Conor received an MPhil in Philosophy from the University of Warwick, specialising in political philosophy, 20th Century Continental Philosophy, and the phenomenological tradition. His thesis examined the work of Gilles Deleuze and the “new materialisms” (supervised by Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson). Conor also holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Queen’s University Belfast.

Research interests and PhD supervision

  • French theory and Continental Philosophy (esp. Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, and Stiegler)
  • Philosophy of technology (Stiegler, Simondon)
  • Process philosophy (esp. rhythmanalysis)
  • Political theory (esp. theories and practices of radical and experimental politics and political economy (resistance, revolution, etc.))
  • Critical university studies and experimental pedagogy

Conor’s research to date has focused on the intersection between experimental and creative approaches in philosophy (in methodology and ontology) and experimental and creative approaches in politics. His PhD research, for example, is conducted as an experiment in formulating a new methodological approach to rhythmanalysis as a way to articulate responses to ontological, methodological, and epistemological questions in a process-oriented fashion, but in a manner with direct relevance with how we might conceive of new experimental forms of politics that do not seek closure and finalism, but rather seek to remain constitutively open. This PhD is also intended as a contribution to re-engaging with Félix Guattari’s later work, particularly The Three Ecologies and Chaosmosis: An Ethico-Aesthetic Paradigm, in order to think about what a contemporary “ecosophical” approach attuned to the challenges of contemporary digital technologies approach might look like.

Conor’s research has also been to-date devoted to the question of the contemporary university, its place in society, and what its future may become. This has involved philosophical-political critiques of policy frameworks, but also engaging with work which seeks to create new spaces of learning and exploration. Since 2015, Conor and Hollie Mackenzie instigated an ongoing project in experimental and critical pedagogy which seeks to create transformative classrooms and explore new modes of learning, entitled Learning, Exchange, and Play (LEP). LEP has had three iterations to date, taking the form of workplayshops, each of which cut across approaches in philosophy, politics, art and film-making. This has also resulted in a zine contribution, a collaborative publication, and two experimental short-films to date (with a third one forthcoming).

Selected publications

  • 'Rhythmic Nootechnics: Stiegler, Whitehead, and Noetic Life', Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2019
  • 'Pursuing Joy with Deleuze: Transcendental Empiricism and Affirmative Naturalism as Wordly Practice', Deleuze and Guattari Studies, 12 (3), 2018, 374-401
  • ‘Stupidity and Study in the Contemporary University', La Deleuziana, 5, 2017, 5-31
  • 'The Teaching Excellence Framework: Perpetual Pedagogical Control in Postwelfare Capitalism', Compass: A Journal of Learning and Teaching, 10 (2), 2017 (with Hollie Mackenzie)
  • 'What is the University today?', Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 13 (2), 2015, 287-314

Teaching

Conor currently teaches introductory themes in political studies (political theory, political economy, etc.), as well as on interdisciplinarity, and has particular experience in teaching in political theory across all undergraduate levels. Conor has also developed research-led teaching materials across philosophy and political economy (on topics such as Neoliberalism, Postmodernism, and the Postindustrial).