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  Poetry – Communism – Philosophy

   School of Humanities

  ,  Wednesday, February 28, 2024  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Aim: 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 thus 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.


Heather H. Yeung is a prize-winning poet and literary critic, theorist and artist bookmaker; archives of her poetic works are held by the Scottish Poetry Library and National Library of Scotland.

Frank Ruda is an internationally renowned philosopher, and also an expert on the thought of Marx and the history of Marxism.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Dr Heather Yeung ()

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

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.


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent for non-UK qualifications), and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. For international qualifications, please see equivalent entry requirements here:

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) overall score must be at least 7.0 (with not less than 7.0 in reading, listening, speaking or writing). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications and alternative ways to demonstrate language proficiency; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here:


Step 1: Email Dr Heather Yeung () to (1) send a copy of your CV and an overview of your research interests, and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr Yeung, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

In consultation with the supervisory team, candidates may choose whether to apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in English (3 Year) or the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Philosophy (3 Year) depending on their background and research interests:

·       Apply for a PhD in English

·       Apply for a PhD in Philosophy

Please select the study mode (full-time/part-time) and start date agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the Research Proposal section, please:

-       Enter the lead supervisor’s name in the ‘proposed supervisor’ box

-       Enter the project title listed at the top of this page in the ‘proposed project title’ box

In the ‘personal statement’ section, please outline your suitability for the project selected.

Creative Arts & Design (9) Languages, Literature & Culture (21) Philosophy (28)

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.
In addition to self-funding, this project could be submitted to the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities for consideration. The SGSAH funds UK students (full stipend) and EU and international students (fees only). If a funding application to the SGSAH is under consideration, the applicant will receive support and guidance on the application process from the supervisory team and the School’s Research Postgraduate Officer.

Register your interest for this project

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