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PROFESSOR TIMOTHY O’LEARY – UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG

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I am Head of the School of Humanities,

Professor in the Department of Philosophy,

Member of HKU Council

at the University of Hong Kong.

Email: teoleary [at] hku [dot] hk

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PROFILE

My major research interests are in the fields of ethics, politics, and the philosophy of literature and art, with a particular focus on 20th century European philosophy. I have published extensively on the work of Michel Foucault.

I am currently working on a project entitled “Philosophy and the History of Experience”. This 3-year project is funded by a GRF grant from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong. It will lead to completion of a monograph, provisionally titled “The Conduct of Moral Sensibility”.

I am an International Participant of the International Network for the Critical Humanities, hosted at the University of Utrecht – Terra Critica.

Before taking on my current project on “moral sensibility”, I published in the area of the philosophy of literature, especially in relation to the works of modern and contemporary Irish writers. I also worked on comparative (East-West) philosophical approaches to happiness – an area in which I established a major collaborative research project at HKU (now completed).

At HKU, I have taught courses on Foucault, Nietzsche, happiness, contemporary European philosophy, philosophy of art and literature, Plato, and the philosophical problems of modernity. I also teach a postgraduate course on “Thesis Writing for the Critical Humanities”.

I supervise post-graduate students in the fields of 20th century European philosophy, ethics in the continental tradition, and aesthetics.

 

CURRENT & RECENT ACTIVITIES

 

I am co-organising a major inter-disciplinary humanities conference at HKU on December 17-18, 2015:

“CRITICAL TRANSACTIONS: ENGAGING THE HUMANITIES EAST & WEST”

Facebook Page Here

My Review Essay of some new works ‘by’ Foucault will be published in Foucault Studies in vol. 21, Spring 2016.

An article, “Critique, Ethics, and the Apparatus of Experience: a Foucauldian Framework”, will be published in Frontiers of Philosophy in China (international, refereed journal), forthcoming (in press).

Along with co-editor Dr Liz Jackson, Faculty of Education at HKU, I am co-editing a Special Issue of the Journal Educational Philosophy and Theory on “Education and the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement”. The Special Issue will be published in 2016.

In an attempt to begin the task of understanding Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, I organised and Chaired two Forums for the School of Humanities:

  • Umbrella Forum #1: “Understanding Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement” on Oct 31st, 2014. Poster.    Video
  • Umbrella Forum #2: “Women Occupying” on Jan 27th, 2015. Poster. Video.

Along with co-editor (and post-doctoral fellow) Dr Edoardo Zamuner, I co-edited a Special Issue of the journal Philosophical Topics on the theme “Happiness”. Published in Feb 2015 (with official date of Vol. 41, No. 1, Spring 2013).

I presented a Keynote talk at a Critical Theory conference at Nanjing University (April 2014);

I gave an Invited “Theory Lab” talk at the Centre for the Humanities, University of Utrecht (May 28 2014)

& a graduate student Masterclass on the Foucauldian concept of critique at the same University (May 28 2014).

I presented papers at the SPEP annual conference in Eugene, Oregon (Oct 2013); at the Terra Critica ‘Expert Seminar at Utrecht University (Nov 2013); and at the ASCP annual conference in Sydney (Dec 2013).

Along with co-editors Jana Sawicki and Chris Falzon, I published the Blackwell A Companion to Foucault (2013).

Part of my own contribution is a translation of Daniel Defert’s “Chronologie”, an 80-page outline of Foucault’s life and work, originally published in Dits et Ecrits, vol.1, 1994.

On May 9, 2013 I gave a paper entitled “The Critique of Ethical Experience” at the Department of Philosophy Seminar, HKU.

On April 26, 2013 I took part in a Workshop on “Intuitions” in the Department of Philosophy, HKU. My paper: “Go Watch TV!”: Mad Men’s Moral Intuitions.

 

HKU COUNCIL CONTROVERSY

  • On Nov 19th 2015, I was elected to HKU Council.
  • Facebook page of  HKU Vigilance 港大警覺
  • I co-organised a campus Silent Protest March in defence of institutional autonomy and academic freedom at HKU, Tuesday Oct 6th 2015. Video HERE.
  • I spoke at a protest rally on HKU campus on Friday Oct 9th 2015: video HERE.
  • I took part in a discussion of the threat to academic freedom at HKU: RTHK Radio 3 “Backchat” on Oct 7, 2015. HERE
  • I took part in a discussion of the HKU Council controversy on RTHK Radio 3 “Backchat” on Sept 2, 2015. HERE
  • I published an Opinion piece in the South China Morning Post (August 19, 2015) discussing recent events at HKU.

 

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