Visiting Scholars & Students

Current Visiting Students

Filip Brzeźniak


Filip Brzeźniak is a PhD student in Philosophy at the Graduate School for Social Research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. His dissertation is concerned with the historical and speculative relations between melancholy, materialism, and radical emancipatory politics. His other research interests include rhetorical criticism of philosophy and political discourse, psychoanalysis of fantasies and social imaginaries, research on the relations between the far right and ecology/environment, the critique of political/economic theology, and the Frankfurt School. He is currently working on an issue of Praktyka Teoretyczna/Theoretical Practice journal, concerned with the Actuality of the Frankfurt School (in Polish). 


Daniela Tolchinsky

Daniela Tolchinsky is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She is currently a UCEAP Reciprocity student in the History of Consciousness Program at UCSC. Daniela’s research interests include group agency, collective subjectivity, historical justice, and conceptions of sovereignty. Her PhD project explores the connection between collective subjectivity and emancipatory politics. She is interested in the cultivation of collective subjectivity as a mode for generating group-agents, and how the conceptual centering of universals or individuals, by contrast, limits the possibility of collective agency. Daniela is originally from New York. She graduated from University of Chicago with a BA in Political Science and International Studies after completing an Honors thesis on the limits of the Argentine transitional justice process. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Daniela worked as a community organizer engaged in anti-occupation work in Israel and Palestine.

Current Visiting Scholars

Prashan Ranasinghe


Prashan Ranasinghe is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa and between January and May 2024, Visiting Scholar in the History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz. He was trained in criminology and the sociology of law. His first book, Helter-Shelter: Security, Legality and an Ethic of Care (University of Toronto Press, 2017), which received an honourable mention at the Canadian Law and Society Association book prize, 2018, is in line with this type of thinking and interests. More recently his work has moved into philosophy and the humanities more broadly which has given rise to his forthcoming book, The Homelessness of Being: Heidegger and the Meaning of Existence (University of Alberta Press, December 2024). Based upon this line of inquiry, he is currently working on a project on the relation between philosophy and theology with a specific focus upon Heideggerian and Nietzschean thinking as it has shaped 20th and 21st century Western philosophy.


Past Visiting Scholars

Gianluca Bonaiuti 

Professor Gianluca Bonaiuti

Gianluca Bonaiuti is Professor of Storia delle dottrine politiche (History of Political Ideas) in Department of Political and Social Sciences at University of Florence (Università degli Studi di Firenze). His education took place between Florence, Pisa, Paris, London, Bielefeld. His research concerns Political Theory, Theory of History (Tempo a senso unico, Milan, Mimesis, 1999; La catastrofe e il parassita, Milan, Mimesis, 2004, with Alessandro Simoncini), Political Concept of People (Corpo sovrano, Rome, Meltemi, 2006; Il governo del popolo III. Dalla Comune di Parigi alla prima guerra modiale, Rome, Viella, 2014, with Gianni Ruocco and Luca Scuccimarra), Political Violence (Senza asilo, Verona, Ombrecorte, 2011), Utopia (Una teoria politica della finzione, Verona, Ombrecorte, under publication). He is the editor of the italian translation of books by Niklas Luhmann, Boris Groys, Peter Sloterdijk. His last book, published in 2019, is Lo spettro sfinito. Note sul parassitismo metodico in Peter Sloterdijk (Milano, Mimesis).

Nathalie Grandjean

Nathalie Grandjean

Nathalie Grandjean holds a PhD in Philosophy (UNamur, 2018) and joined the CESIR, University Saint-Louis, Brussels ( in October 2021 for 3 years as FNRS research fellow, under the supervision of Prof. Benedikte Zitouni. The climatic bodies project explores the political bodies of the Anthropocene, attempting to rethink embodiment, subjectivation, and temporalities from feminist and ecofeminist writings. She authored as a co-editor “Corps et Technologies. Penser l’hybridité” (with Claire Lobet, Peter Lang, 2012) and “Valeurs de l’attention” (with Alain Loute, Presses du Septentrion, 2019) and as main author “Généalogies des corps de Donna Haraway. Féminismes, diffractions, figurations” (Presses de l’ULB, 2021) and "Le visage capturé. De la reconnaissance faciale au distanciel" (Presses universitaires de Louvain, 2022). In 2019-2020, she was a visiting lecturer at UCLouvain (Belgium), as well as a visiting lecturer and researcher at the University of Technology of Compiègne (Sorbonne Universities, France).  She is also member of the Board of Sophia, the Belgian gender studies network, and a member of the management committee of the Advanced Master in Gender Studies.

Past Visiting Students

Simon Reiners

Visiting Student Simon Reiners

Simon Reiners is a doctoral student at the Department of Social Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt am Main. Simon's research focuses on the concept of materiality and on nature-culture relations in the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School and New-Materialist Feminist epistemology and critique. In his project, he analyses the entanglement of body and knowledge in the works of respective authors Nietzsche, Adorno, Haraway and Barad. These writers read the body as the side of inscribing relations of domination and, at the same time, the side of recognizing them to open up agency of resisting and re-shaping. Simon studied Philosophy and Social Science in Glasgow, Virginia and Frankfurt, where he also gained his M.A. degree in Philosophy and Social Science. He further teaches ethics and social theory at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt.

María de la Cruz Vilas


María de la Cruz Vilas is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Santiago de Compostela where she is teaching in the ungraduate course Ecology and Philosophy, Contemporary History of Philosophy: Ninteenth Century and History and Philosophy of Religions. Maria’s dissertation is titled “Interweaving of Fiction and Reality. The Materiality of Discourse in Donna Haraway”. The main point is to investigate through Donna J. Haraway’s work how a more-than-human ontology can imply new ways of understanding discourse and knowledge and thus other forms of discourses in which the boundaries separating fiction and reality are no longer so clear. By focusing on the work of Donna Haraway, the fundamental objective of her dissertation can be described as an analysis of the tension between fiction, materiality and discourse, as well as the modes in which the articulation of this tension multiplies the world or makes “worlding” possible. Onto-epistemology, discourse and politics are thus understood from this point of view as inseparable. 

Silvestre Gristina

 Visiting Student Silvestre Gristina

Silvestre Gristina (Palermo, 24/02/1994) is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at the University of Padua. He is spending the 2021-2022 school year as a Visiting Ph.D. student in the History of Consciousness Program at UCSC.
His research project aims to investigate the reception of Fichte’s transcendental philosophy in the Left Hegelians and young Marx's thought, paying special attention to the influence of Fichtean categories both on the development of Hess and Cieszkowski's philosophy of action, as well as on Marx’s philosophy of praxis. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy at the University of Bologna in 2016. In the academic year 2017-18, he spent two semesters at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, within the EU’s Erasmus program. He then graduated with a Master's degree in Philosophical Sciences at the University of Bologna in 2019.
During his Ph.D., he spent a semester (Feb - Jul 2021) at the  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. His research interests extend to classical German philosophy, young Hegelians thought Marx's philosophy and the twentieth-century development of Marxist philosophy.

Dexter Martin

Visiting Student Dexter Martin

Dexter Martin is a PhD student in the Institute for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos, Mexico. He is spending the 2022-2023 school year as a Visiting Graduate Scholar in the History of Consciousness Program at UCSC. Dexter's research interests include political subjectivity, aesthetics in politics, representation in cultural studies, subjectivity processes in social movements, and media studies. His PhD project explores a critique of certain traditional notions of the concept of subjectivity. He proposes a conceptual stance that opens the way to processes that offer a different point of view from identity politics, that is, a political use of a transformed self. He is currently trying to mobilize these concepts through different social phenomena: budism, modern revolts characterized by lack of leadership, Zapatismo, the use of masks as a political mean, queer theory, internet anonymity and invisibility, etc. Dexter was born in San Diego, but moved to Mexico when he was a teenager. He graduated from the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos with a BA in Philosophy after completing a thesis on Hannah Arendt's concept of banality applied to modern societies.