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Dr Shahidha Bari, BA PhD (Cambridge) MA (London)




Shahidha Bari

My work spans across the fields of culture, politics and philosophy, but I started my studies with a BA in English at King’s College Cambridge in 1999.  You can read a little about my undergraduate days at the end of this interview here.

After completing studies at the universities of Cambridge, London and Cornell, I became Lecturer in Romanticism at Queen Mary in 2011 and now teach across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules

Alongside teaching, I’m also a founding member of the intellectual salon, How to Live, a project dedicated to cultivating academic and artistic engagements with politics, philosophy, and contemporary life, and I sit on the editorial board of New Formations: A journal of culture/theory/politics.  I am also a trustee of Arts Emergency, a charity dedicated to encouraging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to study arts subjects at university.

In 2011, I was selected as one of ten AHRC BBC Radio 3 'New Generation Thinkers'.  You can hear me regularly on Radio 4’s Front Row and read my reviews in Times Higher Education and the Guardian.


Research interests:

  • Fashion and philosophy, cultural history of clothes
  • Romantic Poetics:  Keats, Shelley and Byron
  • Islam and Arab Culture in relation to the West: 18thC to the present.
  • Contemporary Philosophy, specifically Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy 
  • Architecture and Modern Art

Recent and On-Going Research

My first book, Keats and Philosophy, published in 2012, explored Keats’s poetic mediations on friendship, mortality, and war, casting him as a startling modern thinker.  Since then, I have continued to work in poetics, philosophy and culture.  

In recent years, my research has branched out, examining European engagements with Islam and the East, spanning the period from the eighteenth-century to the present.

I have a keen interest in continental philosophy, particularly deconstruction, phenomenology and psychoanalysis, and I’ve also spent time thinking and writing about modern art and architecture.

My newest project is on fashion, philosophy and the cultural history of clothes.  I’m trying to work out why what we wear matters - if you have any ideas, do drop me a line!


Listening for Leila: The Re-direction of Desire in Byron’s ‘Giaour’’, European Romantic Review (December 2013), 24:5

Keats and Philosophy: The Life of Sensations (Routledge, 2012)

‘Lyrics and Love Poems: Poems to Sophia Stacey, Jane Williams and Mary Shelley’, in The Oxford Handbook of Shelley Studies, ed. M. O'Neill, A. Howe and M. Callaghan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

‘Feeling Friendship: Keats’s “This Living Hand” and the Sonnets on the Elgin Marbles’, in The Hand of the Interpreter: Essays on Meaning after Theory, ed. E. Jarosinski and M. Mitrano (Oxford: Verlag Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 107-34

‘Living On After Derrida’, Naked Punch Supplement, 11 (2008), 7-10

‘Being in the Care of Philosophy: Thinking about Rachel Corrie’, New Formations, 70 (2011), 7-22

Entries on 'Julia Kristeva', 'Orientalism', 'Jacqueline Rose, 'Edward Said', and 'Robert Young', for The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, 3 vols (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)

Co-founder and contributor to How to Live.  Recent features include: ‘How to Live’, ‘On Justin Coombes’ Eden’, ‘Rothko’s Religion’, ‘On Richter’s Betty and Ella’, ‘How to Live after Derrida and Darwish’.

See also my Queen Mary Research Publications profile


PhD Supervision

I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

Public engagement

You can read about some of my media and public appearances here.

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