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Professor William Watkin
Professor - English

Gaskell Building 119


William Watkin is Professor of Contemporary Philosophy and Literature. He has been at Brunel University since 1999. During that time he has served as Head of English (twice), Deputy Head of research for the School, Deputy Head of the School, and most recently head of English and Creative Writing.

William wrote English’s successful RAE2008 bid and supervised the early stages of our successful REF 2014 bid overseeing the school’s internal mock-REF. He was also intimately involved in developing our successful NSS strategy which led to English and Creative Writing being ranked as high as sixth in the country in 2015. Under his leadership as Divisional Lead English and Creative Writing 2014-2016 recruitment figures for students doubled in number while English and Creative Writing as remained solidly in the top fifteen departments in the UK.

Prof. Watkin’s research is well-established and wide-ranging. He began his career working on contemporary poetics and literary theory. He has since changed emphasis and is now one of the world’s leading specialists on contemporary continental philosophy. He has written two books on Agamben and two books on Badiou as well. Of late he has also extended his horizons working on more political issues cohering around the topics of violence and biopolitics. This has led to numerous pieces of journalism on issues pertaining to capital punishment, surveillance, terrorism, war and technology. He is currently working on a book-length study of what he calls Bio-Violence.

Research Areas:

  • Continental philosophy
  • Literary Theory
  • Contemporary Poetics
  • Violence
  • Biopolitics

        Newest selected publications

        Watkin, W. (2017) 'Badiou and Indifferent Being: A Critical Introduction to Being and Event'. Bloomsbury Academic. ISSN 10: 1350015660 ISSN 13: 9781350015661 Open Access Link


        Watkin, W. (2017) 'Tabularity: Poetic Structure in Shelley, Agamben, Badiou, and Husserl'. CounterText, 3 (2). pp. 187 - 202. ISSN: 2056-4406 Open Access Link

        Journal article

        Watkin, W. (2016) 'The Time of Indifference: Mandelstam's Age, Badiou's Event, and Agamben's Contemporary'. CounterText, 2 (1). pp. 85 - 99. ISSN: 2056-4406 Open Access Link

        Journal article

        Watkin, WD. (2014) 'Agamben and Indifference: A Critical Overview'. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield International. ISSN 13: 978-1-78348-008-1


        Watkin, W. (2013) 'The Poetics of Presentation: Lyn Hejinian's My Life Project and the Work of Giorgio Agamben'. Textual Practice, 27 (2). pp. 225 - 248. ISSN: 0950-236X

        Journal article
        More publications(24)