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Personal profile

Research interests

Zöe Sutherland’s main research is on the politics and aesthetics of contemporary artistic practice, focusing on the complex ‘global’ character of this period. Zöe's specialism is in the Conceptual Art movement of the 1960s-70s, often taken to be the index of art’s ‘globalisation’. By situating Conceptual Art within a more general and heterogenous ‘conceptualist’ tendency inherent to postwar artistic practice in many parts of the world, Zöe’s work attempts to trace the varying manifestations—and resistances—to the conceptual form that emerged through the radical politics and aesthetics of different regions.

Zöe also writes about feminist theory and politics, focusing on issues of gender, social reproduction, reproductive labour and reproductive technologies. Her emerging research interests are around the intersection of gender, race, class and old age, analysing the set of complex and varied trajectories—relation to work, reproductive labour, the family, state benefits—that impact upon socio-economic positions in later life. She is especially interested in how the triple problem of the financial crisis, the housing crisis and the issue of an ageing population will impact economically, psychologically and emotionally in the near future, and what kind of radical alternatives to housing for the elderly might be possible.

Zöe's broader research interests include continental philosophy, critical theory, the global history of contemporary capitalism and historical forms of radical and revolutionary politics. She is the Module co-ordinator for ‘The History of Sex and Gender’ on the BA (Hons) Critical Histories degree within the Humanities programme.

Supervisory Interests

Zöe is particularly interested in supervising MA and PhD theses on any aspect of feminist theory or politics, and gender studies, in addition to work on contemporary art practice. She is also interested in supervising in the following areas: Marx and Marxism; Kantian and Post-Kantian continental philosophy; critical theory; philosophical aesthetics and contemporary political struggles.

Scholarly biography

Zöe completed a BA Honours degree in Modern European Philosophy and English Literature at Middlesex University, an MA in Philosophy at King’s College, London and a DPhil in Philosophy at University of Sussex.

Following this, Zöe worked as the Research Assistant for Eric Hobsbawm on his final publication 'Fractured Times: Culture and Society in the 20th Century'. 

Zöe was a Visiting Lecturer at Lingnan University in Hong Kong and at the University of Sussex, and worked as a Lecturer in the Humanities department at Brighton for several years before finally taking up her full-time position as Senior Lecturer in 2016.


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