Keohane, Oisin



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Personal profile


Oisín has taught philosophy at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Europe, South Africa, and Canada. His research has received Mellon funding in Canada, AHRC funding in the UK and NRF funding in South Africa.

Oisín is interested in bringing the continental tradition in philosophy to bear on 1) nationalism studies, 2) language politics and translation theory, and 3) art criticism and art history.

Oisín’s latest book is Cosmo-nationalism. His next two projects are:

1) How to Do Things with 'Anglobalisation': Towards Linguistic Justice

In my second book project, I argue that rather than being simply for or against English as a world language (what I call ‘Anglobalisation’), one needs to find, in specific contexts, the best negotiation between linguistic justice and transnational democratic needs. This research can be divided into four aspects: 1) reconceptualising languages in the age of ‘Anglobalisation’, 2) the philosophy of globalisation, 3) linguistic justice, and 4) philosophical untranslatables. The book revisits some of the major ideas of the linguistic turn via the emerging field of linguistic justice, with a view to providing solutions to the dominance of English in philosophy and the world at large.

2) The Abrahamic Nude and the ‘Naked Truth’

My work on philosophy and the nude is mostly conceptual in nature, in that it seeks to use nudes to investigate certain key concepts, but my work is also embedded in a series of historical contexts (from Ancient Greece to the present day). It thus pursues certain abstract questions, such as what the ontology of modesty is, but it does so by studying how modesty (via its Latin roots – pudor, pudica, pudicitia, pudeur, etc.) came to dominance in certain historical moments, such as the Renaissance. My work is thus interdisciplinary in nature, since it responds to both how philosophers have discussed the nude and how art historians have discussed the nude. My work then discusses how certain concepts pertaining to the nude, such as modesty, have a relationship to truth, such that truth is pictured as modest, something needed to be covered up and not revealed all at once. I thus differentiate a notion of the naked truth from truth as modesty. I also engage with theological debates on the topic of nudity, especially with regard to Christianity and Islam. With Islam, I focus on the concept of what the Qur’an calls taqwa and examine Charlie Hebdo and its notorious naked image of the Prophet Muhammad. Finally, my work is also methodically distinctive in that it discusses a wide range of media, including film, sculpture, painting, photography, and performance art.

Oisín would welcome PhD proposals in three areas in particular: 1.) nationalism and cosmopolitanism 2.) the globalisation of English, translation theory and language politics and 3.) the work and legacy of Jacques Derrida/Stanley Cavell/Barbara Cassin.

Oisín currently teaches on modules dedicated to aesthetics, Descartes, philosophising in tongues, philosophy and politics, feminism, and phenomenology. He teaches on both the Art and Philosophy (AP) BA and the Master of Fine Arts with Arts and Humanities (MFA-AH) run between Humanities and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. He is a member of the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy.


Research interests

My research primarily explores issues of linguistic justice, 'Anglobalisation', and philosophical nationalism. One of my case studies is the South African TRC. Another strand of my research explores film-philosophy, feminism, and the nude.

I cross the analytic-continental divide, and the three 'traditions' that most influence me are: Phenomenology (esp Heidegger and Derrida), the Frankfurt School (esp Adorno and Benjamin) and so-called Ordinary Language Philosophy (esp Cavell).

Wider Research Interests:
Continental Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Language, Aesthetics, Philosophy and Film, Philosophy and Painting, Philosophy and Literature, History of Philosophy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Member of The South African Centre for Phenomenology

1 Jan 2013 → …


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