Sellbach, Undine


  • Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research), Humanities

Research activity per year

Personal profile



Undine is a philosopher, artist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Dundee. Her research brings together philosophy, ethology, psychoanalysis, feminism and performance to rethink the entanglements of a more-than-human world.

She has a PhD in Philosophy from the Australian National University called "Illustrated Nonsense" on the ethical and imaginative dimensions of Wittgenstein's thought. Since then she has taught Philosophy both inside and outside the discipline, including working with students in Art, Architecture and Performance, the Humanities and the Medical and Life Sciences. She is co-editor of The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies (2018) and is currently completing a book on the speculative ethologies of the biologist Jakob von Uexküll. 

Alongside her academic writing, she makes philosophy performance works and is the author of the children’s book The Floating Islands (2006). Her creative work has been presented at international festivals and events such as The Edinburgh International Book Festival (2007); The Peacock Theatre & Kelly's Garden (2012); Theatre, Performance, Philosophy (Sorbonne, 2014); The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (2015) and Liquid Architecture's Why Listen to Animals? (2016) and is documented at


Undergraduate Modules

Philosophy, Science, Imagination

Feminist Philosophies & Queer Theories

Introduction to Aesthetics

Plato and the Good Life

Introduction to Scientific Methods and Creativity

Human Futures

Postgraduate Modules

New Realisms and Materialisms

Philosophies of Imagination

Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities

Summer School - Environmental Humanities Workshop

Research Areas

Undine's current major research interests are:

  • Performance Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • New Materialisms
  • Environmental Humanities and Posthumanities
  • Animal Studies
  • Feminist Philosophy

She would welcome PhD proposals in these areas.

She is a member of the Scottish Centre for Continental Philosophy.

AHRC funded studentships are available in these research areas.

Selected Publications

Speculative Ethologies: Philosophical Strolls through A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds, with S. Loo, Palgrave/Springer [forthcoming 2019]. 

The Edinburgh Companion to Critical Animal Studies, with L Turner, R Broglio, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2018. 

“Performance.” The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

“Introducing the Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies” with L Turner, and R Broglio, The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2018.

 “The Blind and Deaf Highway Woman” with S. Loo, The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice. Edited by Emily Orley and Katja Hilevarra, Taylor and Francis, London, 2018.

“Mistress O & the Bees: A Whirlwind of Insects Inside the Body of a Girl,” with S. Loo, Poetic Biopolitics: Political and Ethical Practices in the Arts and Humanities. Edited by P. Rawes, S. Loo and T. Matthews, I.B. Tauris, 2016.

“Insect Affects: the big and the small of the entomological imagination in childhood,” with S. Loo, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, special issue: “Affective Ontologies. Post-human Perspectives on Affect.”  Edited by Gerda Roelvink and Magdalena Zolkos. 20:3: 2015, 79-88.

“Insects and other Minute Perceptions in the Baroque House,” with S. Loo, Deleuze and the Non-human. Edited by H. Stark and J. Roffe, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

“The technics of Uexküll’s picture book laboratory,” with S. Loo, in Being Human: Between Animals and Technology. Edited by R. Broglio and F. Young. Taylor and Francis, 2015.

“A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds: Semblances of Insects and Humans in Jakob von Uexküll’s Laboratory,” with S. Loo, Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, special issue “we have never been human, from techne to animality.” Edited by R. Broglio and F. Young. 18:1: 2013, 45-64.

“Eating (with) Insects: Insect Gastronomies and Upside Down Ethics,” with S. Loo, Parallax, special issue “Bon Appétit.” Edited by L. Turner and L. Kelley, 19:1: 2013, 12-28.

“The Archipelago of Old Age and Childhood: Creaturely Life in the Floating Archipelago,” Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, special issue “Animals, Literature and the Visual.” Edited by S. McHugh and R. McKay. Vol 24: Spring 2013, 68-74.

“The lives of animals: Wittgenstein, Coetzee and the extent of the Sympathetic Imagination,” Animal Others and the Human Imagination: Explorations of the non-human in Self-Understanding. Edited by A. Vallely and A. Gross, Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2012.

“The traumatic effort to understand in Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.” Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human-Animal Relations. Edited by E. Leane and Y. Watt, Sydney: Ashgate, 2011.

“Affordable Places” with R. Fay Making Sense of Place. Edited by F. Vanclay, M. Higgins and A. Blackshaw, Canberra: National Museum of Australia, 2008.

“Difference and Attunement: Wittgenstein’s Vision of Community.” Collected in Conference Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy, 2002.

Selected Creative Works

The Blind and Deaf Highway Woman, with Stephen Loo, 2016. [Performance Philosophy work]

The Grasshopper Cabaret, with Stephen Loo, 2012-2015.    [Performance Philosophy work]

Mistress O & The Bees, with Stephen Loo, 2010 - 2012. [Performance Philosophy work]

The Floating Islands. Written and designed by Undine Sellbach, with illustrations by Udo Sellbach and music by Undine Sellbach and Mikel Simic, Hobart: The Words Sound and Picture Company, 2006. [Children's book]

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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