Mathijs Peters is a university lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.
I am mainly interested in different forms of critique: social, cultural, literary, philosophical, and political. This interest originated in a concern with the normative basis of the critical writings of authors like Nietzsche, Adorno, Habermas and Foucault on religion, culture, society, conceptuality and subjectivity. My focus then shifted to corporeality and the role that bodily suffering and bodily empathy play in the moral and critical theories of Schopenhauer, Adorno and Merleau-Ponty. Studying these authors, I expanded my focus to the critical potential of literary works, analyzing writings by Tolstoy, De Sade, Kafka, Proust, Beckett, Pessoa and Coetzee. A similar interest made me explore different representations of alienation as developed by Hegel, Marx, Fromm, Marcuse, Honneth, Camus, Thoreau, Houellebecq and more. This same interested sparked a focus on that which could be understood as the opposite of alienation, resulting in research on Hartmut Rosa’s concept of resonance, especially on its aesthetic dimensions. Currently, I am focused on the critical potential of modern, popular culture, mainly of popular music, as well as on representations of selfhood in graphic novels and on social media.
Before coming to Leiden, I studied philosophy at Utrecht University and spent a year at the philosophy and political science departments of the New School for Social Research, expanding my knowledge of Critical Theory, Moral Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and German Ideology. This year in New York was funded by a Nuffic Talentenbeurs and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. Subsequently, I undertook my PhD-research at the University of Essex, UK. During this time, I also spent a year at the Institut Catholique de Paris to study French Phenomenology. Following my PhD-research in Essex, I worked as a research fellow at the Kolleg Postwachstumsgesellschaften of the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany, and lectured at Utrecht University's Ethics Institute.
At Leiden University, I teach at the department of Literary and Film studies. I also teach various courses at the Leiden University College in The Hague.
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