Universiteit Leiden

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Mathijs Peters


Dr. M.A. Peters
+31 71 527 2727

Mathijs Peters is a Lecturer at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Mathijs Peters


I am mainly interested in different forms of critique: social, cultural, literary, philosophical, economic and political. This interest originated in a concern with the normative basis of the critique developed by 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. Currently, I am focused on the critical potential of modern, popular culture, mainly of television series and music. I am also researching Judith Butlers later work, mainly her ideas about vulnerability and grief, as well as the critical role that embodiment can play in the field of Critical Analysis. 

Curriculum vitae

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 the tradition of 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.  

Teaching acitivities

At Leiden University, I teach courses at the department of Literary and Film studies. I not only teach theoretical and rather abstract courses (‘Literature and Theory: Derrida, Foucault, Butler’, ‘Tekst- en Beeldanalyse’ and ‘Literatuurbenaderingen 1 and 2’), but also an introduction to Cultural Analysis (‘Representatie’).


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • Literatuurwetenschap

Work address

Arsenaalstraat 1
2311 CT Leiden
Room number B2.01



No relevant ancillary activities

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