Conference on Michel Serres and Bruno Latour

In May, David will be speaking at a forthcoming conference at the Maison française d’Oxford (with the support of La Fondation Michel Serres-Institut).

Eclaircissements (Conversations on Science, Culture and Time) is the original title of the volume of five dialogues between Michel Serres and Bruno Latour published in 1992. Widely translated, this book reflects a time of intense and joyous dialogue and of sharing ideas. The aim of this conference is to shed new light on their philosophical dialogue, explore how their views compare, clash, dovetail and/or are mutually enriching.  How do, for instance, Le Contrat Naturel and Politiques de la Nature, Biogée and Gaia, echo each other. This conference seeks to examine the legacy of Michel Serres in the light of his relation to Bruno Latour and identify continuities and fault lines between the two oeuvres. Beyond the question of legacy, the conference hopes to bring to the fore the ways in which both challenged modern categories to reconnect philosophy with the urgent questions concerning the Earth. The conference will also seek to explore how their respective philosophical practices, as they are breaking away from the traditional codes of academic writing, fashioned an idiosyncratic style of their own and allowed them to engage a larger readership and audience.


  • Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent
  • Henriette Korthals-Altes


  • Frédérique Aït-Touati (EHESS)
  • Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (Univ Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne)
  • Steven Connor (Kings College, Cambridge)
  • Martin Crowley (Cambridge)
  • Elie During (Université Paris Nanterre)
  • Henriette Korthals-Altes (Maison Française d’Oxford)
  • Catherine Larrère (Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne)
  • Lilian Kroth (Freiburg University)
  • Simon Schaffer  (Cambridge University)
  • Massimiliano Simmons (Maastricht University)
  • Victor Simmonet (Université Paris 8)
  • David Webb (Staffordshire University)

Keynote – Annual Conference of The British Society for Phenomenology

I was in Manchester at the end of August for the annual conference of The British Society for Phenomenology. I first attended the conference as a MA student sometime around 1985 and later served Secretary of the Society for seven years. It was an honour to be invited back as a keynote speaker to give a talk ‘Michel Serres and the Natural Contract: Intersubjectivity, Science and Politics. (David Webb)

Bill Ross – Order and the Virtual: the Philosophy and Science of Deleuzian Cosmology

Our late friend and colleague’s book Order and the Virtual: the Philosophy and Science of Deleuzian Cosmology (Edinburgh University Press, 2024) is moving through the production stages and we’re looking forward to its publication around April next year. Many thanks to Patrick Haughton for the wonderful cover art. There’ll be a launch event, so watch this space.

PhD Success – Lilian Kroth (Cambridge University)

It was a great pleasure to be the external for Lilian Kroth’s PhD examination at Cambridge University last month. Lilian wrote a really fine thesis entitled Michel Serres’s Philosophy of Limits. Passages between the Philosophy of Science and Critical Theory. Lilian’s work is always worth reading, and here’s an example: Lilian Kroth, ‘Entropy’s Critical Translations: Following Serres’s Path through the North-West-Passage’, Technophany Vol 2(2), 2023.

Staffordshire Visiting Speakers

As most of our students and postgraduate researchers work with us online our Visiting Speaker program is also held online. Our guests share work in advance, which is then discussed at live events. The events are recorded for those students unable to attend at the time. Recent speakers include:

Ulrich Haase (Manchester Metropolitan University) Heidegger and Nietzsche – Phenomenology and Ontology

Katrina Mitcheson (University of the West of England) Pregnancy as a Metaphor of Self-Cultivation in Nietzsche’s Dawn

Michael Granado (Staffordshire University)  Gaston Bachelard’s Philosophy of Time

William Watkin (Brunel University), On Bioviolence

Joost van Loon (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt), Historical Materialism and Actor Network Theory.

Niki Young (University of Malta) Only Two Peas in a Pod: On the Overcoming of Ontological Taxonomies