About Me

I am a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge, funded by the Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. My project, supervised by Rae Langton, focuses on the relationship between language and shame. I’m using ideas from philosophy of language, linguistics, feminist philosophy and ethics to construct a model of what I’m tentatively calling ‘shame speech’. Some specific topics I’m interested in are:

  • Pejorative language, like insults and slurs
  • Thick concepts and terms
  • Definitions of hate speech
  • Cat-calling
  • Self-conscious emotions
  • Normative generics
  • Norms, normalisation and norm-enforcement

Before my PhD I did the BPhil, a two year master’s degree in philosophy at Oxford. My thesis, supervised by Tim Williamson, was on the semantics of the word ‘slut’ and the pragmatics of the utterance ‘You’re a slut’. I’m hoping to publish a section of that thesis soon. Before that, I studied PPE at Oxford as an undergraduate.

Since January 2018 I’ve convened a Philosophy of Language reading group here at Cambridge, and I am a secretary of the Moral Sciences Club for 2018-2019.

Other stuff

I am a session leader for the Cambridge University Outreach programme, which aims to widen participation in higher education in the UK. I run workshops with school groups in which we discuss issues like hate speech, free speech, and political injustice. I was a first generation university student, and I am passionate about making higher education more accessible and diverse. I’m always happy to be contacted about outreach work. You can email me at lm675@cam.ac.uk.

I have also been involved in the University’s Breaking the Silence initiative, and am interested in ways university spaces can better prevent sexual misconduct and support those who experience it.


When not thinking about philosophy, I like playing the saxophone and hanging out with my dogs.