I am interested in the relationship between language and social norms and values. I see language as an immensely powerful tool. It’s not just a means of sharing information; it also shapes what we believe, how we feel, how we act, and even what there is in the world.  I’m especially interested in the relationship between language and systems of oppression (which Toni Morrison describes wonderfully in her Nobel Prize Lecture). My work is a combination of philosophy of language (especially speech act theory), ethics, and feminist philosophy. I also like to draw from linguistics, sociology, and law.

My PhD project,  ‘Speech, Sex, and Social Norms’, funded by the Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership and supervised by Rae Langton and Clare Chambers, explored different ways norms of gender and sexuality are enforced through speech.

I run a weekly philosophy of language reading group at Cambridge; you can sign up to the mailing list here.


My current working papers include:

  1. ‘Blaming, Shaming, and Responsibility’ – forthcoming, Journal of Moral Philosophy
  2. ‘On Flirting’ – in progress, for Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex
  3. ‘Reading is Fundamental’ (about the act of ‘throwing shade’), in RuPaul’s Drag Race and Philosophy, 2019
  4. ‘The Nature of Uptake’ – revisions in review
  5. ‘Sluts and Slurs’ – in review
  6. ‘Cat-Calling and Compliments’ – in review
  7. ‘Policing Speech’  –  in progress
  8. ‘Online Speech Acts’ – in progress