Cressida Heyes Phd

Eloy La Brada


My research interests lie in the philosophy of gender & sexuality, metaphysics & meta-metaphysics, and social philosophy. I also maintain subsidiary projects in the history of philosophy, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of literature. My work draws from both “analytic” and “continental” traditions, so-called, in an effort to address shared philosophical problems through diverse means.

I am currently a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Alberta, where I concurrently hold a fellowship in the Department of Philosophy. I previously taught Philosophy and French at Middlebury College, where I was also an Executive Member in the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2014-2015). Prior to that I served as an Assistant Instructor in Comparative Literature at Princeton University (2009-2014) and as a research fellow in the Centre d’Études féminines et d‘Études de Genre and the Collège international de philosophie (2006-07), as well as in the Philosophy Department at l’École normale supérieure, rue d’Ulm (2010-2011).

With Dr. Cressida Heyes, I am developing a social ontological project on gender dysphoria and the philosophy of mind. I seek to contribute to the existing literature in feminist and social philosophy that has offered critiques of the ways contemporary Western, and particularly North American, culture is held in the grip of tacit, idealized images of what it is to “have” a body. Drawing from recent findings in phenomenological, neuro-scientific, and analytic investigations of embodied cognition, I suggest that the taxonomy and terminology of “dysphoric genders” in contemporary psychiatry and psychology (DSM-5), a term for those said to feel incongruent or non-coincident with their embodiment, presupposes an untenable normative view that there is such a thing as a “normal” embodiment of gender that would never be affected by states of alienation, self-difference, disownership, or unease. But what makes us think that “normal” gendered embodiment was ever fully self-coincident and congruent? And what happens to our accounts of gendered embodiment when bodily unbelonging can no longer serve as a pathologizing criterion to distinguish “normal” from “dysphoric” genders?

Another project includes a monograph exploring contemporary debates in feminist meta-ontology concerning sexed kinds, assessing antirealist accounts of “sex” and reevaluating the sex/gender distinction. My purpose is not to prove antirealist theories of sexed kinds true but to show how most arguments against antirealism do not definitively prove that they are not. A part of the work, through using the test case of sex, is to demonstrate how antirealism about sexed kinds could be or might be metaphysically true and, beyond that, politically useful.


Refereed Publications (Selected)

—2016: “Unlivable Loves: Hélisenne, Nietzsche, and the Metaphysics of Love” JNT 46 (1): 1-38.

—2016: “Categories We Die For: Ameliorating Gender in Analytic Feminist Philosophy” PMLA.

—Forthcoming: Inventing Agency: Essays on the literary and philosophical origins of the modern subject, co-edited with Claudia Brodsky [Bloomsbury Publishing]

—Forthcoming: “Unsexing Subjects: Marie de Gournay on the Ontology of ‘Sex’” in Inventing Agency

 Conference Presentations and Lectures (Selected)

—2015: Co-organizer with Executive Committee of Middlebury Gensler Symposium in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies: “Punishing Bodies: Feminist Responses to the Carceral State”

—2015: “Critics of Substance: Locke, Hume, and Nietzsche on the Fiction of the Substantive Subject.” MLA Conference Vancouver, Canada.

—2014: Co-organizer, “Private Languages in the Early Modern Era.” Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Conference, Princeton University.

—2007: “La Cage de Gaze: Rousseau, Madame d’Épinay, et l’histoire de la philosophie” Symposium in French Cultural Studies, Columbia University, Reid Hall, Paris

Teaching Experience (Selected)

At Middlebury College

—2015: Romanticism/Existentialism/Feminism (FREN221)

—2015: Identity (FREN210)

—2014: The Senses in the History of Philosophy (PHIL389)

 Honors & Awards (Selected)

—Visiting Scholar Appointment, University of Alberta, 2016-

—Recruitment Fellowship, University of Alberta, 2015-2016.

—Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship, Princeton University, 2012-2013.

Bourse d’accueil, Pension Fellowship, École Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, 2010-2011.

—Presidential Fellowship, Princeton University, 2007-2012.

—VPUE Faculty-student Research Grant, Stanford University, 2003.


— profile:

—Philpapers profile:

—Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love:


Courses for 2017


Dead to the World: Rape, Unconsciousness, and Social Media


2016-17 speakers