Catherine Malabou,


Catherine Malabou is a French philosopher. She is currently professor in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University. Malabou graduated from the École Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines (Fontenay-Saint-Cloud). Her doctorate was obtained under the supervision of Jacques Derrida from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. Her dissertation became the book The Future of Hegel: Temporality, Plasticity and Dialectic (Routledge, New York, 2005).

Central to Malabou's philosophy is the concept of “plasticity,” which she derives in part from the work of Hegel, as well as medical science, for example, from work on stem cells and from the concept of neuroplasticity. Her book The New Wounded (Bayard, Paris, 2007), concerns the intersection between neuroscience, psychoanalysis, and philosophy, thought through the phenomenon of trauma. In the last few years, Malabou has tackled an increasing range of themes and topics in her writing. Coinciding with her exploration of neuroscience is a growing commitment to political philosophy, as evident in What Should We Do with Our Brain? (Fordham University Press, New York, 2009) and The New Wounded, as well as in her book on feminism, Changing Difference (Polity Books, Cambridge, 2011).

Malabou is currently co-authoring a book with Adrian Johnston on affects in Descartes, Spinoza, and neuroscience, and is preparing a new book on the political meaning of life in light of the most recent biological discoveries (mainly epigenetics). The latter work will discuss Giorgio Agamben's concept of "bare life" and Michel Foucault's notion of biopower, underscoring the lack of scientific biological definitions of these terms, and the political meaning of such a lack.