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Ms Catherine Malabou

Professor of Philosophy at the CRMEP


After studying at the the University of Paris-Sorbonne and the Ecole Normale Supérieure at Fontenay Saint-Cloud, I passed the "agrégation" of Philosophy and wrote my PhD at the Ecoles des Hautes Etudes under the supervision of Jacques Derrida. I then became a Maître de Conférences at the University of Paris-Nanterre. I was appointed as a professor of philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University in 2011. In 2016, I was appointed at the University of California at Irvine in Comparative Literature and European Languages and Studies. This one semester chair is the one previously attributed to Jacques Derrida.

Areas of specialism

  • Contemporary Continental Philosophy
  • German Idealism
  • Neuroscience
  • Epistemology of Biology
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Women Studies


  • PhD Paris Ehess 1994
  • Habilitation Thesis University of Strasbourg 2003
  • Former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure Saint-Cloud
  • Agrégation of Philosophy


For many years now, I have explored the concept of plasticity. Starting with the philosophy of Hegel (Hegel is the first philosopher to confer plasticity the diginity of a concept), I then extended my research to contemporary neurobiology, in which plasticity is a central concept. Neural plasticity designates the ability of the brain to shape iself under the influence of experience, education and culture, but also of accidents and trauma. In my book The New Wounded, I proposed a rereading of Freud in the light of the most recent neuro-psychoanalytic studies an redefinition of traumatic events.

More recently, I was interested in speculative realism and wrote  book (After Tommorrow, Epigenesis and Rationality, 2016) to answer some of Quentin Meillassoux's provocative arguments about the necessity to "relinquish the transcendental". This gave me the oportunity to propose a new reading of Kant, revolving around the motif of epigenesis.

Research student supervision


Number of items: 47.


Malabou, Catherine (2016) Before and above : Spinoza and symbolic necessity. Critical Inquiry, 43(1), pp. 84-109. ISSN (print) 0093-1896

Malabou, Catherine (2016) Philosophers, Biologists, Philosophers, Biologists: Some More Effort If You Wish to Become Revolutionaries! Response to Norman MacLeod. Critical Inquiry, ISSN (print) 0093-1896 (In Press)

Malabou, Catherine (2016) The brain of history or the mentality of the Anthropocene. SAQ : South Atlantic Quarterly, 116(1), ISSN (print) 0038-2876 (In Press)

Malabou, Catherine and Wasserman, Dashiell [Translator] (2015) The Crowd. Oxford Literary Review, 37(1), pp. 25-44. ISSN (print) 0305-1498

Malabou, Catherine (2015) L'intelligence des ordinateurs. Art Press(39), pp. 213-216. ISSN (print) 0245-5676

Malabou, Catherine (2015) One life only: Biological resistance, political resistance. Critical Inquiry, ISSN (online) 1539-7858

Malabou, Catherine (2015) Phantom limbs and plasticity : Merleau-Ponty and current neurobiology. Chiasmi International, 17, pp. 41-52. ISSN (print) 1637-6757

Malabou, Catherine (2015) Une seule vie : resistance biologique, resistance politique. Esprit(1), pp. 30-40. ISSN (print) 0014-0759

Malabou, Catherine (2014) Can we relinquish the transcendental? The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 28(3), pp. 242-255. ISSN (print) 0891-625X

Malabou, Catherine (2014) Is retreat a metaphor? Public, 25(50), pp. 35-42. ISSN (print) 0845-4450

Malabou, Catherine (2014) Sujet : femme. De(s)générations(21), pp. 29-42. ISSN (print) 1778-0845

Malabou, Catherine (2014) The king’s two (biopolitical) bodies. Representations, 127(1), pp. 98-106. ISSN (print) 0734-6018

Malabou, Catherine and Ziarek, Ewa Plonowska (2012) Negativity, unhappiness or Felicity: on Irigaray's dialectical culture of sexual difference. L'Esprit Createur: a critical quarterly of French literature, 52(3), pp. 11-25. ISSN (print) 0014-0767

Malabou, Catherine (2011) Like a sleeping animal: philosophy between presence and absence. Inaesthetics(2), pp. 79-89.

Malabou, Catherine (2011) Souffrance cerebrale, souffrance psychique et plasticite. Etudes: revue de culture contemporaine, 414(4), pp. 487-498. ISSN (print) 0014-1941

Malabou, Catherine (2010) Modification in being and time, or the form of difference. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 31(2), ISSN (print) 0093-4240

Malabou, Catherine (2010) Qué es formar el cuerpo? Papel Maquina: revista de cultura(5), pp. 31-36. ISSN (print) 0718-6576

Malabou, Catherine (2009) How is subjectivity undergoing deconstruction today? Philosophy, auto-hetero-affection, and neurobiological emotion. Qui Parle, 17(2), pp. 111-122. ISSN (print) 1041-8385

Malabou, Catherine and Vahanian, Noelle [Interviewer] (2008) A Conversation With Catherine Malabou. Journal For Cultural And Religious Theory, 9(1), ISSN (online) 1530-5228

Malabou, Catherine (2007) Plasticity and elasticity in Freud's beyond the pleasure principle. diacritics, 37(4), pp. 78-86. ISSN (print) 0300-7162

Malabou, Catherine (2001) History and the process of mourning in Hegel and Freud. Radical philosophy(106), pp. 15-20. ISSN (print) 0300-211X


Malabou, Catherine and Shread, Carolyn [Translator] (2016) Before tomorrow : epigenesis and rationality. Polity Books. 224p. ISBN 9780745691503

Malabou, Catherine (2014) Avant demain: épigenèse et rationalité. Paris, France : Les Presses Universitaires de France. 337p. ISBN 9782130630456

Johnston, Adrian and Malabou, Catherine (2013) Self and emotional life: philosophy, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience. New York, U.S. : Columbia University Press. 304p. ISBN 9780231158312

Malabou, Catherine and Shread, Carolyn [Translator] (2012) Ontology of the accident: an essay on destructive plasticity. Cambridge, U.K. : Polity Books. 152p. ISBN 9780745652603

Malabou, Catherine and Miller, Steven [Translator] (2012) The new wounded, from neurosis to brain damage. Bronx, USA : Fordham University Press. 288p. ISBN 9780823239672

Malabou, Catherine and Shread, Carolyn [Translator] (2011) Changing Difference, The Feminine And The Question Of Philosophy. Cambridge UK : Polity Books. 180p. ISBN 9780745651095

Malabou, Catherine and Skafish, Peter [Translator] (2011) The Heidegger change. On the fantastic in philosophy. New York, U.S.A. : SUNY Press. 224p. (SUNY Series in Contemporary French Thought) ISBN 9781438439556

Malabou, Catherine (2011) La Plasticidad en Espera. Santiago de Chile : Palinodia. 103p. (Archivo Feminista) ISBN 9789568438296

Malabou, Catherine (2010) Plasticity at the dusk of writing: dialectic, destruction, deconstruction. New York, U.S.A. : Columbia University Press. 96p. (Insurrections) ISBN 9780231145244

Malabou, Catherine and Butler, Judith (2010) Sois mon corps: Une lecture contemporaine de la domination et de la servitude chez Hegel. Paris, France : Bayard Jeunesse. 126p. ISBN 9782227481442

Malabou, Catherine and Emmanuelli, Xavier (2009) La Grande Exclusion. L'Urgence Sociale : Therapeutique et Symptomes. Paris, France : Bayard Publishing. 250p. (Essais documents divers) ISBN 9782227479159

Malabou, Catherine (2009) La chambre du milieu: de Hegel aux neurosciences. Paris, France : Hermann. ISBN 9782705667795

Malabou, Catherine and Rand, Sebastian [Translator] (2008) What should we do with our brain ? New York, U.S. : Fordham University Press. (Perspectives in Continental Philosophy)

Malabou, Catherine (2005) The future of Hegel: plasticity, temporality, and dialectic. New York, U.S.A. : Routledge. 242p. ISBN 9780415287203

Malabou, Catherine, Derrida, Jacques and Wills, David [Translator] (2004) Counterpath: traveling with Jacques Derrida. Stanford, U.S. : Stanford University Press. 330p. ISBN 0804740410

Book Section

Malabou, Catherine (2013) Go wonder: subjectivity and affects in neurobiological times. In: Johnston, Adrian and Malabou, Catherine, (eds.) Self and emotional life: philosophy, psychoanalysis, and neuroscience. New York, U.S. : Columbia University Press. pp. 1-72. ISBN 9780231158312

Malabou, Catherine (2012) Post-trauma: towards a new definition? In: Cohen, Tom, (ed.) Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change. Michigan, U.S.A. : Open Humanities Press. pp. 226-238. (Critical Climate Change) ISBN 9781607852377

Malabou, Catherine (2011) Is confession the accomplishment of recognition? Rousseau and the unthought of religion in The Phenomenology Of Spirit. In: Zizek, Slavoj , Crockett, Clayton and Davis, Creston, (eds.) Hegel & the Infinite: Religion, Politics And Dialectic. New York, U.S.A. : Columbia University Press. pp. 19-30. (Insurrections) ISBN 9780231143356

Butler, Judith and Malabou, Catherine (2011) You be my body for me: body, shape, and plasticity in Hegel's Phenomenology Of Spirit. In: Baur, Michael and Houlgate, Stephen, (eds.) A companion to Hegel. Oxford, U.K. : Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 611-640. ISBN 140517076X

Malabou, Catherine (2010) De la transparence cerebrale comme eclipse du temps. In: Fleischer, Alain, (ed.) Vitesses Limites. Paris, France : Seuil. (Le genre humain, no. 49) ISSN (print) 0293-0277 ISBN 9782021038200

Malabou, Catherine (2010) Le destin social de la selection naturelle: comment choisir sans intention d'eliminer ? In: Prochiantz, Alain, (ed.) Darwin: 200 ans. Paris, France : Odile Jacob - College de France. pp. 227-242. (Travaux du College de France) ISBN 9782738125224

Malabou, Catherine (2010) Trace psychique et trace synaptique parlent-elles la meme langue? In: Magistretti, Pierre and Ansermet, Francois, (eds.) Neurosciences et psychanalyse: une rencontre autour de la singularite. Paris, France : Odile Jacob. pp. 51-72. (College de France) ISBN 9782738124159

Malabou, Catherine (2009) Bouche cousue: de l'homeostasie [With sealed lips. On homeostasis]. In: Pontbriand, Chantal, (ed.) Harun Farocki/Rodney Graham. Paris, France : Blackjack editions. ISBN 9782918063032

Malabou, Catherine (2009) L'eternel retour et le fantome de la difference. In: Pornschlegel, Clemens and Stingelin, Martin, (eds.) Nietzsche und Frankreich. Berlin, Germany : Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110193312

Malabou, Catherine (2009) Swan lake: bleu comme les neurones. In: Bernard, Christian and Davila, Thierry, (eds.) Claude Leveque. Paris, France : Flammarion. pp. 126-133. ISBN 9782080301277

Malabou, Catherine, Carlisle, Clare [Translator] and Sinclair, Mark (2008) Addiction and Grace Preface to Felix Ravaisson's Of Habit. In: Ravaisson, Felix , Carlisle, Clare and Sinclair, Mark, (eds.) Of Habit. London : Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 9781847061980

This list was generated on Tue Jan 16 04:51:26 2018 GMT.

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