Ms Catherine Malabou


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.

Academic responsibilities

Professor of Philosophy at the CRMEP


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

Teaching and learning


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). My last book (Columbia UP, 2019) is Morphing Intelligence, From IQ Measurement to Artificial Brains.

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 6.


Malabou, Catherine and Shread, Carolyn [Translator] (2018) The animal rationale that is Jacques Derrida : a response to "Of Biodeconstruction". Postmodern Culture, 29(1), ISSN (online) 1053-1920

Malabou, Catherine (2017) The brain of history or the mentality of the Anthropocene. SAQ : South Atlantic Quarterly, 116(1), pp. 39-53. ISSN (print) 0038-2876

Malabou, Catherine (2016) Philosophers, Biologists, Philosophers, Biologists: Some More Effort If You Wish to Become Revolutionaries! Response to Norman MacLeod. Critical Inquiry, 43(1), pp. 200-206. ISSN (print) 0093-1896

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

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

Book Section

Malabou, Catherine (2017) Power and performance at play : a question of life or death. In: Street, Anna , Alliot, Julien and Pauker, Magnolia, (eds.) Inter views in performance philosophy: crossings and conversations. London, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 127-138. (Performance philosophy) ISBN 9781349951918

This list was generated on Mon Sep 28 06:29:15 2020 BST.