Skip to main content
I am Professor of Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. I have recently completed a period as a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow (2018-2021) awarded for the project 'Sex Difference in Natural History'. The main outcome of this research is my forthcoming book, Vegetal Sex: Philosophy of Plants, to be publised by Bloomsbury in autumn 2022.
I have published widely in the Philosophy of Sex and Gender, including my books Plato and Sex (2010), How to Read Beauvoir (2006), and The Metaphysics of Love: Gender and Transcendece in Levinas (2010). I am co-editor, with Mandy Merck, of Further Adventures of the Dialectice of Sex: Critical Essays on Shulamith Firestone (2010) and, with Peter Osborne, Philosophies of Race and Ethnicity (2002). I have also published widely in critical philosophy of race, especially in relation to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and on philosophy and psychoanalysis. I teach on all of the postgraduate courses in philosophy and supervise MA and MPhilStud dissertations, as well as PhD supervision. I also teach on the BA English Literature course and the Humanities Foundation course. I welcome enquiries from potential research students in plant philosophy, philosophy of natural history, critical philosophy of race, philosophies of sex and gender and philosophy and psychoanalysis especially, but supervise in many areas in Modern European Philosophy. In both my teaching and my research I adopt a strongly interdisciplinary approach and encourage the same in students. My future projects include a book of philosophy for teenagers/young adults.
I am a member of the Executive Committee of the British Philosophical Association. Outside of academic life I am the Chair of the Board Governors of a local primary school.
Professor of Modern European Philosophy
I teach on all the postgraduate courses in Philosophy and on some undergraduate and foundation courses in Humanities. In 2022–23 my postgraduate teaching duties will include the modules Kant and His Legacy (Kant's first Critique and his philosophy of race), Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, and Modes of Subjection.
I am the Course Leader for the MPhilStud (Master of Philosophical Studies) in Philosophy.
Vegetal Sex: Philosophy of Plants (forthcoming, Bloomsbury, 2022)
In recent years philosophers, botanists and mycologists have drawn our attention to the complexities of plant and fungal life. They have taught us why plants are better thought as colonies than individuals and how animal-centred ways of thinking fail to capture what is peculiar and perhaps admirable in vegetal life. They have taught us to appreciate the temporality and intricacy of vegetal existence and suggested how relations between plants might provide us with non-individualistic models of coexistence. But they have not, as yet, taught us much – if anything – about vegetal sex.
This book introduces the reader to the exciting new field of plant philosophy and takes it in a new direction to ask: what does it mean to say that plants are sexed? Do ‘male' and ‘female' really mean the same when applied to humans, trees, mushrooms and algae? Are the zoological categories of sex really adequate for understanding the – uniquely ‘dibiontic' – life cycle of plants?
Vegetal Sex addresses these questions through a detailed analysis of major moments in the history of plant sex, from Aristotle to the modern day. Tracing the transformations in the analogy between animals and plants that characterise this history, it shows how the analogy still functions in contemporary botany and asks: what would a non-zoocentric, plant-centred philosophy of vegetal sex be like?
By showing how philosophy and botany have been and still are inextricably entwined Vegetal Sex allows us to think vegetal being and, perhaps, to recognise the vegetal in us all.
This research was funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Major Research Fellowship, 2018–2021).
My next project will be a book on philosophy for teenagers/young adults.
Sandford, Stella (2019) From Aristotle to contemporary biological classification : what kind of category is "Sex"? Redescriptions, 22(1), pp. 4-17. ISSN (online) 2308-0914
Sandford, Stella (2018) Race and sex in Western philosophy : another answer to the question 'What does it mean to orient oneself in thinking?'. Critical Philosophy of Race, 6(2), pp. 180-197. ISSN (print) 2165-8684
Sandford, Stella (2017) Freud, Bion and Kant : epistemology and anthropology in The interpretation of dreams. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 98(1), pp. 91-110. ISSN (print) 0020-7578
Sandford, Stella (2016) The dream is a fragment : Freud, transdisciplinarity and early German Romanticism. Radical Philosophy(198), pp. 25-34. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2015) Contradiction of terms : feminist theory, philosophy and transdisciplinarity. Theory, Culture & Society, 32(5-6), pp. 159-182. ISSN (print) 0263-2764
Sandford, Stella (2015) The Pregnant Male as Myth and Metaphor in Classical Greek Literature. Classical Review, 65(1), pp. 18-20. ISSN (print) 0009-840X
Agnew, Eadaoin, Alliez, Eric, Auerbach, Paul, Blackburn, Robert, Botting, Fred, Brady, Mary, Caygill, Howard, Chadwick, Howard, Chanter, Tina, Choat, Simon, Chu, Jonathan, Cinpoes, Radu, Coultas, Valerie, Dines, Martin, Dixon, Paul, Favretto, Ilaria, Finn, Peter, Giaxoglou, Korina, Goldsmith, Carlie, Hallward, Peter, Hawkins, Sue, Haywood, Peter, Higginbottom, Andrew, Ichijo, Atsuko, Isaac, Marina, Jensen, Meg, Kayyali, Reem, Kettyle, Ann, Lambrou, Marina, Latimer, Amanda, Linton, Marisa, Lipsedge, Karen, Malabou, Catherine, O Maoilearca, John, McQuillan, Martin, Micklethwaite, Paul, Morgan Wortham, Simon, O'Brien, Catherine, Osborne, Peter, Pinnock, Winsome, Piper, Jason, Ponto, Maria, Raphael, Sam, Reid, Trish, Roberts, Mike, Rogers, David, Sandford, Stella, Searby, Michael, Siddiki, Jalal Uddin, Smart, Jackie, Spencer, Philip, Stockhammer, Engelbert, Stuart, John, Suess, Eleanor, Swift, Allan, Upstone, Sara, Vallee-Tourangeau, Frederic, Wells, Julian and Wilson, Scott (2014) Education should be a right for all. The Guardian,
Sandford, Stella (2013) Spontaneous generation: the fantasy of the birth of concepts in Kant’s 'Critique of pure reason'. Radical philosophy(179), pp. 15-26. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2011) Sex: a transdisciplinary concept. From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1). Radical philosophy(165), pp. 23-30. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2008) 'All human beings are pregnant': the bisexual imaginary in Plato's Symposium. Radical Philosophy(150), pp. 24-35. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2006) Book Review of: Simone de Beauvoir: philosophe, by Michel Kail. Radical Philosophy(140), pp. 51-53. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2006) Sexually ambiguous: Eros and sexuality in Plato and Freud. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 11(3), pp. 43-59. ISSN (print) 0969-725X
Sandford, Stella (2005) Thinking sex politically: rethinking 'Sex' in Plato's Republic. South Atlantic Quarterly, 104(4), pp. 613-630. ISSN (print) 0038-2876
Sandford, Stella (2005) Book Review of: Simone de Beauvoir, edited by Margaret A Simons with Marybeth Timmerman and Mary Beth Mader. Radical Philosophy(133), pp. 52-55. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2004) Book Review of: Abstract sex: philosophy, bio-technology and the mutations of desire by Luciana Parisi, and The sex appeal of the inorganic, by Mario Perniola. Radical Philosophy(127), pp. 35-40. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2003) Book Review of: Beyond sex and gender by Wendy Cealey Harrison and John Hood-Williams. Radical Philosophy(118), pp. 36-38. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2002) Book Review of: Truth and singularity: taking Foucault into phenomenology by Rudi Visker. Radical Philosophy(113), pp. 43-45. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (2002) Book Review of: An introduction to feminist episteologies by Alessandra Tanesini, and Illusions of paradox: a feminist epistemology naturalized by Richmond Campbell. Mind, 111(442), pp. 491-499. ISSN (print) 0026-4423
Sandford, Stella (2000) Book Review of: The Edinburgh encyclopedia of continental philosophy by Simon Glendinning (ed.). Radical Philosophy(102), pp. 42-45. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1999) Contingent ontologies: sex, gender and 'woman' in Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler. Radical Philosophy, 97, pp. 18-29. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1999) Book Review of: African-American philosophers: 17 conversations by George Yancy (ed.). Radical philosophy(95), pp. 55-57. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1999) Book Review of: Liberation and purity: race, new religious movements and the ethics of postmodernity by Chetan Bhatt. Radical Philosophy(95), pp. 57-58. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1999) Levinas in the realm of the senses: transcendence and intelligibility. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 4(3), pp. 61-73. ISSN (print) 0969-725X
Sandford, Stella (1998) She loves me, she loves me not... Book Review of: 'Love between equals: a philosophical study of love and sexual relationships' by John Wilson. Times Higher Education Supplement, ISSN (print) 0049-3929
Sandford, Stella (1998) Book Review of: Levinas: an introduction by Colin Davis, and Basic philosophical writings by Emmanuel Levinas. Radical Philosophy(87), pp. 49-50. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1997) Book Review of: In spite of Plato: a feminist rewriting of ancient philosophy by Adriana Cavarero. Radical philosophy(81), pp. 50-51. ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Sandford, Stella (1996) Book Review of: 'Emmanuel Levinas: the genealogy of ethics' by John Llewelyn. Radical philosophy, 80, ISSN (print) 0300-211X
Merck, Mandy and Sandford, Stella, eds. (2010) Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex: Critical Essays on Shulamith Firestone. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. 304p. (Breaking Feminist Waves) ISBN 9780230100299
Sandford, Stella and Osborne, Peter, eds. (2002) Philosophies of race and ethnicity. London, U.K. : Continuum. 220p. ISBN 0826459943
Sandford, Stella (2000) The metaphysics of love: gender and transcendence in Levinas. London, U.K. : Athlone Press. 179p. ISBN 0485115662
Sandford, Stella (2021) The 'thought-work' ; or, the exuberance of thinking in Kant and Freud. In: Vassilopoulou, Panayiota and Whistler, Daniel, (eds.) Thought : a philosophical history. Abingdon, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 219-235. ISBN 9780367000103
Sandford, Stella (2020) 'Envy accompanied with antipathy' : Bentham on the psychology of sexual 'ressentiment'. In: Julius, Anthony , Quinn, Malcolm and Schofield, Philip, (eds.) Bentham and the Arts. London, U.K. : UCL Press. pp. 71-87. ISBN 9781787357389
Sandford, Stella (2018) Genos, sex, gender and genre. In: Malmkjaer, Kirsten , Serban, Adriana and Louwagie, Fransiska, (eds.) Key cultural texts in translation. Amsterdam, The Netherlands : John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 9-24. (Benjamins translation library, (140)) ISBN 9789027200402
Sandford, Stella (2018) From Geschlechtstrieb to Sexualtrieb : the originality of Freud's conception of sexuality. In: Gipps, Richard and Lacewing, Michael, (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. Oxford, U.K. : Oxford University Press. (Oxford Handbooks) (In Press)
Sandford, Stella (2017) Beauvoir's transdisciplinarity: from philosophy to gender theory. In: Hengehold, Laura and Bauer, Nancy, (eds.) A companion to Simone de Beauvoir. Hoboken, U.S. : Wiley Blackwell. pp. 15-27. (Blackwell companions to philosophy, (65)) ISBN 9781118796023
Sandford, Stella (2017) Kant's legacy. In: Morgan, Anthony, (ed.) The Kantian catastrophe? Conversations on finitude and the limits of philosophy. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, U.K. : Bigg Books. pp. 65-80. ISBN 9781999841300
Sandford, Stella (2016) Feminist phenomenology, pregnancy, and transcendental subjectivity. In: Bornemark, Jonna and Smith, Nicholas, (eds.) Phenomenology of pregnancy. Huddinge, Sweden : Sodertorn University. pp. 51-70. (Sodertorn Philosophical Studies, (18)) ISSN (print) 1651-6834 ISBN 9789187843389
Sandford, Stella (2014) "Sex" and "sexual difference". In: Cassin, Barbara , Apter, Emily , Lezra, Jacques and Wood, Michael, (eds.) Dictionary of untranslatables: a philosophical lexicon. Princeton : Princeton University Press. pp. 972-973. ISBN 9780691138701
Sandford, Stella (2013) The incomplete Locke: Balibar, Locke and the philosophy of the subject. In: Balibar, Etienne, (ed.) Identity and difference: John Locke and the invention of consciousness. London, U.K. : Verso. pp. xi-xlvi. ISBN 9781781681343
Sandford, Stella (2010) The dialectic of The Dialectic of Sex. In: Merck, Mandy and Sandford, Stella, (eds.) Further Adventures of the Dialectic of Sex. Basingstoke, U.K. : Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 235-253. (Breaking Feminist Waves) ISBN 9780230100299
Sandford, Stella (2007) The origins and ends of 'sex'. In: Kerslake, Christian and Brassier, Ray, (eds.) Origins and ends of the mind: philosophical essays on psychoanalysis. Leuven, Belgium : Leuven University Press. pp. 163-183. ISBN 9789058676177
Sandford, Stella (2005) Writing as a man: Levinas and the phenomenology of Eros. In: Katz, Claire and Trout, Lara, (eds.) Emmanuel Levinas: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers. London, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 369-387. IV ISBN 0415310547
Sandford, Stella and Osborne, Peter (2002) Introduction: philosophies of race and ethnicity. In: Sandford, Stella and Osborne, Peter, (eds.) Philosophies of Race and Ethnicity. London, U.K. : Continuum. pp. 1-9. ISBN 0826459943
Sandford, Stella (2002) Levinas, feminism and the feminine. In: Critchley, Simon and Bernasconi, Robert, (eds.) The Cambridge companion to Levinas. Cambridge, U.K. : Cambridge University Press. pp. 139-160. ISBN 0521662060
Sandford, Stella (2001) Masculine mothers? Maternity in Levinas and Plato. In: Chanter, Tina, (ed.) Feminist Interpretations of Emmanuel Levinas. University Park, Pennsylvania : Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 180-202. ISBN 0271021136
Sandford, Stella (1996) Feminist philosophy and the fate of Hegel's Antigone. In: Griffiths, M. and Whitford, M., (eds.) Women Review Philosophy: New Writing by Women in Philosophy. Nottingham : Nottingham University Press.
Sandford, Stella (2009) Of Gods and men: the Timaeus and the universal ontology of sex. In: Philosophy seminars; 19 Mar 2009, Hatfield, U.K.. (Unpublished)
Sandford, Stella (2008) Of Gods and men: the natural beginning of sex? In: Fourth Annual Joint Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and the Forum for European Philosophy; 29 - 31 Aug 2008, Dublin, Ireland. (Unpublished)
Sandford, Stella (2008) Beauvoir: the transformation of philosophy and philosophical transfiguration. In: The legacies of Simone de Beauvoir: 16th Simone de Beauvoir Society Conference; 13 - 15 Jun 2008, Newcastle, U.K.. (Unpublished)