Megan Hughes

Megan Hughes, BA (Camb.), MA (ENS Lyon)


I undertook a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Cambridge in Modern and Medieval Languages (French with ab initio Russian), before completing a two-year Master’s degree in Comparative Literature at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon, France. I am currently reading for a DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages at Balliol College.


My doctoral research is concerned with questions of bodily otherness as studied through the lens of 20th Century French thought.  I will primarily be working on the philosophical writings of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to produce a phenomenological model of illness as subjective experience in an othered body. I am looking to use this model to explore other forms of bodily othering, such as queerness, and the ways in which bodily otherness shapes perceptions of the self, our relationship to the Other (autrui) and ways of being in the world, in order to find parallels between diverse experiences of othering.

I am currently an active member of a Junior Research Laboratory based at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, TPG (Théories et performances des genres). TPG brings together Master’s students and doctoral candidates, as well as post-doctoral researchers and university professors from a range of institutions, to consider questions of gender, sexuality and queerness, as well as the ways in which these identities and experiences can find expression in art and in academic work. Most recently, I organised an event focusing on the interactions between medical environments and queer experiences, with contributions from medical professionals, sexual health workers and trans activists.


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