Ross Speer

 Ross Speer

Research topic:
Louis Althusser's Aleatory Materialism
Degree course:

Research Themes:
Political Theory Feminism History Ideology Power Revolution Socialism Political thought and ideologies 

Academic Profile

I am a 4th year DPhil student in Political Theory based at The Queen's College. My dissertation is provisionally titled Louis Althusser's Aleatory Materialism and is being supervised by Professor David Leopold. For the 2016 - 17 academic year I was a Visiting Researcher at Sciences Po, Paris. Before joining the University of Oxford I earned my BA in History & Politics at Queen Mary, University of London (2009 - 12) and my MSc in Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Politics Science (2012 - 13).

My work is concerned with unearthing the concept of 'Aleatory Materialism' that dominated the final stages of Althusser's work (principally 1982 - 86), and examining it as a response to problems Althusser identifies with both his own earlier work and with Marxist theory more generally. The purpose is to demonstrate the value of Althusser's later thought as a contribution to a contemporary renewal of emancipatory social and political theory. My wider research interests include history of political thought, Marxist political philosophy and feminism.

I was a co-covenors for the University of Oxford's 5th annual Graduate Political Theory Conference, the topic of which was Feminism and (Political) Progress (2016) and Oxford's 4th annual Graduate Political Theory Conference, on Political Theory at the Margins (2015).


Teaching specialism, interests and experience

2015: 'Contemporary Marxist Theory' tutorials for New College, Arcadia University Exchange Programme (designed and taught).

Available for teaching Marx and Marxism, Theory of Politics, Political Thought: Bentham to Weber.


Conference Papers and Presentations

2017: 'Gramscism, the New Left and problems of socialist strategy: the case of 7 Days' . Wars of Position: Marxism and Civil Society Conference. University of Manchester.

2015: ‘Marxism and Feminism: A critique of Lise Vogel’s social reproduction theory’. Social and Political Thought Conference: Feminism & Critical Theory. University of Sussex.

2015: ‘Machiavellian Marxists; Comparing aspects of Gramsci’s and Althusser’s interpretations of Machiavelli’. Past and Present: Philosophy, Politics and History in the Thought of Gramsci Conference. Kings College London.

2015: ‘Marxism, Feminism and Privilege’. Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy Graduate Conference: Philosophy, Power, Potentialities. Kingston University, London.

2014: ‘Machiavellian Marxists: Comparing aspects of Gramsci’s and Althusser’s interpretations of Machiavelli’. Historical Materialism Conference. School of Oriental and African Studies, London.