philosophy

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Elese B. Dowden
PhD Candidate in Philosophy
School of Historical & Philosophical Inquiry
University of Queensland
e.dowden@uq.edu.au

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Theses
Reconciling the Impossible: Forgiveness and Grief in Contemporary Rwanda, New Zealand and Australia, 2015-2018
Currently I am working on a PhD thesis under Associate Professor Marguerite La Caze at the University of Queensland in St Lucia. This project focusses on grief, forgiveness and shame and develops a framework for reconciliation. I aim to apply this framework to the post-colonial contexts of New Zealand, Australia and Rwanda in order to draw conclusions about how each society might achieve ethical restoration.

Global poverty: perspectives on gender, nationalism and global justice, 2014, The University of Auckland
This thesis examines some of the key factors in causing the widespread poverty that exists across the globe today, and offers some solutions. I take a contemporary moral cosmopolitan perspective and closely consider the impacts of ethno-cultural nationalism and gender in conjunction with a skewed global economic order that intertwines with a deeply embedded patriarchal structure. The role of gender in global poverty is also explored, as women are disproportionately affected by poverty.

Albert Camus and the meaning of life, 2013, The University of Auckland
This thesis aims to answer the question: If life has no transcendent, objective meaning, is the struggle towards the heights enough to fill a person’s heart? I consider Camus’ work in The Myth of Sisyphus and examine artefacts of popular culture in order to draw some conclusions about his work in existentialist philosophy.

Publications
Othered Body, Obscene Self(ie): A Sartrean Reading of Kim Kardashian-West, Hecate 42.2 (2018) (currently in press)

Presentations
2017
Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference: ‘Colonial Mind, Colonised Body: Structural Violence and the New Zealand Prison System,’ University of Tasmania, December 2017

Australasian School of Continental Philosophy Postgraduate Day Panel: ‘Building Intellectual Communities Beyond the Academy,’ University of Tasmania, December 2017

Excess, Desire and Twentieth-to Twenty-First Century Women’s Writing Conference: ‘Keeping Up with Public Discourse: A Sartrean reading of ‘obscene’ and Othered bodies,’ University of Queensland, February 2017

2016
Atonement Roundtable Presentation: ‘Atonement in Aotearoa: Decolonizing New Zealand in the 21st Century,’ University of Queensland, December 2016

Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference Paper: ‘Fanon in Aotearoa: Colonial violence and Otherness in contemporary New Zealand culture,’ Deakin University, December 2016

World Philosophy Day, Popular Culture Symposium: ‘An Existential Krisis For the 21st Century: A Sartrean Reading of Kim Kardashian-West,’ University of Queensland, November 2016

Fears and Anxieties in the 21st Century, 3rd Global Meeting, Special Focus: Testimony Paper: ‘Memory, Trauma and Reconciliation in Australian Aboriginal Film,’ University of Oxford, September 2016

2015
Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy Conference Paper, ‘A Maximal Forgiveness-Based Account of Reconciliatory Justice: The Rwandan Genocide and Ethical Restoration,’ University of New South Wales, December 2015

Awards
2018, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Fellowship
Fellowship with Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland

2017, John Dalton Travel Bursary
Travel Grant, Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy

2015 – 2018, PhD Scholarship
Australian Research Council-Funded Scholarship in Ethical Restoration after Oppressive Violence

2017, Candidate Development Award
Travel Grant, University of Queensland Graduate School

2016, Travel Funding Award
Travel Grant, University of Queensland School of Historical & Philosophical Inquiry