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Alice Monypenny

Philosophy, University of Nottingham

Thesis title:

Epistemic Injustice and 'Safe Space' Policies

My thesis looks at how contemporary public debates around ‘Safe Space’ policies tie into important issues around inclusive education and discursive norms. It incorporates aspects of virtue and vice epistemology, philosophy of education, feminist philosophy and philosophy of race in order to create a conceptual framework for understanding what safe spaces are and should be. I aim to develop an understanding of safety which is sensitive to vulnerabilities that arise as a result of social identity and oppression. In particular, I am interested in the level of authority agents have when recounting their experiences of oppression and how discursive norms should reflect this authority. 

I have a blog where I write about my research and its application to current affairs and academic life.

From February-April 2019 I undertook a research placement at the University of Connecticut, supervised by Professor Heather Battaly.

Research Area

  • Philosophy


Forthcoming, Between Vulnerability and Resilience: A Contextualist Picture of Protective Epistemic Character Traits, Journal of Philosophy of Education.



  • 'Epistemic Character Damage', Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Nottingham 


  • 'Epistemic vice and characterological harm', (Invited Speaker) Epistemic Vices: Individual and Collective, University of Liverpool
  • 'Should classrooms be safe?', (Invited Speaker) Just Philosophy 4, University of Nottingham
  • 'Protective Epistemic Character Traits', Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Nottingham
  • '"Safety" does not mean the same thing to everyone: Thinking about Safety and Discomfort', (Invited Speaker) Educational Inquiry Network, University of Nottingham
  • 'Learning from Harm: Protective Epistemic Traits and Variations in Student Self-Protection', Silencing, Prejudice and Resistance, University of Stirling
  • 'Protective Epistemic Character Traits', University of Connecticut Graduate Conference

  • 'What roles do Safety and Comfort play in Inclusive Education?', School of Education Annual Research Conference 'Identity and Education: New Perspectives', University of Birmingham
  • 'Safety and Comfort in Education', Workshop on Inclusive Education, University of Nottingham
  • 'Inappropriate Answerability', Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Nottingham 
  • 'Is Safety Valuable in Education?', Understanding Value VII, University of Sheffield
  • 'Vice and Protection: Using Vice Epistemology in Definitions of Safety', (Invited Speaker) Vice Epistemology Workshop, University of Sheffield
  • 'What is Safe about Safe Spaces?' (Poster), Philosophy of Education Society GB Annual Conference, New College, Oxford
  • 'What is Safe about Safe Spaces?', Societal Implications: Applying Philosophy Outside of the Academy, University of Boston
  • 'Safe Classrooms and Epistemic Development', Postgraduate Research Seminar, University of Nottingham
  • 'Illocutionary Silencing in Different Contexts', Philosophy in Progress, University of Nottingham

  • 'Understanding Self-Doubt', (Invited Speaker) Epistemic Vice and Corruption, University of Nottingham
  • 'When is there a Right to Challenge? Respectful Discussion in Different Contexts', Don't Know, Don't Care: Vienna Forum for Analytic Philosohy 6th Graduate Conference, University of Vienna
  • 'Respectful Discussion, Experience and Expertise', Tartu Graduate Conference on the Epistemology of Disagreement, University of Tartu

  • 'A Philosophical Defence of Safe Spaces', Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar, University of Bristol
  • 'The Epistemic Limitations of Philosophy', Postgraduate Workshop, University of Bristol 


Philosophy of Education Society Great Britain

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Society for Women in Philosophy UK