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Tom Chesworth

Languages and Literature, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

A Genealogy of Alienation in Post-Beauvoirian Philosophies of Gender

My thesis begins with an assessment of the role Marxism plays in Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe (1949), and particularly the ways in which Beauvoir utilises Marx’s concept of alienation to develop a radical philosophy of gender. The remainder of the thesis explores how traces of this philosophy of gendered alienation can be found in the works of later feminist, queer, and trans thinkers influenced by Beauvoir’s landmark text, particularly Shulamith Firestone, Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, Karen Barad, and Paul B. Preciado.

Research Area

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Languages and Literature


'Bondage and Dominance: Mythologies of Sex in Beauvoir's Hegel.' Conference of the International Simone de Beauvoir Society. University of Helsinki, 16th–19th August 2023.

'The Absence of Simone de Beauvoir in the History of French Marxism.' Conference of the UK Sartre Society. University of Oxford, 3rd–4th July 2023.

'The Blood of Others: Blood, Sex, and Hegel in Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex.' London Conference in Critical Thought. London Metropolitan University, 30th June–1st July 2023.

'Trapped Between Subject and Object: The Marxian Ontology of The Second Sex.' Society for French Studies Postgraduate Conference. King's College, London, 19th May 2023.

'Faire is the Heaven: Action and Utopia in Simone de Beauvoir's Pyrrhus and Cineas.' School of Languages, Cultures, Art History, and Music Annual Conference. University of Birmingham, 3rd May 2023.

'"Vous êtes un philosophe, donc anticommuniste": Simone de Beauvoir's Transition to Marxism, 1945–55.' Department of Modern Languages Postgraduate Research Gathering. University of Birmingham, 18th April 2023.