Dr Diane Morgan

Dr Diane Morgan


I am Lecturer in Cultural Studies within the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds.

I teach a range of interdisciplinary modules including "Live Issues and Contemporary Art Practice" (which is currently focussing the topics of Migration/Immigration and National Identity & Post-Brexit Britain) , "Animality, Humanity and Globality", "The State of Utopia", as well as contributing to school core modules such as "Introduction to Cultural Analysis" and "The Story of Art".

I have published on a range of topics such as architecture as a social practice; Kant and cosmopolitics; Still life painting and consumer culture; the meaning and function of work in an ideal world... I work mainly with German and French sources.

My teaching and research reflect my interests in Enlightenment culture (especially German) and C19th French Utopian Socialism.  My first degree was in English with German in the School of European Studies, University of Sussex. I was also a student at the Freie Universitaet, W. Berlin where I studied Comparative Literature. I continued at Sussex for my M.A in Critical Theory and subsequently my D.Phil on Kant.

My reworked D.Phil on Kant was published as Kant Trouble: Reflections on Kantian Blind Spots in 2000. This monograph reflects my eclectic approach to Kant's works as it discusses e.g. not only C18th landscape gardening, Freemasonry and what I call the "Egyptian metaphor", but is also preoccupied with architecture. I have subsequently  pursued my interest in Kant's relevance for discussing architectural theory and practice, notable with Kant for Architects 2018  (part of the Thinker for Architects series).

I have been at the University of Leeds since 2015, having previously taught at the American University of Paris, the University of Teesside and University College Northampton.

Being situated within the School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies (where we also teach Museum Studies) here at Leeds, means that I work alongside people who are creatively engaged with the making process. The relation between theory and practice, i.e how to give ideas a material existence and what effects artistic representation can possibly have in this world, features prominently in our teaching and learning. I find that these concerns are interestingly addressed in the writings of Immanuel Kant, hence much of my research has continued to engage with his writings, and I also have found the emerging field of utopian studies (with its interest in social activism) to be a fruitful environment to be associated with.

I am a member of the Utopian Studies Society, of Ici et ailleurs: pour une philosophie nomade; Societe P-J Proudhon; SEKLF Societe d'etudes kantiennes en langue francaise.


  • Programme Manager for Cultural & Media Studies

Research interests

  • C18th European enlightenment (especially German)
  • Kantian philosophy
  • European modernism (especially French and German)
  • cultural and critical theory
  • aesthetic theory (especially in relation to architecture)
  • Utopian studies (especially 19th French Utopian Socialism)
  • ecology and animal studies.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>