Department of Philosophy



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Visiting Scholars, Post-Doctoral and Research Fellows


Charlotte Blattner

Charlotte Blattner holds the Postdoctoral Fellowship in Animal Studies at Queen’s University for the 2017-18 academic year. Charlotte did her Bachelor and Master degrees in law at the University of Basel, Switzerland, before completing a PhD at the intersection of international law and animal law, focusing on the extraterritorial protection of animals, as part of the doctoral program “Law and Animals: Ethics at Crossroads.” Charlotte is a former Visiting International Scholar at Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, and served as a research fellow for the Swiss Competence Center for Human Rights and the “Tier im Recht” Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland. Charlotte’s previous publications were in animal law (mostly research and agriculture), trade law, environmental law, and cognitive biases in the law.

During her postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University, Charlotte’s research will focus on the ethical, political and legal consequences of viewing animals as workers. Can animals be viewed as workers from a legal perspective, and if so, can labour rights provide a route towards greater legal protection for animals involved in care work, police or military work, agriculture, research and entertainment? What are the ethical and political benefits or risks of such an approach? In addition to these topics, Charlotte is interested in liberal political theory, animals and global justice theories, the linkage of human rights and animal issues, questions arising at the intersection of environmental and animal ethics, and wild animal suffering.

Address: Watson Hall, Third Floor, Office No. 336

Phone: +1 (613) 533 6000 x 77031


Sue Donaldson

Sue Donaldson is a research associate in the Department of Philosophy whose area of specialization is nonhuman animals in moral and political theory. Her research explores how nonhuman animals might co-author their relationships with us, as co-citizens in a multispecies demos, denizens of shared liminal spaces, and sovereigns of wilderness territories. This work draws insights from feminist philosophy, disability theory, children's rights theory, democratic theory, and environmental ethics; as well as practical "experiments in living" such as farmed animal sanctuaries and intentional communities; and fictional and creative imaginaries of animal subjects.  She is the co-author (with Will Kymlicka) of Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (Oxford UP 2011), which won the 2013 Canadian Philosophical Association book prize, and has been translated into German, French, Turkish, Polish, Japanese and Spanish.  She has also contributed numerous academic articles to edited collections, handbooks, and journals including The Journal of Political Philosophy, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, the Journal of Social Philosophy, the Journal of Animal Ethics, and the Canadian Journal of Political Science.



Kurt C.M. Mertel

Kurt C.M. Mertel is a Research Fellow and adjunct instructor in the Department of Philosophy. He is visiting Queen’s from Northwestern University, where he recently obtained his doctorate (September 2016). Kurt specializes in 19th and 20th century European Philosophy (esp. Hermeneutics and Phenomenology) and Social and Political Philosophy (esp. Frankfurt School Critical Theory). His work in these areas has been translated and published in Spanish in Debates y Combates and appears in the European Journal of Philosophy, among others (forthcoming). During his year at Queen’s, Kurt will be working on several projects that emerge from his dissertation: Liberating the Self-Relation from Reification and Alienation: Towards and Appropriative Approach. The first is a manuscript that develops a social-ontological and hermeneutic interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time. The second is a series of papers devoted to demonstrating the social-critical import and relevance of the “appropriative approach” for contemporary debates at the intersection of philosophical anthropology, ethics, and social and political philosophy.

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