Dr Ansgar Allen

School of Education

PhD Programme Director

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

+44 114 222 8085

Full contact details

Dr Ansgar Allen
School of Education
Edgar Allen House
241 Glossop Rd
S10 2GW
Research interests

Based on the idea that academic form restricts (and is often in ironic relation to) academic content, my writing experiments with style, ranging from more standard academic tropes to the fictive and fragmentary.

As well as the usual research outputs (peer-reviewed papers), I have written three academic books, co-written a textbook, and have published a range of book chapters, reviews, encyclopaedia entries, blogs, and media articles listed here.

Research interests include the role of ancient Cynicism as an ‘educational philosophy’, the function of contemporary cynicism in education, and the construction of the Western-educated subject.

My research traces the development of educational subjectivities, including the history of our commitment to the supposed inherent value of education and the importance of being ‘educated’. In my writing and teaching, I study the unquestionable goods of education, remaining open to the possibility that education in all its forms (even where it appears most benign) is a form of violence. My work attempts a history of its good intentions.

My research has benefited from the support of a PESGB fellowship (2014) as well as a number of smaller research, conference and travel grants.


Journal articles

Teaching activities

I teach across a range of programmes in the School of Education, in areas including history and philosophy of education, continental philosophy, educational and social theory, educational politics, childhood studies, academic writing and research methodology. I am responsible for the following modules:

  • EDU106 Histories of Education
  • EDU310 Philosophies of Education
  • EDUT6356 Critical Issues in Education and Educational Research
  • EDUT6084 Globalisation and Education

I welcome applications to study for doctoral research degrees, in particular from those wishing to undertake research in the areas of educational philosophy, history and theory.

Professional activities

Editorial and professional roles:

In addition to the conference circuit (in the areas of education, utopian studies and literary theory), I have been invited to participate in discussion and speak in a range of academic and non-academic contexts, including the World Forum for Democracy (Strasbourg, France), the International Conference on Reimagining Schooling (Thessaloniki, Greece), the Society for the History of Children and Youth (London, Canada), the Qingshan Education Bureau (Wuhan, China), the German-British Association (Berlin, Germany), the European Network on Neoliberal Education Policy (York, UK), ESRI (Manchester, UK), the Social Theory Group (Manchester, UK), various PESGB seminars across the UK, and the Sheffield Education Collective.