Jules Holroyd

School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities

Senior Lecturer

Deputy Head of Department

Director of One University

Jules Holroyd Staff Profile Picture
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Full contact details

Jules Holroyd
School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities (nee Department of Philosophy)
45 Victoria Street
S3 7QB

I studied for my PhD in Philosophy at The University of Sheffield (2004-2008). In 2008 I took up a Junior Research Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge; followed by lectureships at Cardiff University (2009-2011), and the University of Nottingham (2012-2015). In 2016 I took up a Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship at Sheffield. In 2022 I became Senior Lecturer. In 2022-2023, I had a Mind Major Research Fellowship to write a book on oppressive praise, for OUP.

Research interests

My teaching and research focuses on addressing injustices. Addressing these questions requires understanding of the nature of injustices – in resources, knowledge, access to opportunities and so on – and attention to the ways in which we might sustain them, including unwittingly. It also requires attention to what we can do to make our societies and institutions more just.

My current work focuses on how praise - which philosophers have typically assumed to be a benefit - might instead sometimes perpetuate oppression and injustice. 

Much of my previous research has focused on implicit gender and racial biases – automatic patterns of thought that can lead us to stereotype and discriminate. I am also interested in other ways in which we, and institutions in which we participate, perpetuate injustices, and what to do about it – my research has examined notions such a discrimination, collective vices, and integrity in criminal justice. This research spans the topics of political philosophy, moral psychology and social philosophy (in particular, feminist philosophy and philosophy of race). I have managed interdisciplinary research projects (with psychologists) that have investigated how to address implicit biases (with a Leverhulme Trust Project Grant, 2014-2017), and worked with legal scholars in exploring the implications of this research for legal concepts and practice.

I have had the opportunity to use this research in a range of contexts: 

  • to engage with practitioners in the Judiciary and the Civil Service in the UK, in discussions about how to make these institutions more just. 
  • I have been working with the University on practices for making our University a more inclusive space for transgender staff and students. This includes the co-production of a gender inclusion policy, and recommendations to make parental leave policies more trans inclusive.
  • In 2020-2021, with Dr Jenny Clark (Physics) I have been working on a report into experiences of parental leave. This is being drawn on to improve experiences of parental leave and to work towards gender equity. Key recommendations included:
    • clearer checklist to empower those taking leave to know their entitlements;
    • removal of service conditions for access to enhanced leave;
    • gender-neutral framing of parental leave schemes;
    • enhanced entitlements for both parents.
  • The report is here, and details how changes of these kinds are well supported by wider research into equity in the workplace, and could address some of the problems at UoS.  We will be preparing another report, on progress made, in 2025.
  • In 2021-2022, I worked with students in the department on two funded Race Equality  Internships. The Philosophy Department Race Equality and Decolonisation interns pursued a range of activities to further race equality in philosophy (for full report  see here). We secured further faculty funds to support, in 2022-2023, a BAME student peer mentoring programme, and a series of talks and workshops on decolonisation.

I am co-director of the Centre for Engaged Philosophy, at Sheffield.


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers

  • Holroyd J (2015) Autonomy, Value and Violence: Assessing Substantive Accounts of Autonomy. WOMEN AND VIOLENCE: THE AGENCY OF VICTIMS AND PERPETRATORS (pp 91-109) RIS download Bibtex download

Dictionary/encyclopaedia entries


  • Holroyd J (2020) various media/public engagement things including R4 x2, the Guardian, Migration Matters.. RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

My teaching is informed by my research, and encourages students to think critically about  the social structures, institutions and practices in which we participate.

Teaching activities

In a standard year, I will teach:

PHI158: Level 1 Philosophy of Sex (indicative topics include: what is sex? (harder to answer than one might think!); sex and morality; consent; sex and gender; sexual orientations; pornography; sexual racism; sex and power).

PHI216: Level 2 Feminist Philosophy (indicative topics include: structures of the workplace and family; feminism and racism; decolonising feminism; gender and trans inclusion; reproductive  justice; feminist epistemology; feminism and language change; feminism and capitalism; feminism and climate crisis.)

PHI31012/PHI61014: Level 3/MA Social Philosophy (indicative module contents may include: work and  related critical concepts (alienation, exploitation, private government, etc), topics in philosophy of race, philosophy of social kinds.)

Professional activities and memberships

Media and Resources:

Postgraduate Supervision

I am happy to supervise MA and PhD students wishing to study topics in moral psychology, feminist philosophy and social philosophy. Do get in touch.

Current PhD students (primary supervision):

  • Tareeq Jalloh (Progressive critiques of rap)
  • Ben Jenkins (Metacognitive interventions for addressing implicit biases)
  • Henry Roe (Arrogance and collective epistemic vice)

Previous PhD students (at Sheffield):

  • Rosa Vince (Pornography and objectification, now employed by the University of  Sheffield)
  • Jingbo Hu (Reasons-responsive accounts of moral responsibility, now in a postdoctoral position at the University of Shanghai)
  • Maria Pietrini Sanchez (An autonomy based framework for surrogacy contracts. Currently employed at Chiapas state university (UNACH). Faculty of Medicine of the Department of Human Rights)
  • Charlie Crerar (Vice epistemology. Currently post-doctoral researcher at UConn/teaching associate University of Leeds)
  • Andreas Bunge (The nature of attitudes. Currently working in President's Office, Leuphana University of Luneberg)

Previous PhD students (at Nottingham):

  • Tom Baker (An integrated account of aesthetic appreciation. Currently working at University of Edinburgh)
  • James Andow (Intuitions in philosophy. Currently working at University of Manchester)