What I enjoyed most was the sense of community at the Department which I think is hard to find elsewhere

Student - Rory Wilson
Rory Wilson
University of Sheffield Graduate and Fulbright Scholar
MA Philosophy
Rory Wilson was a Fulbright scholar who joined the Department of Philosophy in 2018. He completed his MA in Philosophy in 2019 and went on to take a PhD in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.

How did your studies in the Department of Philosophy help you progress in your chosen career? 

In the technical sense a master’s degree was required for my progress onto a PhD. I got a taste of what an academic career path since I learned a lot about what conferences, research, and being a PhD student entailed. But really my time at Sheffield influenced the direction of research. In my case, learning about transgender rights campaigns specific to the United Kingdom gave me a direction for my PhD.  

What did you enjoy most about your studies in the Department of Philosophy, and why?

What I enjoyed most was the sense of community at the department which I think is hard to find elsewhere. Particularly when moving abroad it means a lot to have such a large graduate community make an effort to regularly engage with each other and have ample opportunity to socialize and trade ideas. 

What advice would you give to new students joining the Department of Philosophy?

For those new to the department, I highly recommend going to the work in progress sessions and departmental talks as much as you can. You’ll be exposed to really cutting-edge research while also getting to know everyone around the department. That and take advantage of being so close to the Peak District. So beautiful.

What is your fondest memory from your time at the University of Sheffield?

I have so many it’s hard to pick!

What argument or view  first got you excited about philosophy?

This will really reflect how much of a philosophy nerd I am, but the first time I was ever exposed to philosophy (at least knowingly) was when I was in high school, and an English teacher assigned everyone in the class a philosopher to do an oral report on. I got Ludwig Wittgenstein – an unideal candidate for a less than 10-minute presentation. However, it launched my interest in philosophy and led me to pursue it at university. I think I had this moment again during my undergraduate degree and read “Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Rethinking Trans Oppression and Resistance”. This was the first time I read philosophy that reflected my personal experiences and really was the moment I knew what area I was interested in and that if I pursued a master’s degree that I would need to be at a department like Sheffield’s that is so supportive of feminist philosophy.  

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