Photo of Professor Christine Hauskeller

Professor Christine Hauskeller

Research Interests

My research explores how philosophical and social understandings of the human are influenced by biological knowledge and life science technologies. Scientific knowledge changes how the human being and society are perceived and social changes and cultural differences affect the sciene produced.

My Ph.D. dissertation (The Paradoxical Subject, 2000) analysed Judith Butler’s and Michel Foucault’s understandings of the subject from the perspective of Critical Theory. 

My postdoctoral research encompasses several discrete and detailed empirical studies on how cultural differences affect practices of knowledge making. I am particularly interested in the interseciton of the three axes technoscientific knowledge production, socio-legal and philosophical concepts of the human and self-understanding fo the individual.

My work on stem cell research includes studies on the socio-legal construction of the beginning of human life and analyses of the policies that govern research and social utilization. Different projects explore the factors that shape the formation of scientific knowledge and its translation into applications, especially in stem cell biology and medicine. The originality of this work lies in the basic critical theory perspective and the practical comparative approach to exploring diverse legal and cultural contexts. E.g. the ESRC funded study 'Stem Cell Research in Context' compared embryonic and adult, laboratory and clinical stem cell research in the UK and in Germany.

A second strand of work explores the intersection between knowledge formation, technology and subjectivity. I instigated and lead several empirical projects that flesh out this hypothesis empirically, with international scholars, PhD students and artists. For outputs see e.g. my Cornell Award paper on 'Genetics and the Politics of Human identity' and the Special Issue Sociology 2013 'Genetics and the Sociology of Identity'.

I have published on critical theory, feminist philosophy, theories of the subject, metaphors and language in science, the relationship between scientific and medical practice and their normativities, on regulation, science policy, ethical and anthropological topics.

Research projects: 

Genetics and the Politics of Human Identity

Stem Cell Science: Epistemology, history, ethics and research practice

Ethical Harmonization in European Clinical Trials (see

Feminism and Identity Politics

Research Supervision

I run a regular research colloquium for the PGR students I supervise, the Critical Theory Reading Group. It is invitation only. For persons interested in joining, please contact me via email and arrange a personal meeting.

Please contact me via email with a project outline or a sketch of your initial  idea if you want to apply for supervision. 

I supervise philosophical and STS dissertations in the following subject areas: 

    Identity, Subjectivity, Self

    Frankfurt School and poststructuralist philosophy

    Life Science policies, espceially stem cell or genetics related topics 


    Feminist Philosophy and Gender Theory

Research Students

 Current research students

Ahmet Karakaya, International Exeter PhD studentship, 1. Jan. 2018

Jack Price, “Phenomenology and Critical Theory: Subjectivity and the Self in Max Scheler”, AHRC Ph.D. studentship from 2015

Jaanika Puusalu, “Connectedness: Identity creation and alienation in contemporary social world”,  AHRC Ph.D. studentship and Estoanian maintenance grant, from 2014.   

Former PhD students:

Dr. David Wyatt. ESRC studentship 2010-2014. 'Accomplishing Technical and Investigative Expertise in Everyday Crime Scene Investigation'. A study on the role perceptions, training and everyday routines of Crime Scene Investigators in England and Wales.
 David is now postdoctoral Fellow at Kings College London.

. Ayesha Ahmad. ‘Metaphysics in Scientific Medicine: The Making of the Human Embryo’. Co-supervised by Christine Hauskeller and Alan Bleakly at the Peninsula College for Medicine and Dentistry. Ayesha took up a tutor post at University College London Medical School in 2013.

Dr. Maren Klotz.  ‘[K]information. Gamete Donation and the Constitution of Kinship through Knowledge Management in Britain and Germany – an Ethnographic Exploration’. Maren won the Hunboldt Prize 2013 for her dissertation. Supervisors: Christine Hauskeller and Stefan Beck in a Cotutelle between Exeter and Humboldt University Berlin. Maren moved on to a 5-year Habilitation position at the Humboldt University Berlin in European Ethnology.

Dr. Marco Liverani, 'European Bio-futures. Politics and Practice of Science Cooperation in the European Union’, in sociology completed in 2011. Marco moved on to a position as postdoctoral research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

Dr. Jean Louise Harrington. ESRC funded Ph.D. student in ‘Stem Cell Research in Context’ (2007-2010). ‘Translational Space. An Ethnographic Study of Stem Cell Research’, completed in 2011. Jean moved on to take up a postdoctoral research fellow position at King’s College London.

Dr. Hristina Petkova. ‘How Gene Tests Travel: Bi-national Comparison of the Institutional Pathways Taken by the Diagnostic Genetic Test for Maturity onset Diabetes of the Young Through the British and the German Health Care System’. 
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at King’s College London since 2009.