Photo of Professor Michael Hauskeller

Professor Michael Hauskeller

Biography

I grew up in Germany where I was born in 1964. In 1983 I enrolled at the University of Bonn to study various rather weird subjects before finally settling on philosophy (as well as German Literature and English and American Literature). I graduated in 1990 with an MA in Philosophy, after which I went on to do a PhD in Darmstadt (on perceptual atmospheres) under the supervision of Gernot Boehme (degree with "magna cum laude" awarded in 1994). I spent the next seven years teaching at the university of Darmstadt and writing several books in German (some of which, I'm proud to say, have been translated into Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and Indonesian) until, in 2001, I received the highest academic qualification that a German university can bestow, the so-called habilitation. Thereafter I was a Privatdozent, which basically means that you can supervise doctoral students and teach whatever you want and how much you want without getting paid a penny for your troubles. This being not very satisfactory in the long run, and no chair in sight, I decided to leave Germany and try my luck elsewhere, so in 2003, on New Year's Day, I arrived in Exeter with my then wife Christine and our two children to start anew, without a job yet, but hopeful. A short while later I was lucky enough to receive a grant from the Wellcome Trust to write a book on "the integrity of living beings as a normative concept", which then led to my being hired by the Department of Sociology and Philosophy, first as a Lecturer and then as an Associate Professor of Philosophy. A grant from the Leverhulme Trust allowed me to write another book, this time on "human enhancement", which was published in spring 2013, followed by "Sex and the Posthuman Condition" in 2014 and "Mythologies of Transhumanism" in 2016. From 2013 to 2016 I was Head of our Department and in February 2015 I was promoted to Personal Chair. And that's it so far.