Global Ethics Alumni

Ben Bassey (PhD 2015)Ben Bassey

I did my PhD with the Department between 2010 and 2015. The Staff in the Philosophy Department were lovely and very supportive, and the Global Ethics people especially so. I made lasting friendships as well as getting my Doctorate. I now work as a Researcher for a senior Labour MP in Parliament, realising a long-term ambition to support better politics and policy, including on issues connected to my research in Global Ethics. If you like, you can follow me @bjb88 on Twitter.

Ridhi Kalaria (BA 2009, MSc in Global Ethics 2011)Ridhi Kalaria

I have two current roles, I am a Director and Diversity Officer at Ort Gallery in Balsall Heath, which is an artist led space, which looks to bring socially engaged art to an area of Birmingham that has high unemployment and low income. I manage the diversity of the programme, ensuring we engage with a wide cross section of the residents in the local community, bringing topics of interest into the discussion arena through the form of art.

I also Project Manage an organisation called Birmingham Community Matters, which is a peer-to-peer support network that gives one to one support to community and voluntary groups, or people with ideas of how to make their communities better. We help people with funding, governance, structure, volunteer recruitment and policies. It’s a relatively new organisation and is just starting to gain momentum. 

Since leaving the University of Birmingham I have had a number of roles, most being self-employed and most being connected to community work or community development; either looking at factors which contribute to inequality or ways to reduce it. Between 2010-2015 I was running Ort, Art and Community Café, run as a social enterprise. It was a community hub in a diverse area suffering with high unemployment, a business that encouraged opportunities for a cohesive community. In 2016 I contributed as a research assistant to a report looking at inequality in senior level management in the public sector. In the future, I hope to continue to be working in the community and voluntary sector, creating, developing or analysing ways to build cohesive and connected communities and reduce inequalities. 

Peter West-Oram (PhD 2014)Peter West-Oram

Peter wrote his thesis under the supervision of Prof. Heath Widdows on the subject of global health justice, in which he analysed the structural injustices which cause unequal distributions of health care and deprivations of health. In doing so, he argued for the existence of a basic right to health care, and identified the requirements of the duties correlating to the right. Working in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham was an extremely valuable experience, offering opportunities to develop key academic skills, and providing the collaborative environment and professional training needed for achievement within the PhD and in an ongoing academic career.

He is currently employed as a Senior Research Fellow in the Emmy Noether Research group Political Philosophy and Bioethics at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, in Northern Germany, where he continues to do research into questions of health justice, and health care ethics. Peter frequently presents papers at international conferences, and recent work has explored the ethics of conscientious objection in health care, and the role and importance of solidarity for global health justice. His work has been published in a wide range of academic journals, including Bioethics, Public Health Ethics, and Health Care Analysis. In future work, he will continue to research on these issues, and to provide training in applied ethics and ethical theory to medical students.

Peter has recently been hired as a Lecturer in Bioethics at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where he will join the Ethics and Humanities faculty in September 2017.

Andrew Woodhall (PhD 2017)Andrew Woodhall

Andrew’s thesis (supervised by Prof Heather Widdows and Lisa Bortolotti) put forward a new definition of anthropocentrism, clarifying it from speciesism and human chauvinism, and argued that anthropocentrism results in problems for nonhuman animals and interspecies ethics. Arguing that important contemporary theories are anthropocentric, and do not address anthropocentrism, he proposed a less anthropocentric interspecies ethic by considering morality in light of evolution and looking at nonhuman moral codes. His experience within the Department of Philosophy was one of profound academic and personal growth and enlightenment. The wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion of both supervisors, and exposure to their fields of expertise, enabled a rich professional and private evolution over four years that has resulted in significant development of academic abilities and research but also immensely positive life-changing personal development and outlook. The experience was thus transformative, opening new possibilities for the future.

He is currently an independent researcher working on anthropocentrism and global interspecies ethics and politics, social justice issues, aesthetics, and sexual ethics. He has published a co-written chapter entitled, Saving Nonhumans: Drawing the Threads of a Movement Together, for, and co-edited, the book Intervention or Protest: Acting for Nonhuman Animals (Vernon Press, 2016), a chapter entitled Anthropocentrism and the Issues Facing Nonhuman Animals in the book, Animals in Human Society (University Press of America, 2016), and is presently working on his first article publications. He has presented on interspecies ethics and politics at three consecutive MANCEPT Political Workshops, Minding Animals Conference 3, organized several conferences in interspecies studies, and has been invited to sit on a panel on such subjects at Minding Animals Conference 4 in Mexico. His future work will expand anthropocentrism in interspecies ethics and politics further, discuss issues on incest and bestiality, and consider rights issues for veganism.

Some of our other alumni

  • Emma Bullock. Assistant Professor, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
  • Bill Johnson. Lecturer, Husson University, Maine, USA.
  • Magoti Everesti. Lecturer, College of Humanities, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
  • Shunzo Majima. Lecturer, Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University, Japan.