Thomas Chesworth

Department of Modern Languages
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

PhD title: A Genealogy of Alienation in Post-Beauvoirian Philosophies of Gender
Supervisors: Professor Lisa Downing, Dr Katharina Karcher
PhD Comparative Literature 


  • BA (Hons) Music (University of Cambridge)
  • MA Gender, Sexuality & Culture (University of Manchester)


I graduated with a BA in Music from the University of Cambridge in 2020, and with an MA in Gender, Sexuality & Culture in 2021, for which my dissertation was awarded the Margaret Johnson (Yates) prize for highest dissertation mark in English, American Studies, and Creative Writing. I joined the University of Birmingham in 2022, where my PhD is funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership.

Alongside my research, I am a professional tenor, currently employed as a Lay Clerk at Coventry Cathedral and as a Deputy Lay Clerk at St Philip's and St Chad's Cathedrals, both in Birmingham.


This thesis begins with an assessment of the role Marxism plays within Simone de Beauvoir’s Le deuxième sexe (1949), and particularly the ways in which Beauvoir utilises Marx’s concept of alienation to develop a radical philosophy of gender. The remainder of this thesis is tasked with exploring how traces of this philosophy of gendered alienation can be found in the works of later feminist, queer, and trans thinkers influenced by Beauvoir’s landmark text, particularly Shulamith Firestone, Monique Wittig, Judith Butler, Karen Barad, and Paul B. Preciado.