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Anya Topolski

Principal Investigator

Bio


Anya Topolski is an associate professor in ethics and political philosophy at the Radboud University Nijmegen. She obtained two bachelor degrees at McGill University in Montreal, Canada: BSc in Biochemistry (1999) and an BA Honours in Philosophy (2000). After a brief but memorable experience teaching in Korea, Anya moved to Belgium to complete a Masters in Continental Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude) specialising in the political thought of Hannah Arendt. She obtained her PhD in Philosophy at the KU Leuven, for which she was awarded the 2008 Auschwitz Foundation Stichting Prize , with a focus on the political thought of Hannah Arendt, the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas and contemporary Jewish thought.

In 2009, she joined an interdisciplinary NWO project as a post-doctoral researcher to consider the application of her theory of relationality in the field of military ethics where she engaged in post-Srebrenica research on responsibility and judgment. In 2012 her research on European Identity and Exclusion, antisemitism and islamophobia, was funded by FWO – Flanders. In addition she was a lecturer at the University of Kent in Brussels in political rhetoric and communication. In 2015 she became an assistant professor in political theory at the Faculty of Management at Radboud University, Nijmegen. As of 2017 she joined the ethics and poitics department of the faculty of philosophy where she now is principle investigator fort he Race-Religion Constellation Project and coordiantor of the Race, religion, Secularism Network. For more information here is her website and a recent interview.

Her current research is in the field of critical philosophy of race and focuses on the race-religion intersection in European. Her areas of expertise are: racism, political philosophy, ethics, European identity and exclusion, gender, antisemitism and Islamophobia, political theology, Jewish thought, Arendt, Levinas, Judeo-Christianity.

 

Publications (Selected):

Academic books; as author (IBa)

(2015). Arendt, Levinas and A Politics of Relationality. In: Assiter A., van der Zweerde E. (Eds.), bookseries: Reframing the Boundaries: Thinking the Political. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. 304 pages.

Academic books; as editor (IBe)

(2016). Is there a Judeo-Christian Tradition? A European Perspective. (Topolski, A., Ed., Nathan, E., Ed.). De Gruyter.

Articles in internationally reviewed academic journals (IT)

(2020) The Dangerous Discourse of the ‘Judeo-Christian’ Myth: Masking the Race-Religion Constellation in Europe. Patterns of Prejudice. Genealogies of ‘Jews’ and ‘Muslims’: Social Imaginaries in the Race–Religion Nexus. A special issue guest-edited by Yolande Jansen and Nasar Meer Volume 54. Issue 1 & 2. 71-90.

(2020) Bodin Now; or, What’s Wrong With Intellectual History? In the Special Issue of the Journal Political Theology on Jean Bodin’s and the Sovereignty of Exclusion. Co-edited with James Renton.  Issue 6, Volume 21, 2020. 475-478. https://doi.org/10.1080/1462317X.2020.1806609

(2020) Nation-States, the Race-Religion Constellation, and Diasporic Political Communities: Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, and Paul Gilroy. Special Issue of the Journal The European Legacy Judith Butler’s Parting Ways or Ways of Cohabitation. Guest Editors: Anya Topolski & Louis Klee.  Volume 25, Issue 3. 266-281. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10848770.2020.174126

(2020) Rejecting the Rhetoric of Uniqueness: The First Step Towards Semitic Solidarity. Jewish Quarterly. Forthcoming.

(2018) The Race-Religion Intersection: A European Contribution to the Critical Philosophy of Race. Critical Philosophy of Race. Issue 6.1

(2017) Good Jew, Bad Jew: ‘Managing’ Europe’s Others. Ethnic and Racial Studies (Special issue 'Islamophobia and Surveillance: Genealogies of a Global Order'). Ed. James Renton. www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01419870.2018.1391402

(2016). Tzedakah: The True Religion of Spinoza's Tractatus? History of Political Thought, 37(1), pp. 78-106.

 

Projects


The Race-Religion Constellation: Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Antizyganism

The Race-Religion Constellation: Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Antizyganism

Researchers: Anya Topolski

Topolski’s current research project aims to develop a European critical philosophy of race focusing on the intersection of race and religion manifest in terms of antisemitism, islamophobia and antizyganism. This research complements and challenges the trailblazing field of critical race theory which, partially because of its American context, is limited in its scope. An example of this is how the socially-constructed category of race is too often reduced to a colour-based binary (black/white) or biological phenomenon. What my research aims to do is to complicate this colour-line by bringing to light its intersection with a religion-based form of racism (i.e. as expressed in terms of antisemitism).

European identity and exclusion: The discursive construction of the ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition (FWO Funded 2012-2015)

Researchers: Anya Topolski

This project concerns the symbolic meaning of the term ‘Judeo-Christianity’ in relation to European identity formation. The goal is to investigate the roots of the relationship between the creation of the European community and the exclusion of ‘others’. My research hypothesis is that it is necessary to understand the process of identity formation in relation to the construction of enemies in order to avert violence and to develop a notion of community that is not defined by exclusion.

Publications


Journal article

Rejecting the Rhetoric of Uniqueness: The First Step Towards Semitic Solidarity
By Anya Topolski
forthcoming
Jewish Quarterly


Journal article

Bodin Now; or, What’s Wrong With Intellectual History?
By Anya Topolski
August 2020
Political Theology


Journal article

The Dangerous Discourse of the ‘Judeo-Christian’ Myth: Masking the Race-Religion Constellation in Europe.
By Anya Topolski
April 2020
Patterns of Prejudice


Journal article

Nation-States, the Race-Religion Constellation, and Diasporic Political Communities: Hannah Arendt, Judith Butler, and Paul Gilroy
By Anya Topolski
March 2020
The European Legacy


Journal article

The Race-Religion Intersection: A European Contribution to the Critical Philosophy of Race
By Anya Topolski
April 2018
Critical Philosophy of Race


Journal article

Good Jew, Bad Jew: ‘Managing’ Europe’s Others.
By Anya Topolski
November 2017
Ethnic and Racial Studies

Anya Topolski

Principal Investigator

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