Dr Cat Moir

BA, PhD (University of Sheffield), MA (College of Europe)
Lecturer
Chair of Germanic Studies Department

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney


Biographical details

Before I joined the University of Sydney in 2015, I held lectureships in German at the universities of Cambridge and Durham. In 2019, I was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Research interests

I am an intellectual historian specialising in the history of European thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on the German-speaking world. My research is motivated by the question of how ideas simultaneously shape and are shaped by broader historical developments and cultural spheres. A key interest in this respect is the interface between philosophy, natural sciences, and the arts.

I have published widely on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and related figures, particularly Ernst Bloch; the German Aufklärung (Enlightenment) and its reception; German idealism and romanticism; historical materialism; and Weimar-era thought. My first monograph, Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, will be published by Brill in 2019.

My research is concerned with studying the thoughts of the past in all their richness and diversity, and as such I take a pluralistic approach to methodology. Much of my work uses a reception theory paradigm to understand how ideas move and change through time and across linguistic and cultural boundaries. I am also interested in intermediality in intellectual history—how ideas are constructed and conveyed through images, sounds, and objects—and in intellectual history ‘from below’, in sources produced and consumed in everyday contexts as opposed to by professional intellectuals and academics.

Teaching and supervision

In the Germanic Studies major, I coordinate and teach language and culture across a range of levels, including units in German-speaking society and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modern German thought, and an advanced translation unit in which students work with previously untranslated archival sources.

In the European Studies major, I contribute to teaching units on political extremism, ideas of Europe, regionalism and identity, and myth and legend. I also co-coordinate the OLE Understanding Europe, and the SLC-wide BAdv unit Ideology and Society.

I am happy to supervise Honours and HDR students working on any aspect of modern German thought, including in its comparative or transnational / transcultural dimensions.

Current research students

Project title Research student
The Kantian Sublime in European Romantic Literature Nanda JAROSZ

Current projects

My current project explores the impact of the rise of the life sciences on left-wing social and political thought and practice in Europe from the early 19th century to 1933. Preliminary research on this project has been supported by the Australian Academy of the Humanities and an IMLR Visiting Fellowship.

Selected grants

2017

  • Enlightment Thinking; Milam J, Caine B, Gaukroger S, Sluga G, Nassar D, Waldow A, Borghesi F, Moir C; DVC Research/Sydney Research Excellence Initiative 2020 (SREI).
  • Understanding Europe: 3 x 2cp units (Open Learning Environment - Undergraduate); Winter B, Moir C, Morgan P, Karalis V, Sorbera L, Stott C, Walsh A, Alba A, Rubino A; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.
  • Conceptions and Theories of 'Life' from the Nineteenth Century to the Present; Moir C, Nassar D; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Moir, C. (2018). Abysmal Humanity: Anthropological Materialism in Georg Buchner and Walter Benjamin. In Corey McCall, Nathan Ross (Eds.), Benjamin, Adorno, and the Experience of Literature, (pp. 76-90). New York: Routledge. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2018). Ernst Bloch: The Principle of Hope. In Beverley Best, Werner Bonefeld, Chris OKane (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, (pp. 199-215). London: Sage Publications. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2013). The Education of Hope: On the Dialectical Potential of Speculative Materialism. In Peter Thompson and Slavoj Žižek (Eds.), The Privatization of Hope, (pp. 121-143). Chicago: Duke University Press. [More Information]

Journals

  • Moir, C. (2017). Speculation, Dialectic and Critique: Hegel and Critical Theory in Germany after 1945. Hegel Bulletin, 38(2), 199-220. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2017). The Politics of Prophecy: Reformation Memory and German Exceptionalism in Weimar Thought. Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies (ANZJES), 9(3), 7-25.
  • Moir, C. (2016). Beyond the Turn: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Speculative Materialism. Poetics Today, 37(2), 327-351. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2016). Casting a Picture. Anthropology & Materialism: A Journal of Social Research, 2016 (3), 1-18. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2016). Walter Benjamin and the Remains of a Philosophy of History: A Review of Walter Benjamin: An Introduction to His Work and Thought by Uwe Steiner. Historical Materialism-Research in Critical Marxist Theory, 24(4), 221-233. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2013). Ernst Bloch und die Zukunft des spekulativen Materialismus. Bloch-Almanach, 32, 163-179.
  • Moir, C., Siebers, J. (2012). Aufenthalt im Unerhorten: Blochs Hebel-Lekturen (1926-1965). Bloch-Almanach, 31, 89-108.
  • Moir, C. (2011). Revolution, Revelation and Reformation: Towards a Blochian Critique of East German Folk Atheism. Track Changes, Summer(2011), 93-113.
  • Moir, C., Siebers, J. (2011). Ubersetzung als Utopie bei Bloch: Uber die Schwierigkeit des Uberschreitens. Bloch-Jahrbuch, 32, 189-194.

Edited Journals

  • Moir, C., Winter, B. (2017). Special issue of ANZJES. Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies, 9(3).

2018

  • Moir, C. (2018). Abysmal Humanity: Anthropological Materialism in Georg Buchner and Walter Benjamin. In Corey McCall, Nathan Ross (Eds.), Benjamin, Adorno, and the Experience of Literature, (pp. 76-90). New York: Routledge. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2018). Ernst Bloch: The Principle of Hope. In Beverley Best, Werner Bonefeld, Chris OKane (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, (pp. 199-215). London: Sage Publications. [More Information]

2017

  • Moir, C., Winter, B. (2017). Special issue of ANZJES. Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies, 9(3).
  • Moir, C. (2017). Speculation, Dialectic and Critique: Hegel and Critical Theory in Germany after 1945. Hegel Bulletin, 38(2), 199-220. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2017). The Politics of Prophecy: Reformation Memory and German Exceptionalism in Weimar Thought. Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies (ANZJES), 9(3), 7-25.

2016

  • Moir, C. (2016). Beyond the Turn: Ernst Bloch and the Future of Speculative Materialism. Poetics Today, 37(2), 327-351. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2016). Casting a Picture. Anthropology & Materialism: A Journal of Social Research, 2016 (3), 1-18. [More Information]
  • Moir, C. (2016). Walter Benjamin and the Remains of a Philosophy of History: A Review of Walter Benjamin: An Introduction to His Work and Thought by Uwe Steiner. Historical Materialism-Research in Critical Marxist Theory, 24(4), 221-233. [More Information]

2013

  • Moir, C. (2013). Ernst Bloch und die Zukunft des spekulativen Materialismus. Bloch-Almanach, 32, 163-179.
  • Moir, C. (2013). The Education of Hope: On the Dialectical Potential of Speculative Materialism. In Peter Thompson and Slavoj Žižek (Eds.), The Privatization of Hope, (pp. 121-143). Chicago: Duke University Press. [More Information]

2012

  • Moir, C., Siebers, J. (2012). Aufenthalt im Unerhorten: Blochs Hebel-Lekturen (1926-1965). Bloch-Almanach, 31, 89-108.

2011

  • Moir, C. (2011). Revolution, Revelation and Reformation: Towards a Blochian Critique of East German Folk Atheism. Track Changes, Summer(2011), 93-113.
  • Moir, C., Siebers, J. (2011). Ubersetzung als Utopie bei Bloch: Uber die Schwierigkeit des Uberschreitens. Bloch-Jahrbuch, 32, 189-194.

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