Vincent Nolan



vincent nolan

Vincent Nolan

St Cross MPhil Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Social Sciences MPhil Scholarship)

Joining us from: Salisbury, UK

MPhil in Politics: Political Theory (2023)

Having completed a BA in History and Philosophy from the University of Sussex, I am so pleased to have the opportunity to combine these subjects in the field of Political Theory at Oxford. I first became interested in philosophy and political theory through an early interest in art, having frequently visited art galleries as a child. While initially pursuing an art foundation degree, I found myself drawn to the philosophical and political aspects of art, prompting my decision to pursue an academic degree. Despite diverting my academic path away from art, I continue to enjoy painting and viewing art in my free time.

During my time at Sussex, I had the opportunity to undertake a research project re-evaluating Theodor Adorno’s theory of history in the context of the modern notion of the ‘Anthropocene’ as a Junior Research Associate. In my philosophy dissertation, I examined the works of Martin Heidegger and Georg Lukács. I took the two philosophers together as Lukács' philosophy played a foundational role in the development of Frankfurt School critical theory and Heidegger's work was central to the advancement of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Recognising the enduring significance of their ideas and the potential to inform contemporary debates, I set out to provide a clearer understanding of the similarities and differences in the political implications of their philosophies. In particular, I sought to address an influential misconception of the connection between the two thinkers propagated by the French philosopher Lucien Goldmann. Alongside this, in my history dissertation I explored the relationship between internationalism and anti-colonial nationalism by investigating the contribution of anti-imperialist networks in Europe to the Indian independence struggle. At Oxford I hope to utilise this focus on historically-informed exposition of political and philosophical ideas, whilst moving on to a new area of study centring around Marx’s relationship with other 19th-century socialist theorists.

Receiving this St Cross scholarship has provided me with much needed confidence and validation of my decision to pursue political theory. I am especially delighted to have received a scholarship from such a friendly and inclusive postgraduate college.