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 Dharmender Dhillon BA, MA

Dharmender Dhillon


Research student, Philosophy, School of English, Communication and Philosophy

My thesis reconceptualizes utopia through the works of Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno.

I am also a full time Learning Advisor at the University of Leeds.  

Academic background

PhD Philosophy – Cardiff University, 2011 - 2019

Trinity Cert-TESOL - TEFL Lab, London, 2014

MA Ethics and Social Philosophy – Cardiff University, 2009 - 2010

BA Spanish – Cardiff University,  2005 - 2009


'The rise of therapeutic education', co-authored with Dr. Clare Rawdin, Critical Studies in Education (pending, 2019)

'Whose Wellbeing Is It Anyway?', Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, October, 2018 

'To Be Born - Luce Irigaray', Philosophy Now, Issue 128, Oct/Nov 2018

‘The Dionysian Free Jazz of John W. Coltrane’, Telos, Fall, 2018

Revolver and Nietzschean Self-War’, Philosophy Now, Issue 119, March/April 2017

‘Don Quixote contra Faust: Ernst Bloch’s Abstract or Concrete Utopia?’, in Yesterday’s Tomorrows: On Utopia and Dystopia, eds. Pere Gallardo and Elizabeth Russell (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), pp. 293 – 306

‘Marcuse and Hip Hop’, Philosophy Now, Issue 99, November/December 2013

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party’, Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics, 10:1 (2013) 41 – 52

Black Swan: Dionysus dances with Apollo’, Philosophy Now, Issue 86, September/October 2011

Conferences and Symposia

'Can we afford to indulge in theory? Can we afford not to?', University of Exeter, April 2019

'Critical Practices in Learning Development', De Montfort University, Leicester, February 2019

'''The Greatest Threat to the Internal Security of the USA'': The Black Panther Free Breakfast for Children Program', Social Science Centre, Lincoln, April 2018 

'Whose Wellbeing is it anyway?', Association for Learning Development in Higher Education, University of Leicester, March 2018

'Marcuse and Hip Hop’, The Frankfurt School and Music International Conference, University College Dublin, July 2014

'Coltrane: Free-Jazz and Utopia’, Paths to Utopia Symposium, Cardiff University, June 2013

'Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Marcuse’, Philosophy and Film Society, Cardiff University, November 2012

'Ernst Bloch and Utopia’, Utopian Studies Society International Conference, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain, July 2012

'Ernst Bloch: Abstract or Concrete Utopia?’ at Gregynog, Wales, March 2012

'Nietzsche, Music and Language’ at Gregynog, Wales, March 2011


Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Certified Practictioner of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education

Social Science Centre, Lincoln 

Trainee facilitator with The Philosophy Foundation

Research interests

Aesthetics, Critical & Cultural Theory, Nietzsche, Race and Gender Studies


A reconceptualization of utopia as akairological rupture

The thesis argues that utopia is negatively articulated through akairological rupture,
engendered by Dionysian music. This rupture is a qualitative state of incompatibility, where
the ability to narrativize breaks down, and is juxtaposed with a reading of utopia as
teleological result of chronological and collectively plotted out reform. Dionysian music is
deemed able to elucidate inherent contradictions in Apollonian expression. The introduction
provides a contextual justification for the argument, and a history of the key concepts:
utopia and kairos. Chapter one focuses upon Nietzsche’s conceptions of self-overcoming
and transvaluation, and how these relate in an essential way to Dionysian music as
engendering ruptures which may be deemed akairological, that corresponds a negative
articulation of utopia. Chapter two examines Bloch’s historical-materialist reading of utopia
as concrete and kairological. Chapter three discusses Adorno’s inversion of Bloch’s positive
dialectic to render a negative utopia in line with akairos. Discussed by the three primary
thinkers, music is a strand that runs throughout the argument, insofar as it may express the
contradictions of liberal discourse and is therefore central to the discussion of utopia as
akairological rupture. The thesis concludes by arguing for a reconceptualization of utopia as
akairological rupture.


Dr Andrew Edgar

Emeritus Reader