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Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies


The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact:

Dr Emily Thomas

(email at

Office Hours

In term time, Tuesdays 2:30-4:30pm, or by appointment.

Research summary

I’ve written a lot on space and time in early modern and early twentieth century philosophy. Recently, I’ve been thinking about philosophical issues in travel. I’m also interested in lots of other metaphysical issues, including substance, change, motion, idealism, process, personal identity, and metaphysical philosophy of religion. I like digging out the work of rich but under-studied figures, including women philosophers who have traditionally been neglected.

Previously, I studied for my PhD at the University of Cambridge (2013), and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Groningen (2013-2016). In 2017 I became an editor for the British Journal for the History of Philosophy.

My current major research project, which is supported by a Netherlands Research Council (NWO) Veni grant, explores the development of absolute theories of time in early modern metaphysics. Two books are forthcoming from this project: Absolute Time: Rifts in Early Modern British Metaphysics (monograph, Oxford University Press) and Early Modern Women on Metaphysics (edited collection, Cambridge University Press).

I also hold a British Academy Rising Star grant, to promote discussion between historians and metaphysicians of time, and impact beyond the academy. Last year I was shortlisted for the BBC’s New Generation of Thinkers competition.

For further information about my research, see my personal website

You can also follow me on twitter @emilytwrites

And read an interview with me in 3am Magazine:

Research Interests

  • Space and time
  • Early modern metaphysics
  • Early twentieth century metaphysics
  • Women in the history of philosophy
  • Philosophy of travel


Chapter in book

Journal Article