Skip to main content

William Barnes

PhD Student


Previous Degree/s: BA hons Philosophy (York); MA Buddhist studies (London); MA Philosophy (UNM)

Philosophical Interests: Cynicism & Philosophy of culture, 19th 20th and 21st Century Continental philosophy, Asian philosophy (esp. Buddhist philosophy), and applied environmental aesthetics 


Addressing Contemporary Cynicism,” in S. Morrow and M. Izor (eds.), A World in Discourse: Converging and Diverging Expressions of ValueChapter 11 (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2016), pp. 151-76.  [An analysis of the relationship between romanticism and contemporary cynicism]

Emptiness and Compassion: creating the appropriate context for Śūnyatā-Yoga: a study of Zen Buddhism and Existentialism in Laura Specker Sullivan Masato Ishida (eds.) Locating and Losing the Self in the World: Cross-Cultural Reflections on Self-Awareness and Self-Transcendence Chapter 6 (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014) [a study of Zen Buddhism and Existentialism]


 2016               Ironic feminism, cynicism and popular culture – an analysis of irony in popular culture and Butlerian feminism/philosophy of gender at the 37th Annual Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) Professional Conference (February)

 2016             Cynicism and race in contemporary America – an analysis of kynicism as partial solution to the cynical obstacles to racial reconciliation in contemporary USA UNM grad philosophy colloquia (January)

 2015              Peter Sloterdijk - an analysis of the The Critique of Cynical Reason, UNM grad philosophy colloquia (October)

 2015              Co-hosted international premier of ‘Planetary’ - (as consultant producer) at SXSW (March), and New Mexico feature of the simultaneous screening on earth day (April 22nd) in 7 countries in over a 100 theatres. 

2014              Addressing Cynical Irony a reappropriation of cynical irony as a vehicle for positive individual transformation, paper accepted for presentation at the University of Hawai’i’s annual Grad conference (March)

2013              The Rise of Cynical Irony – a study of cynicism associated with forms of irony increasingly prevalent in intellectual circles, popular media and fashion at the UNM grad philosophy colloquia (October)

2013              The Socio-political implications of the Bodhisattva ideal – a study of the contemporary political implications of Śāntideva’s Bodhicaryāvatāra given at UNM grad philosophy colloquia (April)

2013              Analysing Contemporary Cynicism: A diagnosis and genealogy of, and prescriptions in response to, contemporary cynicism, utilizing philosophy of Art and visual media from David’s ‘Marat’ through to the blogosphere,  given at the Uehiro ‘Cross Currents’ conference, University of Hawai’i at Manôa (March)

2013              Global premiere of the ‘Continuum’ trailer, Q&A for Planetary collective’s journal – Feb 22nd at UNM, March 13th at the University of Hawai’i

2012              Nihilism east and west: a study of nihilism in Buddhist and continental philosophy, as part of UNM’s Grad philosophy colloquia series (November)

2012              Emptiness and compassion: creating the appropriate context for Śūnyatā-yoga: a study of Zen Buddhism and existentialism, given at the 2012 Uehiro ‘Cross Currents’ conference, University of Hawai’i at Manôa. (March)

2011              Kant’s Critical Philosophy: a presentation of Kant’s 1st 2nd and 3rd Critiques as part of a summer seminar series at the School of Oriental Studies London, UK (July)

2010              Hegel and Existentialism: a study of the influence of Hegel on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger as part of a summer seminar series at the School of Oriental Studies London, UK (August)

2009              The Roots of the Vijñānavāda: a study of the Ālayavijñāna in early and later Vasubandhu UNM (November)

2009              The Existentialism of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger:  as part of a summer seminar series at the School of Oriental Studies, London, UK (June)

2008              The Beginning of Comparative Philosophy? a talk on the advent of German idealism as the gateway for east west dialogue given at the The Ranjung Yeshe Institute - Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery - University of Kathmandu (April)

2007              Playful means: An heuristic for engaging with the paradoxical in Madhyamaka Buddhism, given at the School of Oriental and African Studies (November)

2006              Svabhāva in the Four Schools of Indian Buddhism, an analysis of early Buddhist metaphysics from the Sanskrit sources – School of Oriental and African studies (May)

2004              Radical Relativity and Conceptual Schemes: a study of the consequences of 20thcentury epistemology on the anthropology of radical diversity. Given at the University of York undergraduate philosophy colloquia (March)