Nidesh Lawtoo
Nidesh Lawtoo is Professor of Modern European Literature and Culture at Leiden University, Research Prof. of Philosophy at KU Leuven and PI of the ERC project Homo Mimeticus: Theory and Criticism (HOM) and of  Gendered Mimesis (GM).

Nidesh’s work reframes the ancient concept of mimesis in light of recent developments in continental philosophy, literary theory, and political theory attentive to the contagious, affective, and plastic nature of imitation. His understanding of Homo mimeticus furthers lines of inquiry central to modernism, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, affect theory, mimetic theory, stretching to include film studies and the neurosciences. He is the editor of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Contemporary Thought (2012), and (co-)edited special issues of MLN,  “Poetics and Politics: with Lacoue Labarthe” (2017) Conradiana (2016), CounterText (2022), Journal of Posthumanism (2022). His monographs include, The Phantom of the Ego: Modernism and the Mimetic Unconscious (2013), Conrad’s Shadow: Catastrophe, Mimesis, Theory (2016; Adam Gillon Award in Conrad Studies, best book of 2015-2017), and (New) Fascism: Contagion, Community, Myth (2019)His last books sums up the theory of mimesis that emerged from HOM and is titled, Homo Mimeticus: A New Theory of Imitation (Leuven UP, 2022).

His next books for the ERC Project are Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious: vol. 1 The Catharsis Hypothesis (MSU 2023) and Violence and the Mimetic Unconscious: The Affective Hypothesis (MSU P, forthcoming). Institutional websites for Leuven and Leiden. For a complete list of publications see

Willow Verkerk
Postdoctoral Researcher with the Gendered Mimesis Project at KU Leuven and Lecturer in Continental and Social Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. 

Willow Verkerk was previously a Lecturer in Modern European Philosophy at CRMEP, Kingston University (2016-2017) and an Associate Lecturer in Philosophy at St. Mary’s University (2017-2018). She is the author of Nietzsche and Friendship (Bloomsbury, 2019) and numerous academic articles and essays. Willow’s current research brings together continental philosophy, literary studies, and feminist theory to rethink gendered being through the concept of mimesis. Her analysis provides a genealogical study of the post-Enlightenment subject to further trouble its dualistic, patriarchal, and Eurocentric scheme. Drawing on a Nietzschean legacy in critical theory, she creates a dialogue between this legacy and contemporary continental feminist philosophers working with recent notions of gendered mimesis, specifically performativity (Butler), plasticity (Malabou), and inclinations (Cavarero). As a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Gendered Mimesis project Willow will work on a manuscript provisionally titled Gendered Being: Ontology and Mimesis in the Post-Enlightenment Subject, and a series of related articles.

Giulia Rignano
Ph.D. scholar at the Institute of Philosophy & The Faculty of Arts of KU Leuven within the Gendered Mimesis project and Associate Member of the HOM group.

Giulia Rignano graduated in Philosophy at the University of Milan with a Master’s thesis in Aesthetics titled “Materiality and Matter in Gilles Deleuze and the New Materialisms”. Their research combines Neo-materialist perspectives, Mimetic processes and Feminist and Queer Theories. They have collaborated with the international research group IdEm. Identification, empathie, projection dans les arts du spectacle (CNRS, Paris) and PIS. Performing Identities Studies at the University of Milan. They have also been part of the curatorial committee of CONTRA/DIZIONI, the first conference program on Queer and Feminist Theories based at the University of Milan. Their PhD within the Gendered Mimesis project focuses on the role of mimetic processes in rethinking the Subject in Feminist Theory and Criticism, highlighting the performative, affective, and collective dimension of its constitution. Institutional page here

Marina García-Granero (Former Member)
Post-doctoral Researcher at the University of Valencia and KU Leuven, thanks to the support of a “Margarita Salas” fellowship from the Spanish Government.

Marina García-Granero earned her PhD in Philosophy from the University of Valencia with a thesis entitled “The transformation of humanity in Nietzsche’s philosophy. On the concept of ‘breeding’ (Züchtung) and its projection in contemporary philosophical thought”. Before that, she received a BA in Philosophy (University of Valencia, Academic Excellence Award), MA in Ethics and Democracy (University of Valencia, Extraordinary Award) and MA in Feminist Studies (Jaume I University). She has been a visiting researcher at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris (France, 2019) and the Università del Salento (Lecce, Italy, 2018). Her areas of research and teaching are Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy, moral philosophy and feminist theory. In the context of her research within the HOM team, Marina analyzes Nietzsche’s philosophy and legacy from the perspective of mimesis, with the aim of developing a genealogy of social and cultural normativity, considering the gendered elements as well. She studies mimesis as an anthropological condition for subject formation, focusing on philosophers influenced by Nietzsche or who have stablished a critical dialogue with his philosophy (Deleuze, Lacoue-Labarthe, Nancy, Lawtoo, Butler, Irigaray, Connolly, Bennett, etc.).List of publications here.

Isabell Dahms (Former member)
Postdoctoral Researcher with the Gendered Mimesis Project at KU Leuve and director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre for Queer History.

Isabell Dahms convenes the MA Queer History and is the director of the Goldsmiths’ Centre for Queer History. Their current research looks at queer social movements and municipal histories in London, working closely with LGBTQIA+ archives at Bishopsgate Institute. Isabell is co-editor of Thinking Catherine Malabou: Passionate Detachments (Rowman and Littlefifeld, 2018) and the author of the article ‘Always trouble: Gender before and after Gender Trouble’ (Radical Philosophy, 2021). Her PhD (2020) researched the emergence of the philosophical concepts of speculation and performativity in modern German philosophy, and more recently in feminist and queer theories. Her current research looks at the history of the concept of gender, its clinical, sociological and philosophical origins. As part of the Gendered Mimesis project, Isabell will analyse how ontology is rethought through the concepts of performativity (Judith Butler), speculation, inclination (Adriana Cavarero), and orientation (Sara Ahmed) and inquire into the relationship between feminist philosophy and collective political activism.