About me

About me
I am a Leverhulme ECR Fellow in Philosophy at The University of Manchester. Prior to this, I was Lecturer in Philosophy at Cardiff University (2021-22), and held the Analysis Student Fellowship for 2020-21.

I work in social philosophy, with a cross-sectional focus on political theory, ethics, global justice, social epistemology and social metaphysics. My PhD project – Epistemic exclusion and epistemic self-defence: collective and individual responsibilities, rights and harms – brought some of these themes together. My current project The Metaphysics of Socioeconomic Epistemic Oppression directly focuses on class and poverty-based injustice. You can find details of my publications here, and information about past presentations of my work here and here.

In February 2021 I received my PhD in philosophy at the University of Manchester. In 2020 I was awarded the Faculty of Humanities Outstanding Teaching Award (by write-in student nominations). In 2019 I was awarded the University of Manchester Distinguished Achievement Award for postgraduate research, and the Faculty of Humanities award for Postgraduate Researcher of the year. In 2018 I was awarded the departmental teaching prize. In 2017, I received the inaugural essay prize award of the International Society of Social Ontology.

Research activity in 2020 and 2021
In 2020 and 2021 I was due to present and organise various events, several of which went ahead online (please see the relevant pages for details). In 2020 I published work on legitimate restrictions on the freedom of the press with regard to marginalised groups, and on the related idea of epistemic attention deficits. In 2021 I published co-authored work on social media regulation and delivered a co-edited collection for the Journal of Applied Philosophy on Collective Agents and Global Structural Injustice. I have work under review / in advanced prep on epistemic nudging, on epistemic injustice and meritocracy, on media ethics with regard to marginalised groups, and on impostor syndrome. I have further papers in earlier stages of prep on various related issues in epistemic injustice.

Research activity in 2019
In 2019 I presented at refereed conferences in Princeton (US),  Tampere (Finland), Warwick, Newcastle, Cardiff and Kent (UK), and at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa). I also presented by invitation at the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and the University of Glasgow (UK), and co-convened and secured funding for a Mind-sponsored workshop on ‘Politics, the Law and Ontology’. I led and served on the organising committees of various student conferences throughout 2018 and 2019 (submitting and winning funding awards from various bodies for each of these events), in addition to continuing to convene the Manchester PhD Philosophy seminar series and the annual Manchester Philosophy department reading party retreat. I published work on structural alienation in cases of political reconciliation.

Research activity in 2018
In 2018 I received a funded Visiting Fellowship at The Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science at the University of Tilburg (Netherlands), which I took up towards the end of last year. Prior and post this in 2018, I presented my research by invitation and by refereed acceptance variously in Leeds, London, Manchester, Oxford and Dublin in the UK and Ireland; in Lund, Vienna, Braga, Pavia and Cologne (Europe); and in Melbourne (Australia). I was accepted to, but unable to attend, additional referred conferences in Hanover (Germany) and Boston (US), and also proposed, secured funding for, and lead-convened the 2018 Royal Institute of Philosophy three-part conference series on ‘Personhood and Selfhood’ (additionally sponsored by the AHRC and the Mind Association). I published work on personhood rights, and individual duties with regard to global poverty,

Community contributions
Outside of my research and teaching commitments I volunteer as a MAP (Minorities and Philosophy) UK mentor and worked for several years with talented year 12 students from backgrounds currently under-represented in higher education through the Manchester Access Programme. I am also a contributor to the Philosophy in Prisons project, run workshops based on my research in class and education, and was recently awarded Cardiff Research and Innovation funding for a project related to this, as principle investigator. I often present and lead philosophy talks and discussions in local schools and am happy to be contacted by school administrators and teachers who would like me to be part of their future planned events. From 2017-2021 I held the remunerated roles of Administrator for The Mind Association, and Editorial Assistant for the journal, Global Justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric, where I am now the reviews editor.

Funding, education and awards
My work has been generously funded by a doctoral studentship award from The University of Manchester (2016-19) and by a doctoral scholarship from the Society for Applied Philosophy (2019-20). I was also offered a Royal Institute of Philosophy Jacobsen studentship award for 2019-20, and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2022-2025.

Prior to my PhD I received my BA(hons) in PPE from the University of Oxford in 2015, and completed the MLitt in Philosophy (with Distinction) at the University of St Andrews in 2016.

For details of additional funding and awards received, or for further information regarding my work and experience, email me at L.smith@manchester.ac.uk.


Why does your website URL have ‘Stirling bus’ in the title?
Every cold and dark Monday morning of the first semester of my masters’ programme, at 9am, my fellow MLitts and I took the Stirling bus together from St. Andrews to the beautiful campus of Stirling University, for a full day of seminars and study. Taking a wintery Scottish journey like that together for two hours each way, you really get to know a group – linking our pages together through the Stirling bus website is our way of paying tribute to that experience!