Adam Clay (FHEA)

Thesis title: A Way of Being Called Poetry

PhD in English Literature

Year of study: 4

  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 4.38
50 George Square

Post code


A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Adam holds a CAPES Externe d'Anglais (French equivalent of a PGCE in English Studies) as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both English and Philosophy (Licence & Master 2 d'Anglais mention Très Bien, Maîtrise & Licence de Philosophie mention Bien). Before coming to Edinburgh for his PhD in 2015, Adam worked full-time for four years as a permanent English language teacher (professeur certifié titulaire détaché) at the University of Franche-Comté (CLA) in Besançon, France, where he also did interpreting, translating, and administrative work (as temporary Coordinator for Foreign Languages). Currently a tutor on English literature, French, and translation courses at the University of Edinburgh, Adam has also worked as a French tutor and assessor for the British Army and at the University of Auckland, in New Zealand, where he also worked as an English Language Advisor. Prior to that, Adam taught English language courses in France, at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 (including on an online distance learning course) and in secondary schools. Adam studied at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3 and at University of Auckland after going to a French preparatory school (Hypokhâgne). This followed from a French & English education (Baccalauréat Littéraire mention Bien avec Option Internationale Anglais) as Adam is trilingual (born in France to a British father and a Polish mother).


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Undergraduate teaching

Adam has been a Tutor on the following courses:

- English Literature 1 - Department of English Literature

- English Literature 2 - Department of English Literature

- Translation for Francophone Students (French to English) - Department of Eurpean Languages and Cultures

- French 1B Oral - Department of Eurpean Languages and Cultures

- French Foundation 2 - Department of Eurpean Languages and Cultures

- French 2 Written Language - Department of Eurpean Languages and Cultures

Research summary

Adam's research focuses on poetry and care, as he is particularly interested in areas where philosophy and literature intersect, such as in the works of Martin Heidegger and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Project activity

- Erasmus+ Teaching Mobility at the University of Nantes, France, in April 2018.

- Co-founder of the OverLAP group of researchers ( and of its reading group LLC-Philosophy.

- Co-organiser of OverLAP's international and  interdisciplinary conference on the links between literature and philosophy ("Forms of Knowledge," on the 7th and 8th of November 2017) and of its interdisciplinary research poster workshop (24th October 2017).

- Co-leader of a poetry workshop as part of a project entitled Spaces of Belonging (Edinburgh, March 2017):

- Former peer-reviewer for FORUM (University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts):

- Former editor and contributor (three posts) for (2015-2016):

Past project grants

- Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) Cohort Development fund (for an interdisciplinary research poster workshop organised with eight other colleagues)
- University of Edinburgh Innovative Initiative Grant (for an interdisciplinary conference and poster project organised with six other colleagues)
- The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
- Erasmus+ Teaching Mobility Grant (University of Edinburgh - University of Nantes, France)
- University of Edinburgh's Principal's Go Abroad fund


- "Forms of Knowledge" OverLAP conference: international and interdisciplinary conference on the links between literature and philosophy. 7-8 November 2017, Edinburgh, UK.

Papers delivered

- "Emerson’s Poetics and the Ethics of Care" at the annual SAES conference "Revolutions," at the Université Paris Nanterre, France, in June 2018.

-  "Emerson, Poetry, and Care" at the 50th AFEA Conference “Magnifying America: the poetics and politics of details,” at the University of Nice, France, in May 2018.

- "Ignorance, connaissance et reconnaissance en poésie : Wordsworth et Coleridge à la lumière de Hume et de Cavell," at the CRINI seminar « Le concert des nations à l’époque moderne » at the University of Nantes, France, in April 2018.

- "Poetry as a manifestation of care: Emerson and Heidegger," research poster presented at the “Forms of Knowledge” conference at the University of Edinburgh, November 2017

- "A Way of Being Called Poetry" at the European Society for the Study of English's Doctoral Symposium in August 2017, in Thessaloniki, Greece.

- "Phenomenology and Ontology in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Texts on Poetry" at the Nineteenth Century Research Seminars organised at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Advanced Studies of the Humanities, April 2017.

- "How Do We Phenomenologically and Poetically Care?" at the Cross-Disciplinary Phenomenology Symposium: "A readiness for the questionable" in June 2016, in Canterbury, UK.

- "Destined to Become Free Poets: From the Abyss to Potentiality" at the 5th Heidegger Conference: "Freedom and Destiny" in May 2014, in Messkirch, Germany.

"Are the Homeless Taboo? - A Theoretical Perspective" in FORUM (issue 24), available at:

Poetry: 2 poems in Poetry New Zealand, issue 47, available at:

Blog Posts: "Poetry: Who Cares?," "Did You Say Phenomenology and Ontology," and "Barbaric Terrorists, Nazi Savages, Inhuman Racists, and Lousy Zombies" on