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Personal profile

Personal profile

Hi, I am a Doctor of Philosophy, working at Royal Holloway University as a Marie Curie Research Fellow in Philosophy since 2022. My research spans the areas of aesthetics, ethics, and political philosophy. My writing attempts to bridge the European and Chinese philosophical traditions in a contemporary context, on topics such as gender, art psychotherapy, philosophy as way of life, biopolitics, technology, and the pressing environmental crisis. My upcoming monograph in French Le corps ascétique will be published in September 2023, by Éditions Kimé (Paris). My academic publications and presentations can be viewed on Academia. You can also learn more about my lectures, and conference talks, and events on philosophy and art on my Website and Youtube channel https://youtube.com/@Dr.ManhuaLi.


I am the secretary of the executive committee of the Society of European Philosophy (SEP), a member of the British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP), and that of the British Society of Aesthetics (BSA).


Alongside my work in philosophy, I enjoy playing music and dancing, exploring mindful practices such as yoga, calligraphy, and meditation, and making photos and films that relate philosophy to my personal life.


Research interests

Daoism and Confucianism

Philosophy as Way of Life (Intercultural Perspective)

Nietzsche and Post-Kantian German Philosophy

20th Century French Philosophy (Existientialism, Biopolitics, Deconstruction, etc.)

Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Environmental Aesthetics, Bioethics, AI Technology


PY3901 Self-Cultivation in Chinese Philosophy

PY5003 20th Century French Philosophy

Summer School Module at University College London: Yin-Yang, Body, and Gender

Other work

My satire on ethnic discrimination (against Asian community in particular) in Paris during the pandemics in 2020 on the website of the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs of Northwestern University: Bas les masques !

My talk in French on bodily and spiritual practices of self-cultivation in Chinese ancient philosophy (Neo-Daoism/Xuanxue) in a research presentation contest Paris ("Ma thèse en 180 secondes", with Chinese subtitle): Le corps ascétique. You can also check out the official video of the contest MT180 PSL on YouTube.

My talk in German "Der Körper im antiken China: Ji Kang und seine asketische Praxis" at the University of Freiburg (Germany), available on YouTube.

My discussion on the way in which Daoist epistemology and metaphysics of "suppleness" can help to reconsider crimes and violence, and the potential socio-political impact of this research. I also commented on the interdisciplinary method of the project which engages actively with AI technology, traditional Chinese medicine, social sciences, and education. The recordings of the lecture and the discussion are available on YouTube.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy/PhD, Le corps ascétique, École Normale Supérieure

Award Date: 27 Jul 2020

Philosophy, DAAD Visiting Scholar, Methodology of Nietzsche's Genealogy, University of Freiburg

Award Date: 1 Jul 2019

Philosophy, Master of Arts/MA, THE LIVED BODY IN HEIDEGGER, MERLEAU-PONTY AND DERRIDA, Louisiana State University

Award Date: 18 Dec 2015

English Literature, Bachelor of Arts/BA, Beijing Language and Culture University

Award Date: 19 Jun 2014

English Literature, Exchange Programme, Newcastle University

Award Date: 1 Jul 2013

External positions

Postdoctoral Researcher, Fudan University

Oct 2020Dec 2021

Curator of Academic Publications, École Normale Supérieure

Jan 2017Jul 2018