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Dr Uta Staiger
Appointment
  • Executive Director of the European Institute
  • SHS Faculty Office
  • Faculty of S&HS
Biography

Uta directs the UCL European Institute, which she co-founded in 2010 in order to create and curate opportunities for research on Europe across the disciplines, within and beyond UCL.

Academically, Uta has strongly cross-disciplinary interests in modern and contemporary European thought, culture, and politics, and works across German, English, Spanish, Catalan and French. With a background in literature, critical theory and continental philosophy, she has also moved into more traditional political science territory, particularly the history and theory of European integration and all matters Brexit. Her most recent, co-edited open access volume, Brexit and Beyond. Rethinking the Futures of Europe (with Benjamin Martill, UCL Press, 2018), has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

Uta is also Pro-Vice-Provost (Europe), a strategic role shaping UCL’s partnerships with European universities and providing leadership for UCL’s Brexit mitigation and transition planning. As part of this role, she sits on UCL's Brexit Transition Oversight Group, the Global Group and the board of the Cities partnerships Programme. She is also a member of the EU Advisory Board of the Russell Group and the Advisory Board of the Scottish Council on European Relations.

Uta gained a PhD from the University of Cambridge, supported by a scholarship from the Gates Cambridge Trust, and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She was also educated at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Konstanz (Germany), as well as at the Universitat de Girona (Catalonia) during a stint working for the Barcelona-based think tank Interarts.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Uta's research is broadly in modern European thought, culture, and politics. She is especially interested in 20th-century continental writers that seek to straddle aesthetics and the idea of the political. But she also works on the ideational and cultural dimensions of politics and policy in Europe.

Her most recent publications include the co-authored article Negotiating Brexit: The Cultural Sources of British Hard Bargaining (JCMS, 2020), and a chapter on the politics of emotions in Brexit and Beyond. Rethinking the Futures of Europe, which she co-edited with Benjamin Martill (UCL Press, 2018)

Uta's current work includes research on Arendt, Machiavelli and Jankélévitch on political virtuosity; the crisis of krisis in contemporary British politics; and the politics of mourning in theatre and theory. She has previously worked on the role culture plays for theories of citizenship; on memory cultures in urban and architectural practices; and on cultural policy in the history of European integration.

Teaching Summary

Uta is affiliated to the BA/MA Comparative Literature and teaches on the new cross-faculty module Crisis and Disease in the West: Culture, Humanity and Big Data. She also gives occasional lectures on and supervises for other programmes at UCL, such as the BA European Culture and the MA Global Migration.

For the UCL Department of History, Uta used to teach the two-part MA module History and Theory of European Integration.

Uta is currently co-convening two working groups at UCL to reform MA/MSc programmes in European Studies in the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Social and Historical Sciences and Laws.

Academic Background
2009   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
2002   Master of Philosophy University of Cambridge
2001   Master of Arts (Hons) University of Edinburgh
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