Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education

PaTHES is associated with the Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education journal (PTHE). PTHE is an international refereed scholarly journal committed to advancing understanding of the role(s) and purpose(s) of higher education. The journal strives to be inclusive in scope, addressing topics and issues of significance to a wide range of scholars and practitioners concerned with the relationship between higher education and society.

Rigorous submissions informed by diverse philosophical and theoretical orientations, including, but not limited to, critical theory, existentialism, feminism, queer theory, post-colonialism, Marxism, liberalism, poststructuralism, postmodernism, and post-humanism will be welcomed. The journal aims to stimulate critical analyses of policy and practice in higher education, with an emphasis on inter-disciplinarity and international perspectives.

The content will be primarily philosophical and theoretically-based research papers. Analytical papers that reflect on empirical projects will also be featured in the journal. Short responses to previous articles as well as essay reviews of new works in the field will be considered to promote ongoing critical dialogue within the journal. Proposals for special issues, with thematically linked papers, are encouraged.

PTHE is published by Peter Lang, three times a year (spring, summer, and fall) and is open access. 

The Executive Editor is Professor John E. Petrovic, The University of Alabama.

John invites you all to send him an email (petrovic at to explore any idea you may have, either for a paper of your own or for an initiative for the Journal.

Members of PaTHES may receive a hard copy of the journal, by request, as part of their fully paid dues. 

Call for review

PTHE is interested in publishing essay reviews of new books in the field as well as responses to previously published articles in the journal. Please contact the Executive Editor directly if you have an interest in doing a review or response.

Special Issues

Coloniality and Whiteness in the Academy: Towards Decolonial Futures, guest edited by Thushari Welikala, St George’s, University of London, UK and Carola Boehm, Staffordshire University, UK

This special issue aims to contribute to the knowledge and understanding about the complexities, paradoxes, tensions, and possibilities of designing decolonial futures in higher education. Focusing on a timely and under-theorised area in higher education, it invites contributors and readers to critically engage with their own pedagogic practices and habits as well as the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that shape their thinking to explore the possibilities of disrupting whiteness and coloniality in higher education.

See here for the full call, and submit proposals directly to the Guest Editor: . Please reference “coloniality special issue” in the subject line of your email.

Answering the Question: What is Studying?, guest edited by Hans Schildermans (forthcoming November, 2021)

This special issue continues the journal’s collaboration with PaTHES and came out of the conference held in Leuven in September 2019. The aim of this special issue is to raise the question of what is studying. More than looking for a motto (like ‘Sapere aude!’), the objective was to gather a variety of evocative statements on the matter and to further conceptualize it. The concept of studying has gained renewed importance in philosophical and theoretical discourses about higher education and the university as well as arts and activism in recent years. Not only does it allow for opening new perspectives on the traditional tasks of the university (research-teaching-service), it also sheds new light on the relation between university and society, and the future of the university. The concept affords perception of the studious aspects of university research and teaching, uncovers those aspects of higher education that are hard to grasp drawing on the discourse of learning, and invites thinking about other ways of involving the public in the university. The special issue seeks to gauge the richness of the concept for educational thinking, probe its potential as a research lens, and experiment with its potential for enacting alternative higher education futures.

Imagining the Future University, guest edited by Søren S. E. Bengtsen and Ronald Barnett

The special issue arose originally from the first annual PaTHES conference ‘The Purpose of the Future University’, at Aarhus University in the autumn 2017, so the issue has been a little time underway. We appreciate the great efforts, patience and support from all the contributors of the special issue, and the continued work and efforts from executive editor John Petrovic, who has ensured that we now see the result of our work as a team!

Student Being and Becoming, guest edited by Amanda J. Fulford

This special issue came about following the annual conference of the PaTHES on the same theme that was held at Middlesex University, London, in 2018. Citing Amanda J. Fulford in the introduction: “[T]he notion of “becoming” is most often understood merely in terms of a transition into higher education, and so with the most practical of issues. What this focus of attention misses, however, is first, the ontological at the heart of what it means to be and become a student, and second, the perfectionist nature of being a student that is redolent of an ongoing process of being and becoming.”

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