The Phil releases guest speaker line-up for year ahead

Introducing the guests due to speak at the Phil this year

Irish musician and activist Sinead O’Connor and theorist Judith Butler are among guest speakers due to speak at the Philosophical Society (the Phil) this year as the society releases its lineup for events.

The Phil has announced 11 notable figures confirmed as guest speakers for this year ahead of the start of Freshers’ Week.

With Covid-19 restrictions in place around the country, societies have turned to online platforms like Zoom to host guest speakers and events.

Bernadine Evaristo

Evaristo sent shockwaves through the literary world with this year’s Winner of the Booker Prize Girl, Woman, Other. It follows the lives of 12, mostly black, women who navigate the complexities of modern life. Evaristo is an outspoken critic of the difficulties that women of colour face in the publishing industry; she became the first woman of colour to reach the top of the fiction charts in the UK in June.   

Chile Eboe-Osuji

Now President of the International Criminal Court, Eboe-Osuji has been an outspoken critic of corruption in his native country; Nigeria. He initiated criminal proceedings against William Ruto for inciting violence in the runup to the contested elections of 2007. He has gone on record against the Trump administration for its attempts to undermine the ICC. Eboe-Osuji is a huge figure in the most powerful court in the world, his talk is essential viewing for any students interested in international relations.


Since their debut in 2017, the Belfast-based hip-hop trio they have gained a reputation for championing republican politics. They were escorted off stage at University College Dublin (UCD) after leading chants of “tiocfaidh ár lá”. Never far from the headlines, Kneecap are one of the most popular acts in a thriving Irish hip hop scene. 

Sinead O’Connor

O’Connor is a trailblazer for women in rock music. Best known for her cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U, O’Connor has released a string of hits since the 80s. Became an ordained priest despite growing up as a female Catholic. One of Ireland’s enduring cultural figures.

Esther Duflo

Duflo is only the second woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economics for her research in microeconomic issues in developing countries. She has received critical acclaim for her work Poor Economics, which rejected the formulaic global solutions to poverty. Influential in her use of RCTs in her work. 

Judith Butler

Butler is a feminist philosopher whose work influenced third-wave feminist and queer theory and will be familiar to students across a range of arts and social sciences courses. Their acclaimed book “Gender Trouble” has challenged conventional notions of gender throughout their career.

100 Gecs

This Experimental electronic music duo who released their debut in 2019 to critical acclaim. Their music, described as an “anarchic assault”, offers a chaotic and thrilling fusion of various genres and styles. Hosted an online festival, Square Garden, during lockdown which featured Charli XCX. Often praised for their originality, they are always one step ahead of the rest. 

Lady Hale

Lady Hale is the Head of the UK Supreme Court, and member of the House of Lords. Hale Presided over some of the most controversial Supreme Court rulings in recent years, with the overruling of the government’s position on Brexit particularly divisive. This talk will offer a unique insight into the inner workings of the UK judicial system. 

Alex Vitale

Anti-police brutality activist and academic. Vitale argued for the abolition of police and the use of decriminalisation in The End of Policing. The worldwide protests over the killing of George Floyd has thrust his work even further in the spotlight and makes him such an interesting speaker regarding today’s global problems of racism. 

Cornell Brooks

Brooks is a Civil rights lawyer, and former head of the NAACP, the most prominent civil rights group in America. Former Democratic nominee for Congress, Brooks will offer a unique insight into the issues of race relations that continue to plague America. 

Michael Kirby

Michael Kirby is the Former Justice of the High Court of Australia. Kirby sparked a debate in Australia over the role of judges after rejecting the use of personal prejudice in reaching decisions. He is an experienced jurist and academic who became the youngest man appointed to federal judicial office in 1975.