News and Events
University of Sydney Student Proves Politics and Philosophy are a Winning Combination
The annual ASLP Essay Competition encourages innovative research and writing in legal theory and the philosophy of law by early career scholars around the world.
PhD candidate, Kyla Reid
Kyla Reid, a PhD candidate in the University of Sydneyâ€™s Department of Philosophy, produced 2010â€™s winning essay. Her award includes a cash prize, publication in the Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy and the opportunity to present her paper at the ALSP Conference in Melbourne.
Kylaâ€™s winning paper comes from her current thesis â€˜Beyond Sovereignty, Self-Determination and Self-Government: Towards a New Discourse of Indigenous Governance Claims.â€™
Comparing the thesis process to â€˜writing a bookâ€™, Kyla suggests that â€˜the language academics use to talk about Indigenous governance is conceptually confused â€¦ [There is] talk about Indigenous people wanting sovereignty, self-government and self-determination and these words are all treated to mean approximately the same thing.â€™
Kyla hopes to discover how these vastly different words came into use and â€˜what would be a more conceptually clear word to adoptâ€™ in their place. She also explores how â€˜settler states like Australia and Canada become legitimateâ€™ and the impact of their national history of Colonialism.
Despite finding her win â€˜exciting â€¦ and a little unexpectedâ€™, Kyla is honoured â€˜to have a community of other academics recognise [her work] as useful.â€™ She is quick to thank the supportive Department of Philosophy, which â€˜is a good place to be a studentâ€™ and fantastic source of advice.
Presenting versions of her current paper to small research group within the Department gave Kyla access to diverse and constructive feedback. This guidance â€˜was immensely helpful in making [the paper] a more persuasive argument, which helped it succeedâ€™ in the ASLP Essay Competition.
With less than a year and a half before her 100,000-word thesis in completed Kyla says that â€˜you have to do [a PhD] for yourself and if you want it badly enough it will work out.â€™
To find out more about postgraduate study with the Department of Philosophy visit sydney.edu.au/arts/philosophy/postgrad/index.shtml
Article by Liz Schaffer.