Dr Sunny Dhillon

Prior to joining the Education Studies team in November 2021, Dr Sunny Dhillon spent five years as a learning developer at the University of Leeds, as well as at BGU, where he also worked as a Visiting Tutor in the Theology, Ethics and Society department. Sunny conducted his doctoral research through the Philosophy department at Cardiff University, focussing upon the concept of utopia. Owing to his background in Philosophy, combined with Academic Literacies, he is well placed to help students critically investigate the ostensibly virtuous practice(s) of formal education.

Sunny’s research interests include Critical Theory (The Frankfurt School), Nietzsche, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Utopia, Philosophy of Education and Academic Literacies. His current research projects include two main strands. Firstly, the role of satirical humour, game play, and the mythical archetype of the Trickster within Higher Education practices. Secondly, explorations of identity concerning Sikh Scholars working the Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences in the anglosphere.

Office number: Skinner 119

ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6632-701X

Blog: https://dsdhillon.medium.com/

Contact Dr Sunny Dhillon

Related Courses


PhD Philosophy – Cardiff University (2020)

Fellowship of Advance HE (2019)

Association for Learning Development in Higher Education Certified Practitioner (2017)

Trinity Cert-TESOL – TEFL Lab, London (2014)

MA Ethics and Social Philosophy – Cardiff University (2010)

BA Spanish – Cardiff University (2009)

Professional Recognition

Editor of Solertia (Bishop Grosseteste University student journal)

Peer reviewer for Other Education: the journal of educational alternatives


Member of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

Member of the Sikh Academics and Researchers Network

Member of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education

Peer-reviewed journal articles

‘The Trickster Archetype: education to stupefy’, Journal of Philosophy of Education (accepted for publication, TBC).

‘Infinitesimal freedom: Theodor W. Adorno meets Jiddu Krishnamurti’, Comparative and Continental Philosophy (accepted for publication, TBC).

‘Utopia as akairological rupture’, The European Legacy (2023), doi: 10.1080/10848770.2023.2204643.

‘You must be having a laugh: humour to transgress’, Other Education, 11:1 (2022), pp. 42 – 58.

‘An Immanent Critique of Decolonisation Projects’, Philosophical Inquiry in Education, 28:3 (2021), pp.251-258.

‘The Dionysian Free Jazz of John W. Coltrane’, Telos, Spring (2020), pp.139-156.

‘Whose wellbeing is it anyway’, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education (October, 2018).doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.460

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party’, Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics, 10:1 (2013), pp.41 – 52.

Book chapters

‘Critical self-reflection in Learning Development’, in Learning Development in Higher Education, eds. Carina Buckley and Alicja Syska (Routledge), TBC 2023/24.

‘Don Quixote contra Faust: Ernst Bloch’s Abstract or Concrete Utopia?’, in Yesterday’s Tomorrows: On Utopia and Dystopia, eds. Pere Gallardo and Elizabeth Russell (Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014), pp. 293 – 306.

Non-peer-reviewed articles

Revolver and Nietzschean Self-War’, Philosophy Now, Issue 119, April/May 2017

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party’, Philosophy Now, Issue 99, November/December 2013

Black Swan: Dionysus dances with Apollo’, Philosophy Now, Issue 86, September/October 2011

Online articles/blogs

Rethinking – and maybe abolishing – graduations’, WONKHE (21 June, 2023)

Our desk-based higher education is not good for our health and our diversity’, WONKHE (22 June, 2022)

An Immanent Critique of Decolonisation Projects’, Convivial thinking (25 September, 2021)

‘Mind the gap: a platforms problem’, Copyright Licensing Agency (5 July, 2021)

‘Why neoliberal universities can’t expect their libraries to facilitate decolonisation’, Copyright Licensing Agency (14 April, 2020)

Decolonisation isn’t as simple as many people think’, WONKHE (21 February, 2020)

Book reviews

Xenofeminism‘, Philosophy Now, Issue 141, Dec 2020/Jan 2021

To Be Born: Genesis of a New Human Being’, Philosophy Now, Issue 128, Oct/Nov 2018

Podcast interviews

Whose wellbeing is it anyway? (Association for Learning Development in Higher Education Podcast, September 2022).

‘Spotlight: Professionals Working in the Third Space’, Association of University Administrators (AUA) Annual Conference, University of Warwick, July 2023.

‘Sikh Scholars in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’, Sikh Scholars Network UK, University of Warwick, June 2023.

‘The Trickster archetype: education to stupefy’, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB) Annual Conference, University of Oxford, April 2023.

‘Keynote: The Dionysian Free Jazz of John W. Coltrane’, The 44th Implicit Religion Conference, Bishop Grosseteste University, May 2022.

‘Embedding academic literacies at PG level within the School of Environment’, Digital Education Service conference, University of Leeds, July 2021.

‘Bridging the feedback gap’, Student Education Conference, University of Leeds, January 2020.

‘Student engagement through a Virtual Learning Environment’, Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement, Newcastle University, September 2019.

‘Thinking critically in Learning Development’, Association for Learning Development in Higher Education, University of Exeter, April 2019.

‘The Wellbeing Agenda’, Association for Learning Development in Higher Education, University of Leicester, March 2018.

‘John Coltrane and Utopia’, Research on the Rise Conference, Bishop Grosseteste University, September 2017.

‘Marcuse and Hip Hop’, The Frankfurt School and Music International Conference, University College Dublin, July 2014.

‘Coltrane: Free-Jazz and Utopia’, Paths to Utopia Symposium, Cardiff University, June 2013.

‘Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Marcuse’, Philosophy and Film Society, Cardiff University, November 2012.

‘Ernst Bloch and Utopia’, Utopian Studies Society International Conference, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain, July 2012.

‘Ernst Bloch: Abstract or Concrete Utopia?’, South Wales Philosophy Conference, Gregynog, Wales, March 2012.

‘Nietzsche, Music and Language’, South Wales Philosophy Conference, Gregynog, Wales, March 2011.