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Personal profile

Research Interests

My academic background is in Philosophy of Education. I am interested in how injustice and inequality are reproduced and sustained by forms of ignorance, testimonial and hermeneutical injustices, lack of access to important capitals such as linguistic capital, and by the ways in which ordinary vices are often overlooked as important sources of injustice: cruelty, misogyny, hypocrisy, and so on.

My key areas of interest include:


  • SEN/Inclusion
  • The Capability Approach (Nussbaum)
  • Education Policy
  • Philosophy of Emotions
  • Feminism and Gender (philosophical liberalism)
  • Literacy/Linguistic Capital


I am primarily influenced by liberal feminist philosophers who have done much to raise awareness of how women as persons, as knowers, and as carers, have been overlooked in the philosophical (and virtually every other) tradition; and helped us think differently about how other classically marginalised groups, such as those with impairments and disabilities, fare under conditions of micro and macro inequalities and injustices.

Among my favourite thinkers are: Aristotle, Martha Nussbaum, Miranda Fricker, Pierre Bourdieu, JS Mill, John Rawls, Marilyn Friedman, Rae Langton, Catherine MacKinnon, Eva Kittay, to name only a few.

Concepts that I enjoy working with include: autonomy and personhood; testimonial and hermeneutical injustices; linguistic capital (following Bourdieu and Passeron); inequality and injustice; stereotyping and prejudice; and emotions, the latter because they are phenomenally complex but often reduced to simple, merely excited states of mind which lack thought or rationality (just ask any feminist or marginalised person why are angry about injustice: their anger won't lack thought - or reason!).

In the Masters programme on SEN/Inclusion I ask students to think differently about commonplace assumptions about what it means to include people with disabilities or impairments, from the working class or marginalised sexualities. So: what does it mean to label somebody as something? What happens when we give greater or less credibility to a person simply because of her or his status, colour, class or sex? And where are we left ethically if we deliberately will ignorance of injustice? In pursuit of these kinds of questions, I like students to release their imaginations on old and stubborn problems in new ways.

The release of imagination can sometimes be achieved by deliberately inverting your sense of proportion. If something seems very minute, imagine it to be simply enormous, and ask yourself: What difference might that make? And vice versa, for gigantic phenomena. What would pre-literate villages look like with populations of 30 millions? (C Wright Mills, The Sociological Imaginationp.217)



Inclusion and SNE (MEd)

Deconstructing Special Needs Education adn Inclusion

Reimagining Special Needs Education: A Capability Approach

Issues of Equity and Social Justice in Special Needs Education


Children's Rights MSc

Children's Right Pedagogy

Childhood and Youth Research in Practice



Special Needs Education and Inclusion: A Capability Approach


PGCE: Educational and Professional Studies


Secondary Education

Before entering academia in 2013, I was Head of Social Subjects in a number of secondary schools in Scotland specialising in Geography and Modern Studies, a uniquely Scottish subject focused on Politics, Sociology, International Relations and Citizenship Studies.

GTC (Scotland) registered: Geography and Modern Studies


Winner and first recipient of the 'ICARE' award in memory of the late Vice-Chanellor, PG Johnstone, Staff Excellence Awards, 2018

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2017

Nominated for Queen's University 'Oustanding Leadership' Award, 2017

Winner Student's Union 'Best Feedback' Award, 2017

Nominated for Gradudate School 'Supervision Excellence Award', 2017

Nominated and shortlisted for Students' Union 'Most Inspiring Teacher', 2017

Nominated for Queen's University 'Delivering Excellence' Award, 2016



PGCE Director

Depute Director School Research Ethics Committee

Member of the Children's Rights Centre

Associate Member of the Center for Evidence and Social lnnovation (CESI)

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Projects 2017 2017

Research Output 2012 2020

  • 13 Article
  • 7 Commissioned report
  • 2 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
  • 2 Editorial
Open Access
138 Downloads (Pure)

Lies, Bullshit and Fake News: Some Epistemological Concerns

MacKenzie, A. & Bhatt, I., Jan 2020, In : Postdigital Science and Education. 2, 1, p. 9-13 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
19 Downloads (Pure)

Opposing the power of lies, bullshit and fake news: the value of truth

MacKenzie, A. & Bhatt, I., 2020, In : Postdigital Science and Education. 2, 1, p. 217-232 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
4 Citations (Scopus)

Just Google it! Digital literacy and the epistemology of ignorance

Bhatt, I. & MacKenzie, A., 20 Feb 2019, In : Teaching in Higher Education. 24, 3, p. 302-317 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

search engine


Article of the Month, Issue 3, Teaching in Higher Education, 2019

Alison MacKenzie (Recipient) & Ibrar Bhatt (Recipient), 02 Jun 2019

Prize: Other distinction

expert knowledge
search engine

Best Concise Paper Award

Ibrar Bhatt (Recipient) & Alison MacKenzie (Recipient), Nov 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

ICARE Award, Staff Excellence Awards

Alison MacKenzie (Recipient), 09 Feb 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Nominated for 'Delivering Excellence', Staff Excellence Awards

Alison MacKenzie (Recipient), 08 Feb 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2011 2020

The International Conference on the Future of Education

Alison MacKenzie (Keynote speaker)
01 Apr 202003 Apr 2020

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Council for At-Risk Academics (External organisation)

Alison MacKenzie (Reviewer)
Sep 2019 → …

Activity: Membership typesMembership of peer review panel or committee

Postdigital Science and Education (Journal)

Alison MacKenzie (Editorial board member)
Jul 2019Jun 2024

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

Postdigital Science and Education (Journal)

Alison MacKenzie (Guest editor), Ibrar Bhatt (Guest editor)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity