Philipa Rothfield

I like the range of things that I do. This includes writing philosophy, dancing, walking the dogs, learning Japanese, public speaking, editing, reviewing, cooking, eating and going to see shows. What I don’t like so much is the amount of things that I do, measured across time. Since I have so-called retired from my longstanding position in Philosophy at La Trobe University, I only have myself to blame for this: for taking on things, and saying ‘yes’ because I like the sound of something, thinking that I can do x, y and z. The great revelation of leaving La Trobe was the extent to which I have replicated the same kinds of pressures, deadlines, commitments, blah blah. Habits die hard.


Even though I’ve been doing it for a long time, I still like writing. I like working my own philosophical thinking. It’s a slow business. I like writing for RealTime. It’s faster, more fluid. What’s hard with respect to writing reviews is the question of judgement. Deleuze wrote a piece entitled “To have done with judgement.” What would a review without judgement look like? Does judgement lie at the heart of the critical eye? Judgement sometimes gets in the way of connecting with a work. It is a form of alienation.

I am currently writing a book on dance and philosophy. (I said that last time I put in a writer’s profile…Will it ever be finished?) Meantime, I write smaller pieces on…dance and philosophy! All my work is informed by the time I spend in the dance studio, learning from others, benefitting from their corporeal insights. I have just finished co-writing a book on Deleuze and art practice (called Practising with Deleuze). I also do various things around Dancehouse. My ‘role’ is Creative Advisor, which covers almost anything. I like the variety.

Life of course is more and less than this. It’s peopled by larger-than-life thoughts, bodies and events, which swing into focus, then lurch into the background.

Recent articles for realtime

Other writing