Meet the new ESPhil PhD candidate: Sara Madera Gomez

Sara Madera Gomez is a new PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Philosophy. We would like to welcome Sara in the ESPhil community and would like to introduce her.

Where are you from? 

I was born in Quito-Ecuador in 1992. I lived there my whole life until I moved to Edinburgh in 2018 to studied my Master. I like dogs, coffee, running, climbing and Russian Literature, among other things. Big Star Wars fan.

 Where did you do your studies/What did you study?

I did my BA in Ecuador, in Philosophy and Education, my thesis was about Martin Heidegger and the concept of emptiness in art. And I just finished my MSc in Philosophy last year at the University of Edinburgh. My thesis was about Descartes and Leibniz on the concept of vacuum. 

Why did you choose Erasmus School of Philosophy to do your PhD?

I wanted to work on Spinoza for my PhD, so I though that the Netherlands was the perfect place to do it. And I chose ESPHIL at EUR because it is home of many renowned specialists in Early Modern Philosophy in general, so I knew that my research was going to be well supervised. Besides, even though the department has many scholars (I keep meeting new people every day) I could felt from the interview that there is a strong community bond among everyone, which is very important in Academia and that it is difficult to find in bigger departments.

 What is your research about?

My research will deal with the concept of non-human animal nature in the philosophies of Spinoza and Leibniz. The main objective is to carry out a comparative historical analysis of these notions, in the light of the applications that contemporary ecosophies such as those of Arne Naess and Pauline Phemister make on the Spinoist and Leibnizian systems.

What are your expectations of the PhD?

I consider the PhD to be like a long-distance race where you have to adapt patiently and make adjustments throughout the route. My expectations are basically related to learning. From the beginning I have realized that all the notions I developed in the Master's program will be disrupted and will have to be readjusted, so I hope to re-learn how to organize my time, select priorities and establish the right amount of coffee to work during the day but sleep at night!

 What are your first impressions of the Erasmus University and the city Rotterdam?

I have always lived in cities full of old buildings, both Quito and Edinburgh have stone streets, castles and alleys everywhere. So coming to Rotterdam and finding a hyper-modern city has made me wonder about history and time, I think the city is proof that history can be lived in different ways and that the past is reinterpreted from new perspectives. I think that the campus is also aligned with the city, and in that sense I really like its versatility and the use of colours. It's also wonderful that they have so many coffee stations!