Dr Tae-Yeoun Keum

Philosophy, Politics and Economics
Christopher Tower Junior Research Fellow


BA (Yale), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Harvard)

Academic Background

BA Humanities, Yale University
MPhil Political Thought and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge (Gonville and Caius)
PhD Political Theory, Harvard University

Undergraduate Teaching

At Oxford, I have taught Theory of Politics for PPE Prelims and Political Thought from Plato to Rousseau. I have previously also taught the history of modern political philosophy from Machiavelli to Nietzsche, surveys of topics in comparative politics and in political science more generally, and miscellaneous subjects in literature and politics.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in ancient political thought and its reception, 20th century German philosophy, and the intersection of political theory and literature. My current research is on political myth: narratives about political events or conditions that are taken for granted, and which do not lend themselves easily to critical scrutiny. I’m interested in asking whether a political theory committed to rational ideals can afford a place for such narratives.  My first book explores this question by examining Plato’s myths and their modern legacy, in particular in the political thought of More, Bacon, Leibniz, the German Romantics, and Cassirer. In my recent work, I have been researching Hans Blumenberg, the 20th century philosopher of myth, in the context of contemporary debates in Europe on the role of symbols, narratives, and the imagination in politics.


Plato and the Mythic Tradition in Political Thought (Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2020).
‘Plato's Myth of Er and the Reconfiguration of Nature,’ American Political Science Review, forthcoming.
‘Why did Socrates conduct his dialogues before an audience?’ History of Political Thought 37, no. 3 (2016): 411-437.


Contemporary fiction, printmaking.