School of Social and Political Science

Denisea Kennedy-Fernandez

Job Title

PhD Student

Research interests

Research interests

Philosophy Ethics Feminist Theory Social and Political Theory Critical Theory Science and Technology Studies European and International Law Human Rights.

PhD Project

PhD Title

Sex Robots Among Us: Ethical and Feminist Issues

PhD Supervisors

Dr. Sarah Parry (School of Social and Political Science / Science, Technology and Innovation Studies)

Dr. Shannon Vallor (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Science / Centre for Technomoral Futures)

PhD Overview

With growing public and policy debates around sex robots and their futures, it is imperative that there be more innovative and interdisciplinary scholarly examination regarding their design and innovation. Just as well, the human-technology interactions and regulatory futures must be analyzed. This PhD builds upon scholarship from philosophy, and science and technology studies (STS), in order to explore the intersections regarding technologies, sex, race, class and gender.


I am concurrently a doctoral student in Science and Technology Studies and a PhD Fellow (of the inaugural cohort) in the Baillie Gifford Data & AI Ethics Programme, at the Edinburgh Futures Institute (based in the Centre for Technomoral Futures).

My PhD research project is 'Sex Robots Among Us: Ethical and Feminist Issues', which is co-supervised by experts in the sociology of gender and technology (School of Social and Political Sciences/Science, Technology and Innovation Studies), and philosophy and ethics of technology (School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences/Centre for Technomoral Futures). I am interested in building upon my previous research, to explore the social and cultural attitudes and the broader ethical implications regarding women, that inform current sex robot and artificial intelligence designs. 


2024 (In Progress) - PhD Science and Technology Studies  (The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

  • Thesis: “Sex Robots Among Us: Ethical and Feminist Issues”

2019 - MA Philosophy of Contemporary Challenges  (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)

  • Thesis: “Reinforcing the Rape Institution through Sex Robots: A Perspective from Feminist Thought”

2017 - BA Liberal Arts & Sciences: Law  (University College Tilburg, The Netherlands)

  • Thesis: “Indigenous Rights in Practice: International Legal Mechanisms as Applied to the Dakota Access Pipeline Case”

Awards and Funding

2020-2024  Baillie Gifford PhD Studentship in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence  (100% 4 years)

Sponsor: Baillie Gifford

Post: Edinburgh Futures Institute /Centre for Technomoral Futures

Previous Appointments

Student Assistant - Department of Philosophy  (March 2019 – August 2019)
Tilburg School of Humanities & Digital Sciences at Tilburg University

Copy Editor - Tilburg Law Review  (Sept 2016 – June 2017)
Academic Journal of International & European Law at Tilburg Law School