Adina Arvatu was trained in literary studies and completed a PhD in philosophy at Monash University (Australia). Before joining the Writing Center at Nazarbayev University, she served as a Teaching Associate for courses in the humanities and social sciences at Monash University and the University of Western Ontario (Canada).
Adina’s main research interest lies in the pragmatic and rhetorical conditions of cultural criticism. Her PhD dissertation explores the methodological significance of the ‘archival turn’ in Western humanities and social sciences between the late 1970s and early 2000s. This turn roughly coincided with the rise of interdisciplinary research in the natural and social sciences. Her thesis shows that the wide appeal of the idea of ‘archive’ during this time—as distinct from the modern concept we normally use to designate an institution of collective memory such as the Archives Nationales in France—can be explained by the methodological efforts of thinkers like Michel Foucault, who sought to devise a logic of interdisciplinarity. These efforts were grounded in a rhetorical and pragmatic conception of what it means to ‘theorise’ about the social world. Adina is currently working on turning this body of research into a book.