Scholarly Works - Centre for Gender Studies


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Politics of the Living Dead: Race and Exceptionalism in the Apocalypse
    (Sage, 2017-06-01) Fishel, S; Wilcox, L
    The zombie, as a Western pop culture icon, has taken up residence in International Relations. Used both humorously and as a serious teaching tool, many scholars and professors of IR have written of the zombie as a useful figure for teaching IR theory in an engaging manner, and have used zombie outbreaks to analyse the responses of the international community during catastrophe, invasion, and natural disasters. The authors of this article would like to unearth another aspect of the zombie that is often left unsaid or forgotten: namely, that the body of the zombie, as a historical phenomenon and cultural icon, is deeply imbricated in the racialisation of political subjects and fear of the Other. Through a critical analysis of biopower and race, and in particular Weheliye’s concept of habeas viscus, we suggest that the figure of the zombie can be read as a racialised figure that can provide the means for rethinking the relationship of the discipline of IR to the concept of race. We read The Walking Dead as a zombie narrative that could provide a critical basis for rethinking the concepts of bare life and the exception to consider ‘living on’ in apocalyptic times.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Practising gender, queering theory
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2017) Wilcox, L
    AbstractThe development of a ‘practice turn’ in International Relations promises to reconstitute IR theory around the study of embodied practices. Despite occasional references to Judith Butler’s work, the contributions of feminist and queer theory are under recognised in existing work. In this piece I note the distinctive approach to gender as a practice represented by Butler and other feminist/queer theorists for its emphasis on intelligibility and failure, particularly the importance on ‘competently’ practising gender in order to established as an intelligible subject. Given the centrality of ‘competency’ in ‘practice turn’ literature, theorising practice from the perspective of ‘gender failures’ sheds light on the embedded exclusions within this literature. To demonstrate the stakes of this critique, I discuss airport security practices, a growing area of interest to IR scholars, in terms of the experiences of trans- and gender non-conforming people. I argue that such practices ultimately complicate success/failure binaries. I conclude by considering the political stakes of practising theory in IR and how competency in theory is similarly marked by the exclusion of feminist/queer work.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Drones, Swarms, and Becoming-Insect: Feminist Utopias and Posthuman Politics
    (Springer Nature, 2017-07) Wilcox, LB
    Insects and ‘the swarm’ as metaphors and objects of research have inspired works in the genres of science fiction and horror; social and political theorists; and the development of war-fighting technologies such as ‘drone swarms’, which function as robot/insect hybrids. Contemporary developments suggest that the future of warfare will not be ‘robots’ as technological, individualised substitutions for idealised (masculine) warfighters, but warfighters understood as swarms: insect metaphors for non-centrally organised problem-solvers that will become technologies of racialisation. As such, contemporary feminist analysis requires an analysis of the politics of life and death in the insect and the swarm, which, following Braidotti (2002), cannot be assumed to be a mere metaphor or representation of political life, but an animating materialist logic. The swarm is not only a metaphor but also a central mode of biopolitical and necropolitical war, with the ‘terrorist’ enemy represented as swarm-like as well. In analysing the relations of assemblage and antagonism in the war ontologies of the drone swarm, I seek inspiration from what Hayles (1999, p. 47) describes as a double vision that ‘looks simultaneously at the power of simulation and at the materialities that produce it’. I discuss various representations and manifestations of swarms and insect life in science/speculative fiction, from various presentations of the ‘Borg’ in Star Trek (1987–1994, 1995–2001, 1996), Alien (1979) and The Fly (1958, 1986) to more positive representations of the ‘becoming-insect’ as possible feminist utopia in Gilman’s Herland (2015 [1915]) and Tiptree’s Houston, Houston, Do You Read? (1989 [1976]). Posthuman warfare also contains the possibilities of both appropriating and rewriting antagonisms of masculine and feminine in the embodiment of the subject of war in the swarm. This piece seeks to analyse new ways of feminist theorising of the relations of power and violence in the embodiment of war as the swarm.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The Nature of Social Responsibility: Exploring Emancipatory Ends
    (Wiley, 2017-06) Mussell, Helen
    AbstractSocial responsibility (SR) initiatives within a corporate environment (CSR) continue to be met with deep scepticism. My concern is with exploring this scepticism, which I argue is due to there being more to the underlying objectives of SR than has previously been investigated. I begin by outlining and substantiating my project as a social ontological enquiry, one in which I unpack key concepts to reveal the nature of SR. These ontological findings then underpin my argument that SR is problematically grounded in liberalist thinking, and CSR is in fact just one manifestation of SR. I advance the thesis that SR has emancipatory ends, of meeting human needs and flourishing, and that it is best explicated using feminist care ethics. The argument is then focussed on both shoring up and advancing the emancipatory project of SR. The scepticism of interest is revealed to be the incongruity between care and business; that businesses are deemed as being incompatible with SR, at least in their present capacity. Any claims to the contrary by the business community are branded inauthentic and the aforementioned scepticism ensues. The paper concludes with a brief discussion concerning implications for CSR initiatives and future changes and developments are considered.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The Truth of the Matter
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2016) Mussell, Helen
    Feminist standpoint theory (FST) has a troubled history that has limited its use and development as a core feminist epistemological project. This article revisits debates from its past, and re‐examines an apparent central problem: that of the realism identifiable in FST. Looking closely at the criticism leveled against one particular standpoint theorist—Nancy Hartsock—I show the criticism not only to be unfounded, as has previously been argued, but also unnecessary. I demonstrate that the accusations of supposedly realist contradictions in Hartsock's work are easily resolvable by engagement with critical realism (CR). I argue that CR not only accommodates Hartsock's conception of realism, and so dissolves any contention, but that CR complements and shores up FST's central claim: that situated knowledge carries with it an epistemic privilege. Another contemporary conception of realism is being developed—New Materialism (NM)—that, it could be argued, would also be a suitable ontology with which to develop FST. I show how NM could present problems for FST as a fundamentally political project, and conclude that CR offers a more fruitful future collaboration for FST.