MEGAN H. MACKENZIE

Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney.

Key speakers

Christine Agius is senior lecturer in politics and international relations at Swinburne University of Technology. Her research interests include critical and feminist security studies, gendered bordering practices, identity, security and technology, and masculinist approaches to the state.
 Nicholas Apoifis is Senior Lecturer in Politics & International Relations at UNSW Sydney, Australia. He works with the application and development of settler colonial theories, social movement theories and radical qualitative research practices. An aspect of his methodological approach has Dr Apoifis disseminating his research insights and findings amongst international activist networks and anti-fascist and anti-authoritarian collectives. Dr Apoifis is also the co-founder of Coaching Unlimited, an initiative that provides sport specific coaching accreditation and research based health promotion workshops to support Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander coaches.


Bianca Baggiarini is a political sociologist. She is a postdoctoral researcher at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She obtained her PhD (2018) in sociology from York University in Toronto. Her research is broadly concerned with the social and political effects of autonomous weapons systems. To that end she has previously examined the figure of the citizen-soldier considering security privatization and theories of military sacrifice. Her current work is focused on autonomous weapons and issues of reward, recognition and recruitment in the military.

Helen Berents is a senior lecturer in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. Her research draws on feminist international relations and critical peace studies to centre considerations of children and youth when thinking about conflict and peace. Her work has been published in journals including International Political Sociology, Signs, Peacebuilding, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics.
Yolande Bouka is a scholar-practitioner of peace and conflict whose research and teaching bridge International Relations (IR) and Comparative Politics with specific interests in contentious politics, dynamics of war, gender and security, and field research ethics in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Michelle Lee Brown, whose Basque ancestral roots can be traced back to the Bidart/Plage DʻErretegia area in Lapurdi, was raised in Mashpee Wampanoag territories around Massachusetts’s Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod areas. Currently residing in Honolulu, she strives to uphold her relational commitments to her communities. She has published peer-reviewed work on the Never Alone video game, a methods chapter on indigenous political theory approaches to video game research, and “Liminal,” a comic in the forthcoming Relational Constellation collection from Michigan State University Press and Native Realities Press. She is currently working on a virtual reality project on water and relationality, and a comic based on multiple levels of impostor syndrome. From 2019, Brown will be a Charles Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA.
Bonnie Cherry is a second year PhD student in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Her research interest is ethnomethodology of state security performance, particularly in spaces under military occupation.
Lucy Geddes is an Australian human rights lawyer and is currently undertaking the MSc in Women, Peace and Security at the LSE as a Lionel Murphy Foundation Postgraduate Scholar. She has worked across the civil and criminal law teams at Victoria Legal Aid in Melbourne and previously clerked for Chief Justice Mogoeng of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and for Justice Tarfusser of the International Criminal Court.
Alba Boer Cueva is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences at UNSW-Australia. Her work traverses the disciplinary areas of International Relations, Development and Governance Studies. Her current research is particularly interested in the relationship between the concepts of gender equality, women’s empowerment and security in the context of Colombia’s internal conflict. It aims to provide an analysis of changing peacebuilding processes across time but also to examine the implications of the concepts’ integration into United Nations’ discourse, particularly within the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
Jackie Dent is a first year PhD student at the University of Sydney studying “The Pleasures of War”.  She has worked as a journalist for a range of publications including The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian, ABC and many other outlets. She also worked for the UN in Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Sudan and North Ossetia.
Claire Duncanson is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. She has published widely on issues relating to gender, peace and security, with a particular focus on gender in militaries and gender and peacebuilding. Her current work aims to bring a feminist analysis to the political economy of building peace. Recent publications include Gender and Peacebuilding (Polity Press, 2016), an article for the International Feminist Journal of Politics entitled “Beyond liberal vs liberating: women’s economic empowerment in the United Nations’ Women, Peace and Security agenda” and a co-authored conversation piece in Politics and Gender with Suzanne Bergeron and Carol Cohn, “Rebuilding Bridges: Toward a Feminist Research Agenda for Postwar Reconstruction.” Claire works with Carol Cohn on the “Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace” Project, co-authoring “What Kind of Growth? Economies that Work for Women in Post-War Settings.” Claire is also an active member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and has co-authored with fellow WILPF member Vanessa Farr on the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Afghanistan for Sara Davies and Jacqui True’s Oxford Handbook on the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
Alex Edney-Browne is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis examines the emotional and psycho-social effects of drone warfare on people on both sides of drone technology — civilians living under drones in rural provinces of Afghanistan, and US Air Force veterans. Her research involved fieldwork in Afghanistan, refugee camps in Greece, and the United States to interview people most affected by drones.
Keshab Giri is a final year PhD candidate at Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney. His PhD thesis explores experiences and perspectives of female ex-combatants at the margin which do not conform to the hegemonic narrative of empowerment, agency, success, and transformation. Before his PhD candidacy, he was lecturer at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Currently, he is an academic tutor and sessional lecturer at Department of Government and International Relations, The University of Sydney.
Thomas Gregory is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland. His research, which is funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, focuses on civilian casualties, counterinsurgency and the ethics of war, and has appeared in the European Journal of International Relations, International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. His co-edited book (with Linda Åhäll), Emotions, Politics and War, was published by Routledge in 2017.
Naomi Head is a senior lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Glasgow.  She currently holds a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for a project entitled: ‘Empathy under Fire? “Hearts and Minds” and the Politics of Empathy’.  Her research interests include emotions and the politics of empathy, narratives of conflict, feminist, cultural and social theory, and critical pedagogies.
Susan Hutchinson has been employed in the policy and practice of various aspects of the women, peace and security agenda for approximately 15 years. She has worked in the military, government and non-government organisations. She now runs the prosecute; don’t perpetrate campaign to end impunity for conflict related sexual violence and remains a member of the Australian Civil Society Coalition on Women, Peace and Security.
Liya Khan is a B.A./M.A. joint degree student in the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago. She is a graduate research supervisor at the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, overseeing projects analyzing the nexus of online radicalization and militant recruitment. Her personal research focuses on gender-based violence and civilian targeting, and she plans to graduate in the spring of 2019.
Roxani Krystalli is a Program Manager at the Feinstein International Center in Boston, MA. She is a humanitarian practitioner and researcher, who works on issues of gender, war, and peace-building. Roxani is particularly interested in the ethics of storytelling about violence. Her most recent research project examines the politics of victimhood in Colombia. Roxani holds a BA from Harvard University, an MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and she is currently completing a PhD at The Fletcher School while being a Visiting Scholar at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
Kate Macfarlane is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of International Relations at the Australian National University and is the 2018-2019 Yale Fox Fellowship recipient. She received an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) Scholarship, and an Australian Government Endeavour Fellowship (2018), which funded recent fieldwork in Sri Lanka where she was based at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo. Biography
Megan MacKenzie is a Professor of Gender and War in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research is broadly aimed at reducing war; it bridges feminist theory, critical security studies, and critical/post development studies. Megan has contributed research on topics including sexual violence in war, truth and reconciliation commissions, military culture, images and international relations, and women in combat.
Charlotte Mertens is a researcher at the University of Melbourne where she focuses on sexual violence in conflict settings, particularly in eastern DRC. She is interested in representations of violence, the sexual politics of empire, colonial history, and racial epistemologies. As part of a Harry Frank Guggenheim grant she is currently working with the colonial archives. Her research is attentive to histories of colonialism and how these endure in present eastern Congo, where she has been conducting fieldwork since 2012.
Swati Parashar is Associate Professor in Peace and Development at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is a Visiting Professor at the Malaviya Centre for Peace Research, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India and Research Associate with the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, London. Her research engages with the intersections between feminism and postcolonialism, focused on conflict and development issues in South Asia. She is the author of Women and Militant Wars: The Politics of Injury (Routledge: London, 2014), co-editor (with Jane Parpart) of Rethinking Silence, Voice and Agency in Contested Gendered Terrains: Beyond the Binary (Routledge, 2019), coeditor (with Ann Tickner and Jacqui True) of Revisiting Gendered States: Feminist Imaginings of the State in International Relations (OUP, 2018). She serves on the advisory boards of International Feminist Journal of Politics, Critical Studies in Terrorism and Millennium: Journal of International Studies. With Marysia Zawleski, Cristina Masters and Shine Choi she is the coeditor of the Book Series, Creative Interventions in Global Politics with Rowman and Littlefield. She is currently working on three projects funded by the Swedish Research Council, including Famines as Mass Atrocities and Trasitional Justice.
Sofia Patel is a PhD candidate focusing on gender and counter-terrorism at King’s College London. Before returning to academia in 2018, Sofia was an Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Counter-Terrorism Policy Centre for two years after having worked for various other think tanks in defence/security. Sofia holds a Master’s in Middle Eastern Politics from SOAS University in London.
Sarah Phillips is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research focuses on security, development, external intervention, and non-state governance, and draws from years of fieldwork in the Arabian Peninsula and Horn of Africa.
Michelle Ringrose is a PhD candidate and sessional academic with the School of Justice, Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology. Her PhD focuses on a gendered analysis of how civil society organisations represent the genocidal crimes perpetrated against the Yazidi people. She has a background in both behavioural science and criminology with her broad interests lying with the study of gender, genocide recognition and language.
Sean Rupka is a political theorist. He is currently a PhD student at the Graduate Center, City University New York in the department of political science. His research interests include trauma and memory studies, autonomous weapons systems, the philosophy of history and technology, and topics in post-colonial violence, particularly as the pertain to the legacies of inter-generational trauma and the politics of reconciliation.
Jessica Russ-Smith: Yiradhu marang! Yuwindhu Dyidyaga Wiradyuri Wambuul yinaa. Hello! My name is Jess and I am a Wiradyuri woman from the Macquarie river. Jessica is a Scientia PhD scholar at UNSW Sydney, where she also completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work with Honours and teaches within the Social Work program and Indigenous support services. Jessica’s research focuses upon how she as a Wiradyuri woman embodies of sovereignty, how Indigenous sovereignty is alive in the landscape and everyday, and how sovereignty disrupts colonial discourses. Jessica works closely with fellow Indigenous Social Workers who are claiming and shifting space within the academy and Social Work profession through the development and integration of Indigenous sovereignty in social work pedagogy and practice. As an emerging Indigenous scholar, Jessica has already contributed multiple publications on her research, experiences as an Indigenous PhD scholar, and the importance of Indigenising Social Work.
Jenna Sapiano is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash University’s Centre for Gender, Peace and Security. Her research focuses on gender and the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements. She completed her PhD in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews.
Sertan Saral is a PhD candidate with the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. He is interested in the discursive force of military service as a type of gender performativity and cultural capital; as a regulatory norm that stratifies bodies within society along identity markers; and as having a generative and inheritable quality which idealises, reproduces and perpetuates nationhood and war-making. His current project is considering these ideas within two sites in the United States where militarism and nationhood are entangled: memorials dedicated to military veterans in Washington DC and Mt Vernon IL, and military veterans who run for public office.
Laura J. Shepherd is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor of International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her primary research agenda focuses on the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda. Laura is author/editor of several books, including Gender, UN Peacebuilding and the Politics of Space: Locating Legitimacy (Oxford University Press, 2017), and numerous articles in scholarly journals. She blogs semi-regularly for The Disorder of Things, tweets from @drljshepherd, and can be reached by email at laura.shepherd@sydney.edu.au.
Shweta Singh is Assistant Professor of International Relations at South Asian University in New Delhi, India. Shweta is the recipient of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Award (2010), and the Mahbub Ul Haq Award (2013), from the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies in Sri Lanka. She was recently also selected as the International Expert on Populism, Nationalism and Gender, UN Women, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. She is co-editor (with Tiina Vaittinen and Catia Cecilia Confortini), of a book series titled Feminist Studies on Peace, Justice and Violence, with Rowman & Littlefield. The series provides a forum for the expanding feminist scholarship on questions of justice, peace and violence, beyond the war/peace dichotomy and integrates and pushes forward existing feminist contributions to the field of peace research, thus reinvigorating the transdisciplinary traditions of both peace research and feminism.
Emmah Wabuke (LL.M, Harvard) currently works at Strathmore Law School as an Assistant Lecturer and the Faculty Director of Strathmore Law Clinic. She has an interest in gender, peace and security in Africa, and has published and made conference presentations in the said area, including, Female Militancy in Terrorist Groups and the African Union Counter-Terrorism Response (African Peace and Security Journal, 2018); and Framing A Legal Response To Isis ‘Sex Slave To Bride Continuum’ Of Violence Against Women In Iraq And Syria Not All Amnesty Deals Are Made the Same (LSE WPS Centre, 2018).
Joanne Wallis is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. Her research focuses on peacebuilding, transitional justice, security and strategy in the Pacific Islands. She is the author or editor of six books, including Constitution making during State building (CUP 2104) and Pacific Power? Australia’s Strategy in the Pacific Islands (MUP 2017).
Jayson Waters holds a Master in International Relations from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of International Studies from Macquarie University. His research interests include: time, non-linear causality, and all things quantum. In addition to pursuing a PhD at the University of Sydney on the topic of ‘Quantum International Relations,’ Jayson assists Professor James Der Derian with Project Q and its subsidiaries.
Nicole Wegner is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Gender and War. Her research uses feminist approaches to understanding gender and military identities. Specifically, her work explores how narratives, images, myths, and symbolic representations of the military and military personnel influence domestic and foreign policies in Canada and Australia. Her broad research interests include nationalism, militarism, and feminist methodologies in studying global politics.
Jacqueline Westermann is a freelance consultant specialising in European and Russian defence and security policy and women, peace and security. Jacqueline spent two years as a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute working on issues related to her specialist fields. Prior to this she worked at The German Marshall Fund of the United States office in Warsaw. Jacqueline holds a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews.
Annick T.R. Wibben is Anna Lindh Professor of Gender, Peace & Security at the Swedish Defence University. Previously she was professor of Politics and International Studies at the University of San Francisco from 2005-2019, where she also served as chair of the Politics Department. Prior to her time in San Francisco, she worked as co-Investigator (with James Der Derian) of the Information Technology, War and Peace Project [infopeace.org] at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University from 2001-2005. Her research straddles critical security and military studies, peace studies, international theory, and feminist international relations. She also has a keen interest in questions of methodology, representation, and writing. Her current research reflects these varied interests, though she is most frequently associated with the field of Feminist Security Studies, also the subject of her first book, Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach (Routledge, 2011). She has also published an edited volume, Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics & Politics (Routledge 2016), and numerous articles in journals such as International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, Critical Studies on Security, Humanity, Politics & Gender and more.
Christine Winter is a Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney and a Research Associate with the Sydney Environment Institute. Christine’s research is at the intersection of intergenerational, indigenous and environmental justice. Drawing on her Anglo-Celtic-Ngati Kahungunu heritage she looks at the incompatibilities between western and Māori philosophies and at ways in which theories of justice continue the colonial project.
Shannon Zimmerman is a PhD researcher at the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Her research investigates civilian protection by peace operations in contexts of asymmetric threats. Shannon holds an MA in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Before her PhD Shannon was a Senior Program Specialist at the Center for Gender and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).