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Deputy Director, UCCGS

Dr Lauren Wilcox

Deputy Director, University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies   

Fellow, Selwyn College

The Alison Richard Building
7 West Road

Email: lw487 at

Dr Lauren Wilcox



  • Ph.D. Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA.
  • MSc International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science.
  • BA International Studies and Political Science, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, USA.

Research Interests

My research is located at the intersections of international relations, political theory and feminist theory in investigating the consequences for thinking about bodies and embodiment in the study of international practice of violence and security. My research interests include feminist/queer theory in International Relations, critical war studies, technology and contemporary modes of warfare, bodies and embodiment, biopower and biopolitics, international humanitarian law and just war theory.

I published a book with Oxford University Press in 2015, "Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations," which addresses such topics as torture, hunger striking and force-feeding at Guantánamo Bay, suicide bombing, airport security screenings and 'drone' warfare. I argue that explicitly theorizing the subject as embodied allows us to account for the logic behind, and effects of, political violence that cannot be understood if we assume bodies to be inert, apolitical objects. In making this argument, I read contemporary modes of political violence through feminist theories of embodiment to show how IR's assumptions about subjects and bodies are inadequate. This work was honoured at the 2012 North East Circle at the ISA-NE Annual Meeting.

I am interested in supervising PhD students interested in any area of my expertise. 


  • "Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations". Oxford University Press (2015)
  • "Explosive Bodies, Bounded States: Abjection and the Embodied Practice of Suicide Bombing. "International Feminist Journal of Politics (2013). Cynthia Enloe Award Honourable Mention.
  • "Gendering the Cult of the Offensive." Security Studies 18:2 (Summer 2009) pp. 24-40. Reprinted in Gender and International Security, ed. Laura Sjoberg, 61-82. New York: Routledge, 2009.
  • "Machines that Matter: The Politics and Ethics of 'Unnatural' Bodies," in Battlestar Galactica and International Relations Eds Iver Neumann and Nicholas Kiersey. Routledge, 2013.
  • "Dying is Not Permitted: Sovereign Power and Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Bay," in Torture, Democracy and the Human Body. Eds. Shampa Biswas and Zahi Zalloua. 101-128. University of Washington Press, 2011.
  • "Beyond Sex/Gender: The Feminist Body of Security," Politics and Gender 7 (December 2011): 595-600
  • "Gender, Justice and the Ethics of War and Peace." In The International Studies Compendium Project. Eds. Robert Denemark et. al. 2714-2731. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2010.


I currently contribute to teaching the MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies, to Geography Part II paper Political Geographies of Violence, and to several International Relations courses. I have previously taught courses at the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and Johns Hopkins University, including: International Relations Theory; International Security; Sex, Gender and War; Violence and World Order(s); War and Justice; and Political/Science/Fiction.