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Third Year PhD Students

Jules Allen

Ms Juliet AllenESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship

Social Norms and Fathers’ Use of Parental Leave Entitlements

Supervisor: Professor Jude Browne (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies)


My research examines the ways that social and cultural norms influence fathers’ decisions about use of parental leave, using an understanding of parenting as gendered and performative. Despite significant changes made to parental leave allocations in Europe in recent years, fathers’ take-up of leave entitlements remains consistently lower than mothers’, even in countries with the most gender-sensitive frameworks including ‘daddy quotas’ and other paternal incentives.  

This research uses a mixed methodology and focuses on Norway, and Sweden, Portugal and the UK. The project is investigating the significance of social norms and gendered responsibilities in decisions about who uses leave, and examines how parenting practice has the potential to both reinscribe and unsettle the gender binary.


I hold an MSc in Gender Research with distinction from LSE’s Gender Institute. My research interests include sociology of gender; reproductive labour and care; heteronormativity; feminist economic theory; and social policy. Prior to undertaking my PhD, I specialised in funding, and working in the international development, UK health/social care and higher education sectors.

Allen, J. (2016). Changing Parenting Roles for Transforming Gender. LSE Engenderings.

Julia Doyle

Ms Julia DoyleEmmanuel College Derek Brewer Scholarship

Supervisor: Dr Lauren Wilcox (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies)

Navigating Gendered and Racialised Discursive Landscapes as a Refugee Subject: The Genres and Contexts of Syrian Refugee Narratives


My PhD research focuses on storytelling by Syrian refugees, namely involving feminist & postcolonial readings of texts including original oral history interviews, memoirs, first person journalistic accounts and other media. My research is positioned in IR as well as the broader, interdisciplinary fields of refugee/migration studies, narrative studies. The motivation of my research is to explore the production of subjectivity in the context of numerous discourses around refugee identity which often requires negotiation of existing stories about forced migration and tropes around security, difference and the meanings assigned to journeys. I am especially interested in how systems of gender and race are understood and intertextually engaged with in reference to space, security, movement, memory and identity. My oral history data collection is supported by The Welcoming, a migrant and refugee support service in Edinburgh. My dissertation will also focus on the politics of researching refugee subjects and communities, the relationships of power and privilege between the academy and research subjects as well as developing feminist collaborative methodologies which attempt to respond to such analyses of academic practice.


I completed my BA in History and English at Merton College, Oxford in 2014 and graduated from a Research MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2016. Following that I trained as a CELTA qualified English as a Second Language teacher and taught university students in Seville, Spain until returning to the U.K. to begin my PhD. Throughout my studies, in different disciplines and at different institutions, I have focused on narrative, identity, trauma and forced migration, most notably in regard to post-Partition India and Pakistan in both my BA and MSc theses. My PhD research marks a turn to studying these themes in a contemporary context. Alongside my studies, I have written for a recently launched foreign affairs website that aims to promote writing by women on International Relations and foreign policy; my articles have focused on the ‘scripts’ of online diplomacy after disaster and on the silencing of female politicians in their respective houses of representation.

Research Interests:

Memory; trauma; narrative; collective identity; national identity; forced migration; borders; oral history; human security; subjectivity.

Other writing:

‘From Westminster to Washington, an “Old Boys Club” is Silencing Female Politicians’ (28/09/17)

 ‘We’ll Keep You in Our Tweets: Leaders Respond to Tragedy in the Digital Age’ (01/06/17)

Kerry Mackereth

Ms Kerry Mackereth 2019Gates Cambridge International Scholarship

Hunger For Freedom: Female Hunger Strikers in the British Suffragette Movement (1909-1914) and Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre (2018)

Supervisor: Dr Harald Wydra (Department of Politics and International Studies)





Existing approaches to hunger striking assume that the suffering body is able to communicate political injustice to an external audience, but ignore how gender and race shape how the suffering body communicates. Through two female-led hunger strikes in the British context – the hunger strikes undertaken by the British suffragettes between 1909-1914, and the 2018 hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre – I interrogate the premise of the ‘speaking’ body. I show how gendered and racialised relations of power restrict female hunger strikers’ access to the languages deployed by male hunger strikers, such as strategic self-harm or heroic self-sacrifice. Rather than being a form of political speech, I argue that women's hunger strikes are an embodied critique of state violence that gesture towards alternative modes of political relationality and new ways of engaging with the concept of the human.

Academic Background:

Bachelor of Arts (First Class) in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge

MPhil (Distinction) in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge


Mackereth, K. (forthcoming) “mechanical maids and family androids: racialised post-care imaginaries in Humans (2015-), Sleep Dealer (2008) and Her (2013)” Feminist Review, Special Issue on Digital Labour.

Research Interests:

Feminist and gender theory; critical race theory; embodiment; political violence; hunger; science fiction; the political imagination.

Lisa Vickers

Ms Lisa VickersCambridge Trust Scholarship

Feminist Political Parties: Sustainability, Longevity, and Impacts

Supervisor: Dr Jude Browne (University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies)


The primary question my doctoral research seeks to answer is the following: Are feminist political parties built to last? To answer this question, I will investigate if feminist political parties need to be formed with the intention of permanence in order to address the subject of female representation, under what conditions feminist political parties are most likely to survive, how feminist political parties attempt to represent women, and how grassroots feminist political movements and feminist organizations view themselves as interacting with the state through parties. To complete this research, I plan to run a discourse analysis, engage in participant observation analysis, and conduct interviews with former and current affiliates of feminist political parties in the United Kingdom, Iceland, and Sweden.

Academic Background:

MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies, University of Cambridge (2016-2017)

BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies / History, University of Connecticut (2011-2015)