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Serving as a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Centre for WPS

Beginning in late April last year I had the opportunity to be a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Politics at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. It was my first extended visit to London, and my only time living out of the United States! While a Visiting Fellow I had the privilege of networking with some amazing feminists in the UK.  I also had the opportunity to offer a workshop for the LSE WPS MA students with Toni Haastrup who was also a Visiting Fellow at the same time as me. One of the most exciting aspects of the visit for me, was the panel I organized in May to reflect on best practices for including sexual orientation and gender identity in WPS initiatives. 

Toni Haastrup in our workshop

The prompt for our workshop was  to think about how knowledge about WPS is constructed - where does it come from and who is centred? Toni challenged students to think about what WPS canon is, and is supposed to be. For my part of the workshop I approached the workshop as an opportunity to think with the students about SOGI inclusion vs Queering WPS. I also reflected on how I think of my positionality as a queer lesbian feminist writing about this in academic spaces and also talking about this in WPS spaces.  Together we hoped to challenged the students to start thinking about what they now consider to be the WPS canon/whether one exists.

Kimberlé Crenshaw giving her keynote

Over the summer I was also able to attend a number of other events sponsored by the Centre, check out the LSE library and hang out in the Department of Gender Studies (one floor above the Centre). One of the coolest events over the summer as the #IntersectionalityAt30, a day long celebration of Kimberlé Crenshaw's work. It was such a joy to be in the room with so many amazing scholars celebrating Crenshaw's work. It was also amazing to see Crenshaw speak who brought laughter to a room full of grateful feminists. I will not forget the energy in that room!

As I prepare for my upcoming talk about how to bridge LGBTQ organizations in WPS work at the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University for the WPS@20 series, I am reminded of all the important insights offered by the panel at the LSE in May.  I include the description of the 'Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Part of the WPS Project' event below, and the link to a podcast recording of the panel here.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as Part of the WPS Project

Tuesday 28 May 2019 6:30pm to 8:00pm

This panel provides an opportunity to consider the inclusion and collaboration with LGBTQ individuals in the WPS agenda. What does it mean to include LGBTQ organisations in peace and security worK? How can WPS actors address sexual orientation and gender identity as a part of a more complete gender analysis?

This panel bridges conversations between LGBTQ actors and WPS actors while also reflecting on how best to continue to do so in the future. This panel builds on ideas addressed in the LSE WPS Working paper Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a part of the WPS Project


  • Nour Abu-Assab is co-founder and co-director of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC). Nour is a queer Palestinian feminist sociologist, who was awarded a PhD in Sociology in 2012 from the University of Warwick. Nour has a number of publications around identities, sexualities, migration, post-colonialism and methods of decolonising and has a forthcoming book in the making under the title: Queering Ethnicities and Nationalisms.  

  • Henri Myrttinen is Head of Gender and Peacebuilding at International Alert. Henri is a Centre for Women, Peace and Security Advisory Board member. 

  • Jamie J. Hagen is the James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellow with the International Studies Association for 2018-2019 as well as an affiliated scholar with the Pembroke Center at Brown University.  She is a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. 

  • Marsha Henry (chair) is Interim Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security and Associate Professor at the Department of Gender Studies, LSE. 

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