In this public lecture, world renowned feminist scholar Professor Cynthia Enloe explores how militarisation is a social process that affects our everyday lives and enables states to fight wars. Enloe asks ‘where are the women?’ in international affairs and explores how women as soldiers' wives, secretaries, factory workers, shoppers and soldiers can both support and oppose armed conflict.  She also explores how notions of masculinity and femininity can be militarised or de-militarised and what the implications of this are for state foreign policy.

Cynthia Enloe is Research Professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Professor Enloe's teaching and research have focused on the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas, with special attention to how women's labour is made cheap in globalised factories (especially sneaker factories) and how women's emotional and physical labor has been used to support many governments' war-waging policies—and how diverse women have tried to resist both of those efforts. Racial, class, ethnic and national identities, as well as pressures shaping ideas about femininities and masculinities, are common threads throughout her research.

Professor Enloe's fourteen books include 'Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women's Lives' (2004), 'The Curious Feminist' (2004) and 'Globalization and Militarism' (2007, 2015), as well as 'Nimo's War', 'Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War', (2011), 'The Real State of America: Mapping the Myths and Truths about the United States' (co-authored with Joni Seager) (2012), 'Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered' (2013). Her new, totally updated and revised 2nd edition of 'Bananas, Beaches and Bases' was published by University of California Press in June 2014.

Cynthia Enloe was awarded the International Studies Association's Susan Strange Award in 2007, in recognition of "a person whose singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and organisational complacency in the international studies community during the previous year." In 2008, she was awarded the Susan B. Northcutt Award, presented annually by the Women's Caucus for International Studies, of the International Studies Association, to recognize "a person who actively works toward recruiting and advancing women and other minorities in the profession, and whose spirit is inclusive, generous and conscientious." In 2010, Cynthia Enloe was awarded the Peace and Justice Studies Association's Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award.

She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Union College (2005), the School of Oriental and African Studies (2009), Connecticut College (2010), the University of Lund, Sweden (2012) and Clark University (2014).

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The event is organised by Gender and Sexualities Group, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.