Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Melanie PicturesLecturer in Politics and International Relations

Contact Details
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1662
Email: m.richter-montpetit@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: G14


Profile

Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit joined the Department in September 2015. She previously worked as a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sussex. Dr Richter-Montpetit pursued her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the Free University Berlin in Germany and then moved to Toronto, Canada, where she completed her MA and PhD studies in Political Science.

Dr Richter-Montpetit's research and teaching interests include: War and Security Studies; International Relations Theory; Feminist, Queer and Postcolonial/Decolonial Theory; Transnational American Studies; Geopolitics of Knowledge Production.

Dr Richter-Montpetit was awarded a 2017/2018 Leverhulme Research Fellowship and will be based as a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto until May 31, 2018. From 1 June to 31 July 2018 she will be a Visiting Fellow at the Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin.

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • 2018 Visiting Fellowship at the Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies, Free Universität Berlin (Germany) (1 June – 31 July).
  • 2017-2018 Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto (Canada) (1 June 2017 – 31 May 2018).
  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2017-2018.
  • Recipient of the inaugural FTGS Early Career Award for Community Engagement, International Studies Association's 58th Annual Convention, February 2017, Baltimore, MD.
  • 2017-2018 Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, International Studies Association (ISA)
  • 2017-2018 Program Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, Annual ISA 2018 Convention.
  • 2014-2016 Co-Convenor of the German Association for Political Science’s (DVPW) ‘Politics & Gender’ Working group (‘Arbeitskreis Politik & Geschlecht’).
  • 2014-2016 Book Series Co-Editor, “Politik und Geschlecht” (“Gender and Politics”), Barbara Budrich Publ.
  • Consulting. Member of advisory group on the situation of LGBTI in peacebuilding/conflict-/disaster-affected societies, International Alert, London (UK).
Teaching

Cross-departmental Learning & Teaching projects:

  • 'Equality and Diversity Learning and International Cultural Awareness in Legal and Political Science Education’, together with Prof. Tammy Hervey (Law School).
  • 'Queer Methodologies and the Politics of Creative Practice', together with Dr. Alice Honor Gavin and the Department of English, University of Sheffield.

The same commitment to situated, embodied knowledge and intersectional analysis that inspires my research also propels my work in the classroom. My pedagogical practices are oriented towards creating an inclusive learning environment where all of my students feel supported to take risks, stretch their intellectual boundaries and develop alternative imaginaries of the political, political community and ‘the good life.’

My teaching philosophy is based on two main premises:
• We all have different learning and communication styles.
• The relations of power and violence we study in (Global) Politics modules shape, stimulate as well as pose real obstacles to learning in the classroom.

Therefore my pedagogical practices and learning materials acknowledge and engage the diversity of lived experiences and power differentials in the class community. Having studied and taught in Political Science, International Relations and Social Sciences departments in Germany, Canada and the UK, it has been my experience that modules that are not specifically designated to explore questions of gender, sexuality and/or race typically segregate these subjectivities and power structures to specific learning units or individual texts. My modules are designed to offer students a more sustained engagement with the intersectionality and transnationality of social power. Tracing and connecting a wide array of actors, processes and structures throughout the term supports students’ capacity and confidence to further their analytical skills and develop more nuanced understandings of global conflict and security. My classes are usually designed in a way that students learn through both traditional lecture and the ‘flipped classroom.’ Overall students are provided with options in regards to learning and displaying their knowledge and skills, including visually.

Dr. Richter-Montpetit is on research leave during the 2017/2018 academic year and thus will not be teaching and will not be available for BA and MA dissertation supervision.

Supervision

I am happy to supervise in areas related to critical approaches to IR Theory, War and Security Studies, and American politics. I am particularly keen to work with research students focusing on:

  • Violence and subjectivity
  • Queer IR
  • Feminist Security Studies
  • Race and De/coloniality in IR
  • Politics and ethics of (il)legitimate suffering and force
  • Feminist, queer and decolonial theory and politics
  • Geopolitics of knowledge production
Research

Read: Dr Richter-Montpetit interviewed by E-IR

Screenshot of the Interview post on the ER-I page

Much of Melanie’s research is animated by an interest in the conditions of possibility for the production of force in global politics.

My current research is broadly concerned with the following three questions:

  • What are the affective and material economies involved in the production of force in “the international”?
  • How do we theorize the connections between liberal practices of freedom and more punitive operations of liberal power?
  • What are the complicities of critical international political thought in these economies of violence?

Melanie is presently preparing a book manuscript exploring the post-9/11 US national security imaginary and associated transnational practices of war and violence. Tentatively entitled "Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Queer and Feminist Investments in Liberal War" the book examines the stubborn persistence of aggressively racial-sexual security practices in this ‘post-racial/sexual/gender’ era. In conversation with recent debates in Native Studies, Black Studies and Queer Studies, the book traces how post-9/11 US national security - including its targeting of Muslim/ified people and spaces - is inflected by and enabled through structures of settler colonialism and anti-Blackness.

Building on themes from the book, Melanie is conducting preliminary research also for a new project exploring the politics and ethics of representations of suffering in the context of war and torture.

KEY PROJECT

Awarding body: The Leverhulme Trust: Research Fellowship
Title of Research: ‘Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Feminist and Queer investments in Liberal War'
Duration: 1 year September 2017 - September 2018
Total award: £49,548

Publications

View Melanie's full publications list

Key Publications

Refereed Journal Articles:

Refereed Encyclopedia Article:

Queer International Relations,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press, 2017 (together with Cynthia Weber).

Review Essay:

“Review Essay: Feministische Interventionen in Krieg, Un/Sicherheit und Gewalt.” Österreichische Zeitschrift fuer Politikwissenschaft, 2, 2008.

(transl: “Feminist Interventions in War, In/Security and Violence.” Austrian Journal of Political Science, 2, 2008.)

Edited Book:

Feminist Perspectives on Security, Barbara Budrich Publ., forthcoming (together with eds. Antje Daniels, Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel and Tanja Scheiterbauer).

Book Chapters:

  • “Queer International Relations,” Worldwide Perspectives on Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals: History, Culture and Law, Praeger Press, forthcoming (together with Darcy Leigh and Cynthia Weber).
  • “Militarized masculinities, women torturers and the limits of gender analysis at Abu Ghraib” in Annick Wibben (ed.): Researching War: Feminist Methods, Ethics and Politics, Routledge Interventions Series, 2016, pp. 92-116.
  • “Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality’” in Pramod K. Nayar (Ed.):Postcolonial Studies: An Anthology, Wiley-Blackwell, 2015, pp.495-511. [Invited Reprint]
  • “Empire, Desire and Violence: A Queer Transnational Feminist Reading of the Prisoner ‘Abuse’ in Abu Ghraib and the Question of ‘Gender Equality’” in Mary Evans (ed.): Gender, Volume IV: States of Gender, Routledge Major Works, 4-Volume Set, London: Routledge, 2010. [Invited Reprint]

Encyclopedia Entry:

“Queer Theory”, Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, 2016.

Conference Proceedings:

Bodies, Desires, Violence: Feminist Interventions in Un/Doing Empire. (Selected Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Centre for International and Security Studies.) Toronto: York Centre for International and Security Studies, 2009, (together with Véronique Aubry).

Contributions to Blogs:

“Why Torture When Torture Does Not Work? Orientalism, anti-Blackness and the Persistence of White Terror”, The Disorder of Things, January 21 2015.

Upcoming and recent Talks and Keynote lectures:

  • “The Trouble with Gender: Rethinking Feminist Security Studies in ‘the colonial present’”, Keynote at the Annual Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis & Clarke College, Portland, OR, 8 March 2018.
  • “Why Torture When Torture Does Not Work? Erotics of Orientalism, antiblackness and the persistence of White terror”, Volksbühne Berlin, The Permeable Stage, 14 December 2017.
  • “Orientalism at War: Verticality, Muslim/ified targets and the politics of the sexed ‘colour line’,” Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, 8 May 2017.
  • “Studying war beyond military and carceral force: Racial-sexual affects and liberal security governance in a ‘post-racial’ era,” ISA Workshop “Parsing the Passions: Methodology and Emotion in IR,” March 15 2016, Atlanta, GA.
  • “Softening up Militarized Masculinity? Feminist and Queer Investments in Liberal War,” Centre for Global Studies, Keele University, 9 December 2015.
  • “Beyond the sexed colour line? Liberal war and the imaginary geographies of Indian country in the Age of the Muslimified target,” Centre for American Studies, University of Sussex, 17 March 2015.
  • “Feminist Investments in Liberal war: Militarized masculinities, Women torturers, and the limits of gender analysis,“ Gender and the Colonial SOAS, May 13 2015.
  • “Gay Patriot Acts: Queer Investments in Liberal War,“ Workshop Masculinities at the Margins: Conceptualizing war beyond hypermasculinity, Newcastle University, 23-24 April 2015.
Professional Service

Service to Profession

  • 2017-2018 Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, International Studies Association (ISA)
  • 2017-2018 Program Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, Annual ISA 2018 Convention.
  • 2016-2017 Chair-Elect, LGBTQA Caucus of the International Studies Association
  • 2016 Conference co-organizer: Bi-annual Conference of the Gender & Politics Working Group of the German Political Science Association, Frankfurt/Main, 7-8 October 2016.
  • 2016 FTGS Professional Development workshop. Panelist, “Advice for PhD students on the job market”, at ISA Annual Convention, 2016, Atlanta, GA.
  • 2015 Conference Program Co-chair: Co-organized the program of the ‘Gender & Politics’ Working Group at the Triennial Conference of the German Association for Political Science (Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft).
  • 2014- Book Series Co-Editor: “Politik und Geschlecht” (“Gender and Politics”), Barbara Budrich Publ.
  • 2014- Working group “Politics & Gender” Co-chair: Co-organizing the Working group “Arbeitskreis Politik & Geschlecht” of the German Association for Political Science (Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft).
  • 2014 Workshop Convener: Co-organized a workshop on “Methodologies for Studying Women, Violence and War,” York Centre for International and Security Studies.
  • 2013 ISA-Canada Professional Development Committee: Graduate Student Representative.
  • 2012 Conference Subsection Convener: Co-organized the Call for Papers and subsequent set of panels of the Feminist Security Studies Network for the Annual International Studies Association Convention 2013.
  • 2008-2009 Working Paper Series Editor: Editor of the York Centre for International and Security Studies Working Papers Series, York University.
  • 2007 Conference Organizer: Bodies, Desires, Violence: Feminist Interventions in Un/Doing Empire. The Fourteenth Annual Conference of the Centre for International and Security Studies, York University 1-2 February 200
  • 2005-2006 Outreach Co-ordinator: Organized the Current Dilemmas in Canadian Security Lectures Series hosted by the York Centre for International and Security Studies.
  • 2004-2005 Lecture Series Co-ordinator: Co-founded and organized the Feminist Speakers Series hosted by the Department of Political Science, York University.

Departmental/University Service

  • 2016-2017 Equality and Diversity Committee of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Departmental representative, University of Sheffield.
  • 2016-2017 Learning & Teaching project ‘The State of Sheffield.’ Departmental lead on the Achieve More project, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield.
  • 2016 Learning & Teaching project ‘Equality and Diversity Learning and International Cultural Awareness in Legal and Political Science Education’, together with Prof. Tammy Hervey (Law School).
  • 2016 Learning & Teaching Workshop Series 'Queer Methodologies and the Politics of Creative Practice', together with Dr. Alice Honor Gavin and the Department of English, University of Sheffield.
  • 2016 Hiring committee, ‘Equality and Diversity Learning and International Cultural Awareness in Legal and Political Science Education’, Member, Law School and Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2016 Sir Bernard Crick Scholarship committee. Member of selection committee for award for underprivileged student, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2016 Hiring committee. Member, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2015-2016 Chair of the UG Staff-Student Committee. Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2015- Learning & Teaching Committee. Member, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2015-2016 Disability Liaison Officer. Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2015-2016 Library Liaison Officer. Department of Politics, University of Sheffield.
  • 2009-2010 Field Representative: Graduate Student Representative on the International Relations Field Committee, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2009-2010 Recruitment Committee Representative: Graduate Student Representative on the Recruitment Committee deciding on the recommendations made by the field hiring committees, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2009-2010 Field Representative: Graduate Student Representative on the International Relations Field Committee, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2009-2010 GPSSA Trans-Border Feminist Collective Co-Chair: Graduate Political Science Students Association, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2007-2008 Teaching Development Graduate Assistant: Organized of a series of workshops on enhancing teaching strategies for Teaching Assistants and Contract Faculty. Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2007 Learning & Teaching facilitation, Panel Chair “Teaching that Works: Innovative Pedagogical Strategies in Different Classroom Settings,” at Teaching Development Workshop, Teaching Development Series of the Department of Political Science, York University 14 March 2008.
  • 2006-2007 Admissions Committee Representative: Graduate student representative on the MA and PhD Admissions committee, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2005-2006 Field Representative: Graduate Student Representative on the ‘Women and Politics' Field Committee, Department of Political Science, York University.
  • 2005-2006 GPSSA Women's Caucus Co-Chair: Graduate Political Science Students Association, Department of Political Science, York University.

Media Work

Newspaper articles

  • “Controversial case shines a light on Germany’s shocking rape laws”, The Wire, June 26, 2016.
  • “Controversial case shines a light on Germany’s shocking rape laws”, The Conversation, June 23, 2016.

Newspaper interviews

  • Gender and the US Presidential Election (‘Clinton’s dream is crushed after the longest night’), Yorkshire Post, 10 November 2016.
  • On the strategic use of LGBT rights and homophobia in contemporary geopolitics (‘Der er gået storpolitik i at se lyserødt’), Dagebladet Information, 20 August 2016.

Radio interviews

  • The meaning of a Trump Presidency for International Relations, BBC Radio Sheffield, 9 November 2016.
  • Rise of ISIS and effectiveness of UK airstrikes on Syria, BBC Radio Sheffield, 2 December 2015.
  • Des courriels ciblés mettent Ottawa dans l'embarras, Radio Canada, 25 September 2012.

TV interviews

UK airstrikes on Syria and their implications for domestic Counter-Terrorism, ITV Calendar News, 2 December 2015.


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