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Visiting speaker: Alexandra Hyde

The present tense of Afghanistan: British Army wives, the combat zone and the home

Event details

In this talk I look at the spatio-temporalities of recent British Army operations in Afgahanistan from the perspective of those ‘back home’. I’ll discuss a range of insights from ethnographic research among women married to servicemen. The aim is to question the sanctity and separation of military and civilian ‘spheres’, exploring the notion of security as it is spun between the domestic home and a far-away, ‘othered’ combat zone. I look at spatial practices and cyclical modes of temporality that have traditionally been designated (and undervalued) as feminised zones, particularly routine, reproductive labour. Paying attention to the everyday register of an operational tour – the ways in which (in)security is felt, mediated and given meaning through women’s embodied practices in particular times and spaces – reveals the gendered hierarchies of war as they connect the global and the local.


Alex is Lecturer in Gender Studies at University College London (UCL), where she teaches on the MA in Gender, Society and Representation at the CMII. Her research explores issues in interdisciplinary feminist scholarship spanning IR, sociology and methodologies drawn from anthropology and the humanities. Her empirical and methodological analysis has been published in journals such as IFJP, Gender, Place and Culture and Journal of Narrative Politics. She is co-editor of the ‘Encounters’ section of the journal Critical Military Studies, which explores military power through alternative forms of representation and critique.


IAIS Building/LT1