Dean Cooper-Cunningham (2020). 'Drawing Fear of Difference: Race, Gender, and National Identity in Ms. Marvel Comics'. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 48(2). doi:10.1177/0305829819889133.
Feminist scholars have provided important analyses of the gendered and racialised discourses used to justify the Global War on Terror. They show how post-9/11 policies were made possible through particular binary constructions of race, gender, and national identity in official discourse. Turning to popular culture, this article uses a Queer feminist poststructuralist approach to look at the ways that Ms. Marvel comics destabilise and contest those racialised and gendered discourses. Specifically, it explores how Ms. Marvel provides a reading of race, gender, and national identity in post-9/11 USA that challenges gendered-racialised stereotypes. Providing a Queer reading of Ms. Marvelthat undermines the coherence of Self/Other binaries, the article concludes that to write, draw, and circulate comics and the politics they depict is a way of intervening in international relations that imbues comics with the power to engage in dialogue with and (re)shape systems of racialised-gendered domination and counter discriminatory legislation.
Lene Hansen (2020). 'Are 'core' feminist critiques of securitization theory racist? A reply to Alison Howell and Melanie Richter-Montpetit'. Security Dialogue, 51(4). doi:10.1177/0967010620907198.
This is Lene Hansen’s rejoinder to an article by Alison Howell and Melanie Richter-Montpetit: ‘Is securitization theory racist? Civilizationism, methodological whiteness, and antiblack thought in the Copenhagen School’, published in Security Dialogue, 51(1), 2020.
Megan MacKenzie (2020). 'Why do soldiers swap illicit pictures? How a visual discourse analysis illuminates military band of brother culture'. Security Dialogue, 51(4). doi:10.1177/0967010619898468.
Military service members have been taking and circulating illicit images for decades, and soldier-produced illicit images are a regular and coherent category of international images. Focusing on two case studies – Abu Ghraib images and images of hazing – the argument put forward in this article is that soldier-generated illicit images are not simply photographic evidence, or accidental by-products, of exceptional military activities; rather, these images – and the practices associated with these images – are central to, and reinforce aspects of, military band of brother culture. Soldier-produced illicit images establish a visual vernacular that normalizes particular practices within military communities. Moreover, the practices of producing, circulating and consuming these images convey explicit messages to service members about acceptable behaviour and norms around loyalty and secrecy. A method of visual discourse analysis is developed and employed to examine the acts captured in soldier-generated illicit images as well as the practices linked to the production, circulation and consumption of images. Building on existing work on military culture and images and international relations, this article makes a unique contribution by systematically analysing soldier-produced illicit images in order to gain insights about internal military culture and group dynamics.
Rebecca Adler-Nissen, Katrine Emilie Andersen and Lene Hansen (2020). 'Images, emotions, and international politics: the death of Alan Kurdi'. Review of International Studies, 46(1). doi:10.1017/S0260210519000317.
How are images, emotions, and international politics connected? This article develops a theoretical framework contributing to visuality and emotions research in International Relations. Correcting the understanding that images cause particular emotional responses, this article claims that emotionally laden responses to images should be seen as performed in foreign policy discourses. We theorise images as objects of interpretation and contestation, and emotions as socially constituted rather than as individual ‘inner states’. Emotional bundling – the coupling of different emotions in discourse – helps constitute political subjectivities that both politicise and depoliticise. Through emotional bundling political leaders express their experiences of feelings shared by all humans, and simultaneously articulate themselves in authoritative and gendered subject positions such as ‘the father’. We illustrate the value of our framework by analysing the photographs of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian-Kurdish boy who drowned in September 2015. ‘Kurdi’ became an instant global icon of the Syrian refugee crisis. World leaders expressed their personal grief and determination to act, but within a year, policies adopted with direct reference to Kurdi's tragic death changed from an open-door approach to attempts to stop refugees from arriving. A discursive-performative approach opens up new avenues for research on visuality, emotionality, and world politics.
Dean Cooper-Cunningham (2019). 'Seeing (in)security, gender and silencing: Posters in and about the British women’s suffrage movement'. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 21(3). doi:10.1080/14616742.2018.1561203
Feminist Security Studies focuses on expanding the referent object to individuals and non-state collectives, looking beyond the military sector to include questions of identity, and uncovering (in)security in unexpected places. An important part of this debate concerns silence, particularly how certain individuals are silenced and how this might be challenged through images. This article looks at the ways images can be used to make gender-specific security problems visible. It holds that text, images and practices interact to construct (in)security and outlines a tripartite text-image-practice model for analyzing these interactions. Through a case study of the British women’s suffrage movement it illustrates the potential of the text-image-practice model. The suffrage movement leveraged visuals, militancy and practices like hunger-striking to resist attempted silencing by the government across textual, verbal and visual planes. Using this case, it shows how posters were used to try to silence Suffragettes and how Suffragettes resisted silencing. Thus, it demonstrates that images are important sites of feminist resistance and security politics that can communicate a politics of the body. The article also offers an illustration of how historical cases of gender insecurity and resistance as well as their visualization can be brought into Feminist Security Studies.
Lene Hansen (2019). 'Reconstructing the silence/speech dichotomy in feminist security studies: Gender, agency and the politics of subjectivity in La Frontière Invisible'. In: Jane L. Parpart & Swati Parashar (eds.): Rethinking Silence, Voice and Agency in Contested Gendered Terrains. London: Routledge.
Silence and speech have been crucial to Feminist Security Studies since its start in the late 1980s. Feminist scholars argued that women – and later men – face security problems because of their gender, for example as victims of wartime sexual violence, and that these problems have been marginalized by governments and international institutions. Feminist security studies scholars argued further that listening to women’s experiences of insecurity is necessary for understanding how insecurity is lived and felt. Speech is crucial for communicating the experience of insecurity, yet the “silent security dilemma” - when pointing to a threat to one’s security puts one at further risk – might make it dangerous to speak. This has epistemological implications: it is not sufficient to rely on a discursive epistemology, but it is also problematic to make the feminist researcher the interpreter of the silence of others. This chapter provides an attempt to rethink silence such that it might be agentic rather than a lack or an absence and it suggests that offering multiple readings of silence might be a valuable epistemological strategy. The paper explores the potential of this strategy through three readings of the comic book La Frontière Invisible by Francois Schuiten and Benoît Peeters.