A space for feminist international relations: Professor Ann Tickner visits Monash

This month, Monash is hosting distinguished International Relations academic, Professor Ann Tickner. Professor Tickner said she has been greatly impressed by the conversation and academic rigour of colleagues here at Monash, the inclusion of feminism, gender perspectives and post-colonialism in the body of research Monash academics are undertaking.


Professor Ann Tickner is a pioneer in bringing gender and feminism into the international relations discipline. She was instrumental in providing a new a space for her students and others interested in critical theories of international relations to work, publish and discuss their research in the area of gender relations.

Early in her career, she helped organise a conference focussing on ‘gendered states’ and this year, Professor Tickner joined other academics from Monash and Australia more generally to revisit this concept, and feminist international relations theories more widely, 25 years on.

Assoc. Professor Phillip Darby, Professor Ann Tickner, Professor Jacqui True and Dr Swati Parashar at the public discussion held at Monash's Law Chambers
Professor Phillip Darby, Professor Ann Tickner, Professor Jacqui True and Dr Swati Parashar at the public discussion held at Monash’s Law Chambers

Professor Tickner’s work has also had a significant inter-disciplinary focus. Her work has taken on a post-colonial focus, and she has interest in building networks with academics based at the Monash Indigenous Centre during her time in Melbourne. Post-colonialism appears in Professor Tickner’s latest paper, for which she cites support from Monash Indigenous Centre academics.

When asked of her views on Monash’s research agenda and the way gendered international relations conversations were going, Professor Tickner said that she was impressed by the breadth of topics, research agendas and themes that critical international relations scholarship is able to cover, discuss, and focus on today.

Participants in the 'Gender, Identity and the Postmodern State' workshop
Participants in the ‘Gender, Identity and the Postmodern State’ workshop

Professor Tickner also spoke of how the open and accepting nature of academia in Australia, and at Monash specifically, is important for critical and structural analysis, cross-disciplinary work, and the encouragement of inclusive conversations of various perspectives within international relations and other disciplines. She also praised the role that feminist theory and gender has played in the politics and international relations departments.

Professor Tickner is visiting Monash for about a  month and will take part in a number of events, workshops and public lectures aimed at increasing dialogue among academics, scholars and students in the international relations field here in Melbourne.

Workshop:

The workshop which Ann Tickner took part in was organised by the School of Social Sciences and featured papers by other Monash academics, including Professor Jacqui True, Dr Swati Parashar, Dr Samanthi Gunawardana, Dr Paddy Rawlinson and Dr Sara Meger.

The two day workshop, ‘Gender, Identity and the Postmodern State’, was a chance for academics based in Melbourne to present some of their work, and hear from Professor Tickner on how her work has progressed since the inception of feminist IR as a theory.

In conversation:

The workshop also featured a public discussion entitled ‘The Twain Shall Meet: Feminism and Postcolonialsm in IR’. On the 24th of November, Professor Tickner joined Monash’s Dr Swati Parashar and Phillip Darby, Director of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies, addressed a crowd on the relationship between their respective disciplines, which again highlighted the themes and discussions that arose during the two day workshop hosted by Monash.

The conversation and workshop were both opportunities for lively debate and discussion between participants, online and offline, and comments can be found on twitter (#MonashIPCSWorkshop). A podcast of the ‘conversation’ event will be made available soon.

Professor Tickner has also made time for other talks, and student and reading groups, allowing students in the school to take advantage of her expertise during her time at Monash.

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