Professor Cynthia Enloe
The second event of our Centenary Speakers Series saw the acclaimed Professor Cynthia Enloe of Clark University deliver a lecture titled ‘Wounds: A Feminist Understanding of Intimacy and War’. Professor Enloe has been hugely influential in the establishment of gender in International Relations analysis, shaping the field with numerous books including Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.
Professor Enloe’s talk proved fascinating, questioning the absence of the word wound from strategic and military discourse, and the reasons behind this. It explored the distinct gendered roles that nurses (and others) adopt during wartime to win the conflict. Engaging seriously with the stories and experiences of often marginalised people in International Relations, such as women during war, can enhance our understanding of events. Professor Enloe argued that nurses clean-up war through their treatment of wounds both physical and emotional, occupying a feminised role to do so.
The lecture felt akin to a conversation, with substantial and insightful audience participation.
For video, see below.