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Research: Nicola Pratt

Politics and Popular Culture in Egypt: Contested Narratives of the 25 January 2011 Uprising and its Aftermath (2016-2020)

This project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, studies Egyptian popular culture after 2011 in order to understand shifting political subjectivities and dynamics after the 25 January 2011 uprising. This is a collaborative project with Dalia Mostafa at the University of Manchester and Dina Rezk at the University of Reading, with Sara Salem as Research Fellow. The major outputs are a monograph to be published in 2021 and a digital archive, Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.

Women's Activism in the Arab World (2013-2016)

This project, funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, examined the significance of middle-class women's activism to the geo/politics of Arab countries, from national independence until the Arab uprisings. It was based on over 100 personal narratives of women activists of different generations from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Some of the research outputs (public lectures and on-line articles) are available on my publications page. The major output is a monograph, Embodying Geopolitics: Generations of Women's Activism in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, and a digital archive, Middle East Women's Activism.

Reconceptualising Gender: Transnational Perspectives (2010-2013)

This project, funded by the British Academy, established new links between the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick and the Institute for Women’s Studies at the University of Birzeit in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Over three years, the project explored the global processes (neo-liberal capitalism, militarism, global governance, new communications technologies, amongst others) that shape gender roles, relations and identities in different geographic spaces and amongst different social groups. We identified the specificities of women’s and men’s lives, whilst also understanding how these differences are produced through intersecting global and local processes. The project brought together individual and collaborative ongoing research projects across the two institutions to theorise gender within a transnational framework. Major outputs of this project were an international conference, Rethinking Gender in Revolutions and Resistance: Lessons from the Arab World, and an edited volume of the same name. Go to project website for more details.

The 'Arab Spring'

After January 2011, I researched, wrote and spoke about he causes and consequences of the 'Arab Spring'. You can hear more/read more about this, by clicking here.

Gender and in/security in the Middle East (ongoing)

Building on my previous research projects to focus specifically on a) how gender is deployed in international and national security discourses; b) the degree to which gender relations and ideologies structure insecurity; c) how gender is deployed to mobilise against insecurity/to achieve security in contexts of war, occupation and dictatorship.

Gender and International Security

Whilst researching gender and in/security as well as gender and conflict in the Middle East, I have become interested in the paradoxes of gender mainstreaming in international security and the increased visibility of women in positions of foreign and national security policy, questioning whether feminists should unreservedly welcome these trends. In relation to this, I have co-edited a special issue of International Feminist Journal of Politics critically examining UNSCR 1325 on women, peace and security (also forthcoming as an edited volume), written an article, 'Reconceptualizing Gender, Reinscribing Racial-Sexual Boundaries in International Security' (International Studies Quarterly, December 2013) and a conference paper on Condoleezza Rice, presented at the symposium, Women and US Foreign Policy, 21 May 2010, University of London, which I am preparing for submission to a journal.

‘Women and the Arab-Israeli Conflict’

This project aimed at uncovering the impacts of the Arab-Israeli conflict on different women in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Until now, there is little research that examines the gendered dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict and, of the existing research, the focus is on Palestinian and Israeli women. However, the Arab-Israeli conflict has also had important consequences for Arab countries. In my fieldwork, I interviewed women of different generations, different ideological orientations, different nationalities and religious affiliations as well as different professional backgrounds. Contrary to claims that are increasingly heard in humanitarian and NGO fields, women do not necessarily suffer the most during conflict. The consequences of the Arab-Israeli conflict for women depend upon their positionality (class, nationality, religion), the nature of state formation and processes of the state in which they are located (with significant differences between Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon), as well as their relationship to different political/ideological forces (the configuration of which has shifted in different historical periods).

15.10.2007 - 30.6.2008 (British Academy)

'The Role of Women and Gender in Political Transition in Iraq'

A British Academy funded grant with Nadje Al-Ali of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 01/05/2004 - 01/05/2007. This project examined the impacts of the US-led invasion on women in Iraq and the ways in which they have been participating in the political transition in the country. It critiqued US rhetoric of 'liberating Iraqi women' and demonstrated how US intervention politicized and institutionalized ethno-religious processes, dismantled national state institutions and infrastructure, creating new burdens and challenges for Iraqi women. This project resulted in a number of publications listed on my publications page.


Research into teaching

Report on the use of social bookmarking in student learning (funded with a University of East Anglia teaching fellowship, 2008).

Report on the use of Wikipedia in student learning (funded with a University of East Anglia teaching fellowship, 2007)

Report on the use of Wikipedia in student learning, article in the British International Studies Association newsletter, 2007