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Lisa Tilley

I am a political economist with particular interests in material understandings of race, theoretical approaches to the colonial question, and extraction/dispossession in Southeast Asia. After completing my PhD in the Department of Politics and International Studies (2012-2016) I worked as Research Fellow on a Newton Fund project focussed on the gendered political economy of kampung evictions in Jakarta (July 2016 to August 2017). From September 1st, 2017 I began a Leverhulme-funded Early Career Research Fellowship based at the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. My new project is entitled 'Race, Intimacy, and Extraction on an Internal Frontier'.  

Co-founder (with Prof. Robbie Shilliam, QMUL) of the Raced Markets collaborative research project, see

Associate Editor of Global Social Theory:

Steering Committee Member: The Global Development Section (GDS) of the International Studies Association (ISA)

Co-convenor of the British International Studies Association's Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial Working Group (CPD-BISA) 

Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence nominee 2014-2015 and winner 2015-2016

Publications and Works in Progress

Raced Markets: An Introduction (co-authored with R. Shilliam) New Political Economy (Published, Dec 2017)

Resisting Piratic Method by Doing Research Otherwise. Sociology (Published, Feb 2017)

Undoing Ruination in Jakarta: The Gendered Remaking of Life on a Wasted Landscape. (Co-authored with J. Elias and L. Rethel) International Feminist Journal of Politics (Published, Sept 2017)

Enclosures and Discontents: Primitive Accumulation and Resistance Under Global Capital (co-authored with A. Kumar and T. Cowan) City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action (Published, June 2017)

"Well, City Boy Rangoon, it's time to stitch up the evening": material, meaning, and Man in the (post)colonial city. In Jackson, M. (Ed.) Postcolonialism, Posthumanism and Political Ontology, Routledge (Published, Nov 2017)

Immanent Politics in the Kampungs: Gendering, Performing, and Mapping the Jakarta Economic Subject. In A. Lacey (Ed.) Women, Urbanization and Sustainability, Palgrave Macmillan (Published, March 2017)

Evictions, ‘Social Housing,’ and the Rationalisation of Kampung Life in Jakarta. (Co-authored with J.Elias and L.Rethel) Asia Pacific Viewpoint (forthcoming 2018)

Global Environmental Harm, Internal Frontiers, and Indigenous Protective Ontologies (co-authored with A. Parasram) In O. Rutazibwa and R. Shilliam (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics (Accepted, Forthcoming 2018)

Decolonizing the Study of Capitalist Diversity: Epistemic Disruption and the Varied Geographies of Coloniality. In M. Ebenau, I. Bruff, C. May (Eds.) New Directions in Comparative Capitalisms Research: Critical and Global Perspectives, Palgrave Macmillan (Published March 2015)

"The Impulse is Cartographic" Counter-Cartography and Coloniality in Indonesia. (In preparation)

Intimacy and the Body Corporate: Governing Love in a Site of Extraction in West Papua. (In preparation)

Awards and Funding

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship 2017 – 2020

British Council Newton Fund Research Fellowship 2016 – 2017

GEM Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Fellowship 2012 – 2015

AHRC Research Preparation Master's Award Holder 2009 – 2011

Invited Contributions

Invited speaker: 'On four functions of the white working class.' The Rise of the Right Teach-In, University of Cambridge, January 2017

Invited Speaker: 'Productions of Race and Intimacy in a Site of Extraction.' SOAS Departmental Seminar, October 2016

Invited Participant: Decolonising the Academy. Open University session on engaged scholarship, September 2016

Invited Participant: Decoloniality and New Materialism: A Conversation. Workshop at University of Duisburg-Essen, July 2016

Invited Speaker: Intervention on the work of Sylvia Wynter. Millennium Symposium on 'Theorising Feminism from the Margins', May 2016

Invited Speaker: 'Decolonising Our University Conference', Warwick Anti-Racism Society student-led event, University of Warwick, March 2016


Panel Co-convenor ‘Material and Decolonial Life’ Colonial, Postcolonial, and Decolonial Working Group Panel, BISA June 2017

Roundtable Co-convenor ‘The Global Development Section Roundtable: Colonialism, Debt and Reparations’ Global Development Section Roundtable co-convened for the ISA Annual Convention in Baltimore, Feb. 2017

Co-convenor ‘Material and the Colonial Question’ Two related panels convened for the ISA Annual Convention in Baltimore, Feb. 2017

Panel Co-convenor (with Dr. Juanita Elias) ‘Governing the Body Corporate’ (two related panels) ISA Annual Convention in Atlanta, March 2016

Roundtable Convenor ‘The Global Development Section Roundtable: Reclaiming Development’ ISA Annual Convention in Atlanta, March 2016

Event Co-convenor (with Dr Robbie Shilliam, QMUL): Raced Markets - An Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Political Economy of Race and Racialisation at the University of Warwick, December 10-11, 2015

Event Convenor: Postcolonial, Decolonial, and Indigenous Reconstructions at the University of Warwick, doctoral workshop, June 29, 2015

Event Convenor: Gender/Decolonial Workshop at Queen Mary University of London, Thursday December 4, 2014

Selected Media

Discover Society

New Statesman

The Guardian

Global Social Theory

The Disorder of Things 


I have taught on modules at Warwick entitled Global Environment of Business and Politics of Developing Areas, and this academic year I am giving lectures and leading seminars on the Politics of International Development.

Whatever the module material, I encourage students to approach academic texts not as containers of the ultimate truth but as interventions in an unfolding search for meaning. We are only halfway there if the students understand the views presented to them, the lesson is more or less complete when they explain why these views might be contestable. I also encourage students to view academic interventions as one element in a broader landscape of intellectual life, an element which should be in conversation with activist, creative, political, and everyday intellectuals.

The classroom for me is a productive space which joins, blurs, and brings into critical focus national, cultural, political, racial, and gender differences. Student interaction in itself makes the classroom both a political space and a politicising space where global political and economic power relations are both in evidence and at play.

At the same time I am currently broadening the space of the classroom by developing teaching methods which draw in the built and natural environment, as well as involve students practically in the phenomena they study. Finally, as I believe that research and teaching enrich one another, I try to bring my own research into the classroom as often as possible. This puts research participants and students into conversation, albeit at one degree of separation, and involves students in the process of investigation before the point of publication.

Recent Conference Presentations

Wynter in the City: Towards an Understanding of the Sociogenic Material of Urban Life (presented paper) ISA Annual Convention, Baltimore, US, Feb 2017

Raced Markets: Making Space for Race in Political Economy (presented paper, with Robbie Shilliam) ISA Annual Convention, Baltimore, US, Feb. 2017

The Production of Race in a Site of Extraction. Racialised Realities in World Politics, Millennium Conference, LSE, Oct. 2016

Introductory Words. Raced Markets Workshop. University of Warwick 10-11 December, 2015

Corporate Space and State-Corporate Violence in a Site of Extraction in West Papua. 9th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: The Worlds of Violence. Giardini Naxos, Sicily, September 2015

Intimacy and the Body Corporate: Governing Love in a Site of Extraction in West Papua. Postcolonial Governmentalities Workshop: Spatial Practices of Postcolonial Governance. Cardiff University, September 2015

Social Housing, Social Translation: Immanent Politics in the Jakarta Kampungs. 7th ICCG Conference, Ramallah, July 2015

Corporate Interventions in West Papua (roundtable contribution) The Politics of West Papua: Research and Policy Workshop, Wolfson College, Oxford, 9 June 2015

Corporate Space, Corporate Bodies: The Political Economy of Corporate Social/Spatial Production in West Papua (presented paper) New Directions in IPE Conference: Warwick, 14 May 2015

Countering Piratic Method in Political Economy: Lessons from Biopiracy and Geopiracy. ISA Annual Conference: New Orleans 18-21 February, 2015

Immanent Politics in a World without Spaciousness: Contesting Social Translation in the Incommensurable World of the Slum. University of Warwick Conference in Political Geography, 27-28 November, 2014

The Motif of Coloniality in the Metropolitan Spaces of Yangon and Jakarta. Second Bremen Conference on Language and Literature in Colonial and Postcolonial Contexts (BCLL #2), 3-7 September, 2014

"All Made of Stone and Steel and Wallowing in the Mire"? The Motif of Coloniality in the Metropolitan Spaces of Yangon and Jakarta. Royal Geographical Society Annual Conference, 26-29 August, 2014.

"The Impulse is Cartographic" Counter-Cartography and Coloniality in Indonesia. ALGC University of Warwick, 4-6 June, 2014.

Counter-Cartography in Indonesia. ISA Annual Convention, Toronto, 26-29 March, 2014.


Lisa Tilley

Previously based in the Department of Politics and International Studies