The Everyday Feminist Politics of (in)Security: A Curious Inquiry into Staff-Student Sexual Violence in UK Universities.

  • Sofia Doyle

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis makes an inquiry into everyday staff-student sexual violence and the everyday politics of (in)security it engenders in UK universities. Although there has been much research in feminist security studies that examines relations of everyday (in)security and sexual violence over there in more dominant empirical contexts in security studies and international politics - such as conflict and post-conflict contexts, and within international institutions of (in)security such as the military and the United Nations - to date no research in security studies has interrogated relations of (in)security happening over here in the UK university. My thesis addresses this lacuna. I argue in this thesis that there is a continued orientation to studying sexual violence over and out there in the field of security studies that reproduces racialised and colonial logics, and reaffirms dominant sites of inquiry in security studies. Responding to this, I turn to relations of staff-student sexual violence over here in the UK university as means through which to both question, confront, and resist these problematics in security studies. In order to do so, I look to everyday stories of (in)security and staff-student sexual violence in order to unpack the politics of (in)security that is discernible through everyday practices in UK universities. Building on techniques of critical fabulation developed by Saidiya Hartman, I fabulate three scenes of staff-student sexual violence in this thesis: The Classroom, the Conference, and the Hearing. Taking seriously the importance of stories of sexual violence within the everyday, in these scenes I work to excavate the everyday practices and negotiations of (in)security in the context of staff- student sexual violence. I pay particular attention to how these experiences of everyday (in)security are embedded within broader gendered and racialised practices in the UK university.
Date of Award1 Aug 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCristina Masters (Supervisor) & Laura Mcleod (Supervisor)


  • Feminism
  • Security Studies
  • Sexual Violence
  • UK Universities

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