Jenny Edkins
1995 …2021

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Personal profile

Research interests

New & continuing research projects:

Missing persons There are contradictions between relatives' demands for the return of the irreplaceable person & the response of officials & political authorities, for whom persons appear as objectified & instrumentalised. Current work explores naming and identification of missing migrants.

Trauma & memory Events we call traumatic may provide an opening to challenge state- & nation-based politics. The current focus of work includes a narrative account of the site of the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan and an examination of memory and temporality.

Telling Stories The Telling Stories project involves opening space for narrative accounts in international politics & exploring the implications of this new approach through Telling Stories panels at ISA and Millennium conferences and the Journal of Narrative Politics.


Professor Jenny Edkins has published eleven books, including five monographs: Face Politics (Routledge, 2015); Missing: Persons and Politics (Cornell, 2011); Trauma and the Memory of Politics (Cambridge, 2003); Whose Hunger: Concepts of Famine, Practices of Aid (Minnesota, 2008); and Poststructuralism and International Relations (Lynne Rienner, 1999). She is currently working on the third edition of the successful textbook, Global Politics: A New Introduction, and completing a sixth monograph for Manchester University Press.

Her focus, aside from her own research, is on collaborative ventures that make space for innovative approaches and bring together those engaged in developing them, including most recently the Gregynog Ideas Lab; the highly-regarded Routledge book series Interventions; and the Journal of Narrative Politics. She was co-director of the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre Performance and Politics international (PPi). She has contributed to NGO and UK government policy discussions on famine, emergency and missing people. In 2013, she talked about her work in an interview with Stuart Elden.

Her original first degree at Oxford was in physics, with specialisms in nuclear and solid state physics. Her second first degree in the social sciences included courses with Stuart Hall. She taught at the University of Manchester prior to joining the Department in 1997 and she was appointed to a personal chair in June 2004. 



Current PhD supervision

  • Danielle House (ESRC Studentship)

Jenny Edkins has supervised more than 25 doctorates to successful completion and examined a similar number; her former PhD students hold posts in Asia, North America, and Europe.

Most recently completed PhD supervisions

Dr Ira Blaitka: Borders and difference: the politics of delineating Europe

Dr Chyatat Supachalasai: Theorising the politics of survivors : memory, trauma and subjectivity in international politics

Dr Yvonne Rinkart (ESRC Studentship): The production of airport space : The times, spaces and bodies of internationl aviation

Dr Lydia Cole (ESRC Studentship): The subject of wartime sexual violence : post-conflict recognition in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Now lecturer at St Andrews

Other recent completions:

Dr Catherine Charrett: A performance in politics: Hamas and the EU through the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections (2014), now Lecturer, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Gillian McFadyen: Language and silence within the refugee regime. (2014), now Lecturer at Aberystwyth
Dr Reiko Shindo: The politics of categories: re-thinking boundaries in translation (2013), now Lecturer at Coventry University
Dr Megan Daigle: Sexuality, the discoursediscourse of 'prostitution' and governance of bodies in post-Soviet Cuba (2012), author of From Cuba with Love
Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly: Killing in the name: searching for 'the political' in political violence (2012), now Assistant Professor at Warwick University
Dr Madeleine Fagan: Responsibility at the limit: the line between ethics and politics (2009), now Assistant Professor, Warwick
Dr Laura Guillaume: War on the body: dramatising the space of the unknown (2009), co-editor of Deleuze and the body
Dr Owain Llyr ap Gareth: Welshing on postcolonialism: complicity and resistance in the construction of Welsh identities (2009), now Research and Campaigns Officer for Electoral Reform Society Wales

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Honorary Professor, University of Manchester

01 Aug 2021 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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