Melanie Richter-Montpetit is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield (UK). She is the recipient of a 2017-2018 Leverhulme Research Fellowship, which supports her book project Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Feminist and Queer Investments in Liberal War. Prior to her residence at the Margherita von-Brentano Center for Gender Studies, she spent the first nine months of the Fellowship as a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto.
Her research interests are in the areas of War and Security Studies, and in International Political Theory with focus on feminist, queer, and anti-colonial thought. Much of her work is concerned with the ongoing hold of racial-sexual and colonial formations of power on contemporary war and liberal security regimes. She explores how racial-sexual norms, practices and identities shape the production of force in ‘the international’, and in turn, how war and associated racial-sexual security practices are productive of new gendered racial-sexual normativities, subjectivities and (larger) political and economic orders.
She is currently working on three projects. Much of the research she will conduct at the MvBZ will focus on preparing the manuscript Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Feminist and Queer Investments in Liberal War. Combining and cross-fertilizing the burgeoning IR scholarship on liberal war with current debates in Black, Indigenous and Transnational Gender and Sexuality studies, the book thinks through the linkages between liberal technologies of the self and the more punitive operations of liberal security. By connecting the targeting of Muslim/ified people and spaces in the so-called War on Terror to genealogies of settler colonialism and chattel slavery, the book hopes to contribute to more robust responses to war, militarism and insecurity. Part of this analysis seeks to offer a deeper understanding of what is at stake in the recent inclusion of women and LGBT people in the U.S. military. She has been interviewed about this work by E-IR.
Melanie is also currently completing two co-authored books with Alison Howell (Rutgers University): Race and Security Studies (under review at Oxford University Press) and Martial Politics: Thinking Against Militarization and Securitization on Disability, Race and War (invited for review by ANIMA Series, Duke University Press).
Before joining the University of Sheffield, Dr. Richter-Montpetit worked as a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Sussex (UK). She pursued her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the Free University Berlin and then moved to Tkaronto/Toronto (Turtle Island/Canada), where she completed her MA and PhD studies in Political Science at York University. In 2017, she received the ISA’s (International Studies Association) Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section’s inaugural Early Career Community Engagement Award for her work supporting equity and diversity inside and outside the academy. She is former Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus of the ISA and former Co-Chair of the Working Group ‘Politics and Gender’ (Arbeitskreis Politik und Geschlecht) of the German Association of Political Science (DVPW). Her work has appeared in Security Dialogue, Millennium – Journal of International Studies, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and the Austrian Journal of Politics. She has provided TV and radio commentary on the racial and gender politics of security policy, and has blogged about issues of racial-sexual violence for The Conversation and The Disorder of Things.