About

Welcome to the website of the Leverhulme Project on Women and the History of International Thought.

This collaborative and multi-disciplinary four-year project (2018-2022), generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is the first sustained attempt to write historical women back into the history of international thought and the academic discipline of International Relations (IR).

The history of international thought has recently experienced a remarkable resurgence. Yet there is a serious lack of engagement with historical women as producers of international thought or founders of the academic study of international relations.

Women in the past thought deeply about relations between empires, peoples, and states. Our project seeks to recover and evaluate this international thought to produce a revisionist history of international thought and disciplinary IR.

Focusing on the major centres of IR research, Britain and the United States, and the early to mid-twentieth century, we are examining a variety of sites of knowledge production, including academe, but also occupational fields and less obvious pathways and genres to international thought.

Many of the historical women we are uncovering are currently unknown. But we are also analysing some already canonical women intellectuals whose international writing has been neglected. Given the unrivalled influence of European traditions on Anglo-American IR and the neglect of black intellectuals we are including European and black diaspora women among our canonical women.

In addition to journal articles and books, an edited volume and anthology, we are creating a new open access Oral History archive of surviving IR scholars which will be available on this website. Soon you will also find an annotated bibliography and links to related web content and research projects, including new or revised entries in dictionaries of national biography and digitised print texts.

In 2021, we will curate a four-month Public Exhibition in London of original documents and photographs, a video wall and audio recordings, gathered through the project and the Women’s Library collection, currently housed at the LSE Library.

Throughout the project, members of the research team are writing blogs and presenting podcasts on our findings.

The blog will also announce details of public impact and engagement events, so be sure to regularly visit our news site and Twitter page @leverhulmewhit.