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Welcome to our Strategic Lecturers

In 2019, Queen Mary University of London invested in 16 new Strategic Lecturer positions across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Our Strategic Lecturers hold affiliated positions with the IHSS and are helping to drive forward its agenda of cross-cutting research.  


Meet our Strategic Lecturers:

School of English and Drama

Dr Will Bowers has published widely on literature and thought in the long eighteenth century, predominantly on poetry and translation, but also on classical learning for women period and on eighteenth-century climate theory. His first monograph, The Italian Idea: Radical Anglo-Italian Literary Culture, will be published in December 2019 by Cambridge University Press. He has a forthcoming essay on ‘Table talk’ volumes (books published containing the anecdotes and apothegms of famous figures) and is an editor on the Longman Annotated Poems of Shelley. Will gained his PhD from UCL on the subject of Anglo-Italian Romantic literary culture (with John Mullan). Before submission of his thesis he spent six months at Yale under the supervision of David Bromwich. He has worked at Newcastle University, and at Oxford, as a Junior Research Fellow at Merton College, and lecturer at New College and Oriel. Will researchers (and teaches) across a diverse range of periods, languages, texts, and contexts, striving to maintain interests from the Early Modern to the early Victorian period (the very long eighteenth-century). In particular, his research seeks to drive us towards a new understanding of collaboration and sociability, by developing digital strategies for mapping social networks, using unconventional archival materials, and drawing on expertise from multiple disciplines.

School of Economics and Finance

Dr Simon Franklin is a Lecturer in Economics with interests in development economics, urban economics and labour markets. Simon joins QMUL from LSE, where he was based at the Centre for Economic Performance, following doctoral research at Oxford. His research is primarily concerned with the process of rapid urbanisation in developing countries, and the consequences of both growth and increased congestion for the economic and social lives of people living in cities. He has published work on the effects of programs designed to help urban youth find secure employment, including in journals such as Human Resources. He is currently working on new projects on urban planning and large-scale government housing projects in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is particularly interested in new approaches to improving the quality of data on the land use, commuting, and the structure of neighbourhoods and labour markets in African cities.   

Dr François Gerard is a Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance. He obtained a PhD in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and from 2013 was an Assistant Professor at Columbia University before joining Queen Mary. His research lies at the intersection of Public Economics and Development, investigating questions related to inequality, social programs, taxation, and environmental policies in middle-income and developing countries. He has published on value added taxes in developing countries and has a number of working papers covering job displacement insurance and on the efficiency cost of social programmes in developing country contexts.

School of Geography

Dr Sydney Calkin is a Lecturer in Geography and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, with interdisciplinary interests in Geography, International Relations, and Science and Technology Studies. Sydney joined QMUL from Durham, where she worked from 2015-2019. Her research investigates changing patterns of abortion access and transnational feminist movements for reproductive justice that work outside of state structures. Her work has recently been published in Political GeographyGender Place & Culture, and New Formations. She is the author of Human Capital in Gender and Development (Routledge, 2018). Sydney is currently working on a project about the geographies of cross-border abortion access, pro-choice activism and state reproductive control. I’m interested in the technological, medical, and political trends that are expanding abortion access beyond traditional state boundaries, as well as the ways states respond to these newer supra-national patterns of access. Her second book (co-edited with Kath Browne ) is forthcoming in 2020, entitled  After Repeal: Rethinking Abortion Politics (Zed Books, 2020).

School of History

Dr Daniel Lee is a historian of the Second World War and a specialist in the history of Jews in France and North Africa during the Holocaust. He studied at the University of Sussex, Sciences-Po, Paris and St Hugh’s College, Oxford, where he completed his doctorate. His first book was Pétain’s Jewish Children: French Jewish Youth and the Vichy Regime, 1940–1942 (OUP, 2014). His second book, The SS Officer’s Armchair, will be published by Jonathan Cape in 2020. It reconsiders daily life in Hitler’s Germany by exploring the life of a low-ranking SS officer from Stuttgart whose personal papers were recently discovered concealed within an armchair. Lee is also PI on a British Academy GCRF-funded project that examines how contemporary Tunisians remember the country’s Jewish past. Lee has held fellowships at the British Academy, the Institute of Historical Research, the European University Institute, Yad Vashem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. As a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinker, Lee contributes often to radio. 

Dr Hannah Williams is a Lecturer in the History of Art based in the School of History. An art historian of France in the long eighteenth century, her research explores issues of community and materiality in the Paris art world, especially in relation to cultural institutions (e.g. the Louvre, the Académie Royale), religion and religious art, maps and mapping, and artists’ social networks, studios, and materials. She is the author of Académie Royale: A History in Portraits (Routledge, 2015), co-creator of the digital project (with Chris Sparks), and has published her research in journals including Art HistoryOxford Art JournalFrench History, and Urban History. She is currently writing a book on Art and Religion in Eighteenth-Century Paris and co-writing (with Katie Scott) a book on Artists’ Things: Lost Property from Eighteenth-Century France (Getty Publications, forthcoming). She is a founding co-editor of Journal18 and co-convenes the QMUL Visual & Material Forum.

Dr Andy Willimott is a Lecturer in Modern Russian History, with a particular interest in the formation and popular experience of revolution, radical discourse, and utopian models. Andy joined QMUL as a 2020 Fellow of the Institute for the Humanities & Social Sciences and Lecturer in Modern Russian History in the School of History. Previously, Andy taught at the University of Reading, UCL School of Slavonic & East European History, and the University of East Anglia. His book Living the Revolution: Urban Communes & Soviet Socialism, 1917-1932 (Oxford University Press)—recipient of the Alexander Nove Book Prize and Honorable Mention W. Bruce Lincoln Book Prize—tells the story of fiery-eyed, bed-headed youths determined to throw their lot in with the Bolsheviks after October 1917. Challenging established readings of the Bolshevik project, 'Living the Revolution' shows that Soviet ideology could both frame and fire the imagination. Reviewers called it ‘Essential’, ‘original and engaging,’ ‘Beautifully written, meticulously researched, and bursting with narrative appeal.’   

School of Law

Dr John Adenitire was a Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham prior to joining Queen Mary. He has taught and researched at Cambridge, Durham, Birmingham, the UCL Constitution Unit, the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the UK Commission on a Bill of Rights. He gained his PhD at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law and Fitzwilliam College. John’s current research focuses on the legal right to exemption for religious and non-religious conscientious objectors from a wide variety of legal obligations, including anti-discrimination norms. More general research interests lie in the fields of public law, legal theory, comparative public law, and law and religion. He is also developing expertise in animal rights law and theory. He has a book forthcoming with Cambridge University Press entitled A General Right to Conscientious Exemption: Beyond Religious Privilege.

Dr Leila Ullrich is a Lecturer in Law and a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London and Research Associate at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford. Her research interests lie in the sociology and gender logics of international law and her current research examines the interplay between terrorism, counter-terrorism and gender through a comparative case study of the United Kingdom, Kenya and Lebanon. In 2017, she received her PhD in Criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford which explored the interpretation, use and practice of ‘justice for victims’ and ‘gender justice’ at the International Criminal Court. She is currently writing up her monograph for publication with Oxford University Press. Before starting her postdoctoral research, Leila worked as social stability analyst at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lebanon. In this capacity she conceptualized, secured funding for and managed an Innovation Project ‘Speak your Mind to Prevent Conflict in Lebanon’, a qualitative WhatsApp survey of Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities to better understand local conflict dynamics and needs. She was also the Convenor of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) network and worked for the International Criminal Court.

Dr Hedi Viterbo is a lecturer in the School of Law. Before coming to Queen Mary, he held a lectureship at the University of Essex, and prior to that was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at SOAS, a visiting scholar at Harvard, and a visiting researcher at Columbia. His research critically examines legal and human rights discourses and practices concerning childhood, state violence, and sexuality. He has written on issues including the legal construction of childhood, visual representations of torture, the past and present removal of indigenous and ethnic minority children, and law's role in shaping, legitimising, and responding to state control. Hedi’s book, The ABC of the OPT: A Legal Lexicon of the Israeli Control over the Palestinian Territory was published in 2018 with Cambridge University Press.  He has also published widely in publications such as the Stanford Journal of International law and Law and Social Inquiry.


School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Dr Rachel Bryant Davies is a Lecturer in Comparative Literature, whose research spans disciplinary intersections between Classical Reception, Children's Literature and Culture, and Nineteenth-Century Cultural History and Literature. Her interests centre on adaptations of classical myths and texts – whether in textual, material, performance, or visual media – with attention to non-elite modes and everyday encounters. Her recent monograph, Troy Carthage and the Victorians: The Drama of Classical Ruins in the Nineteenth-Century Imagination (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and critical edition Victorian Epic BurlesqueA Critical Edition of Nineteenth-Century Entertainments after Homer (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) investigate the privileged status of Greco-Roman antiquity, and its repurposing, to trace how classical knowledge is circulated and transformed. Her current monograph project (Classics at Play: Greco-Roman Antiquity in British Children's Culture, Oxford University Press, under contract), analyses how specific ideologies promoted to children across a wide range of media were camouflaged by classical content.


Dr Mario Slugan is Lecturer in Film Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He works on the intersection of film studies, philosophy and German studies. His current research is on the status of fiction and its temporal instability in artistic and non-artistic domains alike. Within film he investigates fiction's relationship to other film genres understood traditionally as non-fiction (including documentary and experimental cinema). Mario has authored three monographs to date: Montage as Perceptual Experience: Berlin Alexanderplatz from Döblin to Fassbinder (Camden House, 2017), Noël Carroll on Film: A Philosophy of Art and Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, 2019) and Fiction and Imagination in Early Cinema: A Philosophical Approach to Film History (Bloomsbury, 2019, forthcoming). He has also co-edited a special issue of Apparatus with Dr J. Alexander Bareis – Fiction in Central and Eastern European Film Theory and Practice (2019) – and is currently co-editing a special issue of Projections with Dr Enrico Terrone – Film Studies and Analytic Aesthetics in Dialogue (2020, forthcoming).

School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Sharri Plonski is Lecturer in International Politics (School of Politics and International Relations). Her work is concerned with settler colonial relations, anti-colonial struggles, border dynamics and material infrastructures. Her teaching and research are primarily anchored in the case of Israel/Palestine and its regional and global relations; but she is also working with a collective of researchers, activists and thinkers who are concerned with (ongoing) settler colonial relations as both international and place-based, material and ideational, structural and agentive. She has taught courses on global histories and the international politics of the developing world. Among her publications are her 2018 book (With I.B. Tauris), Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Power, Resistance and the Struggle for Space and “Material Footprints: The Struggle for Borders by Bedouin-Palestinians in Israel” in the journal Antipode. From 2019-2022, she will be the Principle Investigator on an ESRC New Investigator Grant, “From Walls to Corridors: The Global Logistics of the HaEmek Railway”.

Dr Musab Younis is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London and at the University of London Institute in Paris. His research traverses the history of political thought, international theory and postcolonial studies. He completed his MPhil and DPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford. He is currently writing a book about perspectives on world politics during the interwar period articulated by black writers in France, West Africa and the United States. Based on archival research, it investigates how changing ideas of globality underpinned the emergence of critiques of colonialism across the black Atlantic. Musab is currently developing three interconnected projects. The first explores how differences in conditions under British and French colonial rule shaped different kinds of critiques of colonialism, by looking at political texts published across the Caribbean and West Africa between the world wars. The second project conducts a genealogy of the concept of the ‘international division of labour’ in feminist, queer and anti-racist theory, relating this conceptual history to contemporary debates about global inequality. The third project examines theoretical questions surrounding postcolonial and decolonial approaches to time, history and the text, with a particular focus on the question of ‘origins’.



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