Skip to main content
School of Politics and International Relations

Dr Holly Eva Ryan, BSc (Hons), City; MSc (Res), LSE; PhD, City.

Holly Eva

Senior Lecturer in International Political Sociology

Telephone: 02078828431
Room Number: Arts One, 2.15
Twitter: @HollyERyan
Office Hours: By appointment only


Dr Holly Eva Ryan joined the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary in September 2018. Her research sits at the intersections of visual and international politics. It has a particular emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics, power and the political practices of non-state/civil society actors – including artists, social movements and NGOs.

Holly's book 'Political Street Art: Communication, Culture and Resistance in Latin America', examines the relationship between street art and social change in Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. Beyond street art, she has written on a variety of topics including indigenous peoples’ rights, collective memory, campaign imagery, and democratic theory/practice. Holly is currently working on an ESRC New Investigator funded project exploring international friendship, solidarity and the practice of twinning.

Holly sits on the Steering Committee for the Queen Mary Latin America Network (QMLAN), a virtual hub established to connect scholars within and beyond Queen Mary whose research is focussed on Latin America and the Caribbean region. She is a member of the Artistic Activism Research Co-Lab at New York University.

Holly is a Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy). She has twelve years of teaching experience in UK Higher Education, having previously taught at Kings College London, Aston University, Manchester Metropolitan University and City University of London, where she completed her PhD in 2013.



On research leave during Semester A

Semester B

  • Convenor for POL369, Latin American Politics


Research Interests:

  • Visual politics and practical aesthetics
  • Latin America & the Caribbean (esp. Nicaragua, Colombia, Bolivia, the Anglophone Caribbean and Guyana)
  • Indigenous peoples' movements
  • The politics of resistance
  • Sensory democracy
  • Non-state actors
  • Twinning and linking
  • Friendship in IR
  • Political street art, graffiti, art activism

Examples of research funding:

2018 ESRC New Investigator Award “The Art of International Friendship”

2017 MMU GCRF Accelerator Award

2017 BISA Early Career Small Research Grant

2017 MMU RCASS Seed funding

2016 MMU HLSS travel grant

2016 University of Sheffield SURE 301 Award

2015 ESRC Seminar Series:“Civil Society Strategies for Democratic Renewal”

2014 BISA Workshop funding: “Protest, Social Movements & Global Democracy”

2012 BISA Founders Fund Award

2012 EU ERASMUS Mundus Award

2009 Full PhD Studentship from City, University of London



  • Ryan, H.E. (2017) Political Street Art: Communication, Culture and Resistance in Latin America. London: Routledge

Edited Books

  • Davies, T., Ryan, H.E. and Peña, A.M. (2016) Protest, Social Movements, and Global Democracy Since 2011. Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change. Vol.39 [Peer Reviewed]

Journal Articles

  • Ryan, H.E. (2021) The Political Work of Graffiti During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A View from Tottenham, London, Visual Studies Special Issue on Covid-19.
  • Ryan, H.E. and Mazzilli, C. (2021) Debating the Value of Twinning: The Need for a Broader Perspective. British Politics.
  • Ryan, H.E. and Flinders, M. (2018) From Senseless to Sensory Democracy: Lessons from Applied Theatre. Politics, 38(2)
  • Hannah, E., Ryan, H.E. and Scott, J. (2017) Power, Knowledge and Resistance: The Revolutionary Potential of IGOs in Global Trade Governance? Review of International Political Economy, 24(5)
  • Ryan, H.E. (2016) From Absent to Present Pasts: Civil Society, Democracy and the Shifting Place of Memory in Brazil. Journal of Civil Society, 12(2)
  • Ryan, H.E. (2015) Affect’s Effects: Considering Art-activism and the 2001 Argentine Crisis. Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 14(1)
  • Martins, R. and Ryan, H.E. (2014) Dispositivos de visibilidade e subjetividades: art-action. CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios, 29

Book Chapters

  • Ryan, H.E. (2020) Political Street Art in Social Mobilization: A Tale of Two Protests in McGarry et al. (eds.) The Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
  • Ryan, H.E. (2019) The Aesthetic Politics of NGOs in Davies, T.R. (ed.) Routledge Handbook on NGOs. London: Routledge
  • Ryan, H.E. (2018) ‘Os Anos de Chumbo’, Grupo Tupinãodá and the possibilities of street art for resistance in Martins, R., and Canevacci, M. (eds.) Lusophone Hip-hop. ‘Who we are’ and ‘where we are’: identity, urban culture and belonging. London: Sean Kingston Publishers
  • Ryan, H.E. (2015) Moving Forwards, Looking Backwards: Os Anos de Chumbo, Tupinãodá and the new politics of memory in Brazil in Fuggle, S. and Henri, T. (eds.) Return to the Street. London: Pavement Books
  • Ryan, H.E. (2013) Between mimesis, amnesia and exploitative rediscovery: Benemeritos de la Utopia and the possibilities for an autonomous Bolivian art in Aramayo, J. (2013) Benemeritos de la Utopia: The Aesthetics of Commitment. Bolivia: Arte Para Todos (Eng/Sp)

Review Articles

  • Ryan, H.E. (2021) Visual Global Politics. Bleiker, R (Ed). Reviewed in: Visual Communication Journal
  • Ryan, H.E. (2014) Displaced. The Human Cost of Development and Resettlement. Bennett, O. and McDowell, C. Reviewed in: Anthropology in Action, 21(1)

Pedagogic Tools and Writing


Holly is interested in supervising doctoral projects that fall within her areas of research interest.

She has supervised the following PhD students to completion:

  • Dr. Mor Cohen (Manchester Metropolitan University), Thesis: “Things that Grow From Below: Art Collectives in Israel

She is currently supervising the following projects:

  • Sara Wong (LSE): “Creative Practice and Transnationalism: Art and Resistance in the Burmese Diaspora”
  • Kinti Orrellana (QMUL): “Andean ‘life cycles’ & global politics: Alternative conceptions of time and the dynamic re-constitution of the global”

Public Engagement

Holly’s research has been featured in national and international newspapers, including The Telegraph, The Independent and The Huffington Post. She has been a contributor to The Conversation and OpenDemocracy/Democracia Abierta and the LSE-LACC Blog. For a selection of media pieces and long form by Holly, please see:

Holly has also organised or curated several exhibitions in the UK:

  • 'Art, Expression & Democracy' - Multimedia exhibition at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield (April 2016) Held as part of the seminar series "Civil Society Strategies for Democratic Renewal", funded by the ESRC.
  • 'Everyday Politics' - Photography Exhibition at The Palace of Westminster, London (September 2015) Co-sponsored by the World Photography Organisation and The Crick Centre, University of Sheffield.
Back to top