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Professor Erika Cudworth

Professor of feminist animal studies

Social Sciences

Erika's research interests are in critical animal studies, complexity theory, feminism and posthumanism. She teaches global environmental politics, research methods and gender politics.

    My research expertise lies in the areas of environment/society relations, global environmental politics, human/animal relations and gender, where I am particularly interested in questions of intersectionality and the persistence of complex inequalities considered at various levels from grounded empirical studies, to global patterns and international relations theory. My empirical research has sought to examine the different and similar patterns which may be found in examining both cultural forms and material practices/institutions.

    My teaching at UEL over the years has involved an extended reflection on the nature of political power and the relationship between different kinds of state and publics. I have been interested in feminist engagements with the state and the impact of various kinds of social movements on state structure and policy making. To what extent the ‘nation state’ is a dynamic and shifting set of relationships and institutions is one of my current concerns. I have taught state theory to upper and lower level undergraduates and have always enjoyed students engaging with and challenging current orthodoxies. I very much enjoy teaching international politics and international relations here at UEL and I do think, given the diversity and engagement of students and staff, this is a lively and interesting place for studying and talking politics.

    I am book reviews editor of the journal Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses


    I am currently working on four projects.

    First, my current empirical project in the area of animal studies is a study of companion animal relations using mobile methods (‘walk and talk’ interviewing and ethnography). I have completed data collection and am currently writing up the findings into papers. Provisional paper titles at the moment include:

    ‘On Muddied Living: Everyday practices in multispecies households’

    ‘Precarious Life: Risk, power, prejudice and companion species’

    I will also be writing about using mobile methodologies with more than human subjects.

    Second, I am working on a co-authored book project with Dr. Matthew Cole from the Open University and co-founder of the website The book, Animalizing Sociology, will revisit ‘classical’ social theory with posthumanist lenses.

    Third I am working on animals and institutionalised violence at various scales, from normative everyday practices (such as killing animals for meat) to beginning a new project developing further my co-authored work with Steve Hobden here at UEL in posthuman international relations – ‘the posthuman way of war’. With Steve I am also engaged on my fourth project, a book on The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism.



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    Books – single authored

    (2011) Social Lives with Other Animals: Tales of Sex, Death and Love, Palgrave.

    (2005) Developing Ecofeminist Theory: the Complexity of Difference, Palgrave. 

    (2003) Environment and Society, Routledge.

     Books – co-authored

    (forthcoming 2017) Animalizing Sociology: Posthumanist Readings of Classical Social Theory, (with Matthew Cole) Ashgate.

    (forthcoming 2017) The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism (with Stephen Hobden) Interventions Series, Routledge.

    (2007) The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press (with Tim Hall and John McGovern).


    Books – edited

    (2013) Technology, Society and Inequality: New Horizons and Contested Futures (ed. with Peter Senker and Kathy Walker) Peter Lang.

    (2015) Anarchism and Animal Liberation: Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation (ed. with Anthony J. Nocella and Richard White) McFarland.

    (forthcoming 2017) Posthuman Dialogues in International Relations (ed. with Stephen Hobden and Emilian Kavalski) Research Companion series, Ashgate.


    Journal articles

    (2015) ‘The Posthuman Way of War’ (with Stephen Hobden) Security Dialogue. 46, 6: 513-529.

    (2015) ‘Killing Animals: Sociology, species relations and institutionalised violence’ The Sociological Review, 63, 1: 1-18.

    (2015) ‘Liberation for Straw Dogs? Old materialism, new materialism and the challenge of an emancipatory posthumanism’ (with Stephen Hobden) Globalizations, Special Issue ‘Occupying Subjectivity: Being and Becoming Radical in the Twenty-First Century’, 12, 1: 134-148.

    (2014) ‘Civilization and the Animal’ (with Stephen Hobden) Millennium Journal of International Studies, 42, 2: 746-766.

    (2013) ‘Of Parts and Wholes: International Relations Beyond the Human’ Millenium Journal of International Studies, 42, 3: 430-450.

    (2013) ‘Complexity, Ecologism and Posthuman Politics’ (with Stephen Hobden), Review of International Studies, 39, 3: 643-664.

    (2012) ‘Foundations of Complexity, and the Complexity of Foundations: Beyond the Foundation/Anti-Foundational Debate’ (with Stephen Hobden) Philosophy of Social Sciences, 42, 2: 163-187.

    (2012) ‘Securança do que e para quem? Desquilades mứltiplas e complexas e a polίtica envolvida na securançe ambiental na Europa’, (with Stephen Hobden) Interfaces, 6, 3: 117-131 (‘Securing What for Whom? Multiple Complex Inequalities and the Politics of Environmental Security in Europe’ (with Stephen Hobden), Interfaces)

    (2011) ‘Climate Change, Industrial Animal Agriculture and Complex Inequalities’ The International Journal of Science in Society, 2, 3: 323-334.

    (2011) ‘Beyond Environmental Security: Complex Systems, Multiple Inequalities and Environmental Risks’, (with Stephen Hobden) Environmental Politics, 20, 1: 42-59.

    (2009) ‘The Politics of Arts and Events: Social Capital and “Community Cohesion” in East London’, (with Judith Burnett) Rising East Online: The Journal of East London Studies 9a, 15.

    (2009) ‘Complexity Theory in the Social Sciences’, (with Stephen Hobden) The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 4, 4: 59-69.

    (2008) ‘The Good Citizen: Problematising Citizenship in the Social Sciences Curriculum’, (with Judith Burnett) Learning and Teaching: the International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences Winter 2008 1, 3: 67-88.

    (2008) ‘Archipelagic Nations: Situating Citizenship in Education’, (with Judith Burnett) The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 3, 4: 145-154.

    (2008) “Most Farmers Prefer Blondes’ – Dynamics of Anthroparchy in Animals’ Becoming Meat’, The Journal for Critical Animal Studies, 6, 1: 32-45. (to be reprinted in Serbian, 2013)

    (2007) ‘Complexity Theory and the Sociology of Natures’, The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences 2, 3: 351-358.


    Journal articles in press

    ‘Posthuman Community in the Edgelands’ Society and Animals

    ‘A Sociology for Other Animals? Analysis, advocacy and intervention’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 36, 3/4.


    Chapters in books

    (2016) ‘Liberation for Straw Dogs? Old materialism, new materialism and the challenge of an emancipatory posthumanism’ (with Stephen Hobden) Occupying Subjectivity: Being and Becoming Radical in the Twenty-First Century, Routledge, pp.133-146. 

    (2016) ‘Ecofeminism and the Animal’, in M. Phillips and N. Rumens (eds) Contemporary Perspectives on Ecofeminism. Routledge, pp. 38-56. 

    (2016) ‘Puppy Love? Companion Animals in the Media’, (with Tracey Jensen) in N. Almiron, M.C. Cole and C.P. Freeman (eds) Critical Animal and Media Studies: Communication for Nonhuman Animal Advocacy, Routledge, pp. 185-200.

    (2015) ‘Dialectics and Complexity’ (with Stephen Hobden), in S. Brincat (ed.) Dialectics and World Politics. Routledge, pp.  .

    (2015) ‘Human Domination and Other Animals’, in A. J. Nocella, E. Cudworth and R. White (eds) (2015) Anarchism and Animal Liberation: Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation. (eds. with Anthony J. Nocella and Richard White) McFarland, pp. 93-107.

    (2015) ‘Complexifying International Relations for a Posthumanist World’, (with Stephen Hobden) in E. Kavalski (ed.) World Politics at the Edge of Chaos: Complexity and Global Life. SUNY, pp. 169-188. 

    (2014) ‘Beyond Speciesism: Theorizing the Social Domination of Other Animals’ in N. Taylor and R. Twine (eds) The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre. Routledge, pp. 19-35. 

    (2014) ‘Challenging Systems of Domination from Below’ (with Richard White) in A. J. Nocella, J. Sørenson, K. Socha, and A. Matsuoka (eds) Defining Critical Animal Studies: An Intersectional Social Justice Approach for Liberation. Peter Lang, pp. 202-220.

    (2014) ‘„Prezpis na miłość”? Kontynuacje i zmiany w płciowej polityce mięsa’, Śmierć Zwierzęcia: Współczesne Zootanatolgoie, (ed.) Marzena Kotyczka, Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego. (“The Recipe for Love’? Continuities and Changes in the Sexual Politics of Meat’, The Death of the Animal: Contemporary Zoothanatologies, University of Silesia, pp. 55-78).

    (2013) ‘Feminism’ in C. Death (ed.) Critical Environmental Politics. Routledge, pp. 91-100.

    (2013) ‘Climate Change, Industrial Animal Agriculture and Complex Inequalities: Developments in the Politics of Food Insecurity’, in E. Cudworth, P. Senker and K. Walker (eds.) Technology, Society and Inequality. Peter Lang. 

    (2011) “Most farmers prefer Blondes’ – Entanglements of Gender and Nature in Animals’ Becoming-meat’, in R. Carter and N. Charles (eds) Human and Other Animals: Critical Perspectives. Palgrave. 

    (2010) ‘Complexity, ‘Nature’ and Social Domination: Towards a Sociology of Species Relations’, in J. Burnett, S. Jeffers and G. Thomas (eds) New Social Connections: Sociology’s Subjects and Objects. Palgrave.

    (2010) ‘Educating the Outcast: Policy and Practice in the Education of Gypsy Traveller Children’, (with David Cudworth) in L. Ang, J. Trushell and P. Walker (eds.) Learning and Teaching in a Metropolis. Rodolpi.

    (2009) ‘Environmental Insecurity’, (with Stephen Hobden) in H. Fagan, and R. Munck (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Globalization and Security: Volume One- Economic and Political Aspects. Praeger.

    (2009) ‘Nature, Culture, Technology: Myths and Inequalities in the Posthuman Zoo’ in J. Burnett, P. Senker and K. Walker (eds.) The Myths of Technology: Innovation and Inequality. Peter Lang.

    (2008) ‘Seeing and Believing: Gender and Species Hierarchy in Contemporary Cultures of Animal Food’ in D. Grummett and R. Meurs (eds.) Eating and Believing: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vegetarianism and Theology. Continuum/T&T Clark.

    (2007) ‘Introduction: More than an Abstraction The idea of the Modern State’ in The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press. 

    (2007) ‘Anarchism: the Politics of Anti-statism’ in The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press. 

    (2007) ‘Feminisms: the Gendering of the State’ in The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press. 

    (2007) ‘The ‘New Right’: the Minimal State’ in The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press. 

    (2007) ‘Futures: Theorizing the State in a Global Age’ in The Modern State: Theories and Ideologies, Edinburgh University Press. 

    (2004) ‘Women on Derive: Autobiographical Explorations of Lived Spaces’ (with Judith Burnett and Maria Tamboukou) in Women in Geography Study Group (eds.) Feminism and Geography Reconsidered. WGSG.


    Book reviews

    (2013) review of Chad Lanvin ‘Eating Anxiety: The Perils of Food Politics’, Times Higher Education

    (2013) review of Philip Monaghan ‘How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies’, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses 1, 2: . 

    (2013) Review Essay ‘Armed conflict, insecurity and gender: the resilience of patriarchy?’ Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses 1, 1: 69-75. 

    (2012) ‘Darling dog day’s journey into night’ review of Jessica Pierce ‘The Last Walk: Reflections on our Pets at the End of their Lives’, Times Higher Education, 22 November: 50-51. 

    (2009) ‘Humans spared by a whisker’ review of Marion Nestle ‘Pet Food Politics: the Chihuahua in the Coal Mine’, Times Higher Education, 22 January: 42. 

    (2005) review of Carol Adams ‘The Pornography of Meat’, Feminist Theory 6, 1: 99-101.





    Teaching (programmes):

    BA (Hons) International Relations
    MSc International Relations

    Teaching (modules):

    AI3000 Research Project and Dissertation (International Politics)
    AI3304 Women, Power and Politics
    AIM415 Global Environmental Politics
    AIM403 Dissertation (MSc International Relations) 

    Research supervision

    Dr. Maxine Newlands ‘Environmental Direct Action and the Politics of Representation’ (awarded January 2013)
    Dr. Mary Lodato ‘Institutional Abuse in Ireland: Survival, Redress and Recovery’ (awarded September 2014)

     I am currently supervising:

    • Camille Barbagallo ‘The Political Economy of Reproduction: motherhood, work and the home in neoliberal Britain’
    • Jose Ignacio Dias Vazquez ‘Renegotiating Collective Self-Empowerment in LGBT Institutionalized Mental Health Provision by Developing a Recovery Community’
    • John Haworth ‘Globalization, Democracy and Radical Politics: the Case of Occupy’
    • Delia Langstone ‘Posthuman Surveillance: Non-human Animals as the Subjects and Objects of Surveillance’
    • James Martin ‘Prospects for the Labour Party in the South East England: A Critical Exploration of the Post-New Labour Era’
    • Navila Tinny ‘The Role of Microfinance in Women’s Empowerment in Bangladesh’
    • Alex Thompson ‘The Politics and Ethics of Transhumanism: Exploring Implications for the Future in Advanced Capitalism’
    • Alex Williams ‘Complexity and Hegemony: Technical Politics in an Age of Uncertainty’