Cathy McIlwaine

I am a Professor of Geography at King’s College London, UK

I am a Professor of Geography at King's College London where I have been working since 2017. Previously, I worked in the School of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London between 1995 and 2017 (with a year’s secondment at the World Bank in Washington DC in 1998-1999).

My research focuses on gender and international development issues in the global South with specific reference to poverty, urban and gender-based violence and employment in cities. I also work on international migration in London with a specific focus on the Latin American community in relation to transnational livelihoods, citizenship and gendered violence. In the past, much of my research worked at the interface between academic work and policy-making with a strong emphasis on impact. In relation to policy-making, I have worked with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat and UN-Habitat on a range of different research projects, most recently on The State of Women in Cities 2012/13 with Sylvia Chant. More recently, I have been working with artists and with arts-based approaches in collaboration with civil society organisations. This includes collaborating with Gael Le Cornec in creating a verbatim theatre play, Efemera, a short film, Ana and a sound installation, Believe, as well as with Migrants in Action to create a multi-media film and installation, We Still Fight in the Dark and a Photovoice project, Who's Behind your Order? in London. In Rio de Janeiro, I have collaborated with Bia Lessa and People's Palace Projects to create Scar, and with the Museu da Pessoa to create a digital storytelling project with women artists on art and resistance. Bridging the UK and London, I had co-created a podcast on Women Resisting Violence with the Latin America Bureau.

Current research projects

1) Visual and Embodied Methodologies (VEM) for Imaging Intersectional Gendered Violence (funded by the ESRC) with Jelke Boesten [PI], Rachel Kerr and Suzanne Hall) (2023-2025)

2) Tackling gendered violence transnationally: exchanging knowledge and impact across Brazilian-British borders (funded by EPSRC) with Moniza Rizzini Ansari, Noele Resende, Redes da Mare and Latin American Women's Rights Service (2022-2023).

Past projects (since 2016)

1) Women Resisting Intersectional Violence (funded by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account) with Jelke Boesten and the Latin American Bureau - Marilyn Thomson, Louise Morris, Rebecca Wilson and Patricia Munoz Cabrera) (2020-2023)

2) Resisting violence, creating dignity: negotiating Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) through community history-making in Rio de Janeiro (funded by the British Academy) with Paul Heritage (People's Palace Projects, Queen Mary University of London), Eliana Sousa Silva (Redes da Mare) and Miriam Krenzinger (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). Moniza Rizzini Ansari was the research associate (2019-2022) 

3) Experiences of migrant women and VAWG in London (funded by Lloyds Transform), with the Latin American Women’s Rights Service as part of their Step Up Migrant Women campaign (2018-2019) (2018-2019).

4) Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) among Brazilian migrants in London and Rio de Janeiro (ESRC-Newton Fund) with Paul Heritage (People's Palace Projects, Queen Mary University of London), Eliana Sousa Silva (Redes da Mare), Miriam Krenzinger (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). This included collaborations with Latin American Women's Rights Service and Casa Latin American Theatre Festival (2016-2018)

I am an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Science and of the Royal Society of Arts and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, the Higher Education Academy, and an Associate Fellow of UCL-Institute of the Americas. I also serve as a trustee of the charity Latin Elephant, and the Latin American Bureau and an adviser at the Latin American Women's Rights Service. I have previously been a trustee at Children Change Colombia (2011-2017) and Carila Latin American Welfare Services (2005-2010).

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