Cathy McIlwaine

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



I am a Professor of Development 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, 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 the intersectionality of transnational livelihoods, citizenship and political participation among migrants from a gendered perspective. Much of my research works 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.

I am currently working on two projects; 1) on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) among Brazilian migrants in London and Rio de Janeiro (funded by ESRC-Newton with Paul Heritage as CoI, People's Palace Projects, Casa Latin American Theatre Festival, the Latin American Women’s Rights Service, Redes da Mare and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro); 2) on the experiences of migrant women and VAWG in London, with the Latin American Women’s Rights Service as part of their Step Up Migrant Women campaign.

I have also been working across the social sciences and the arts as a way of communicating research in new ways, especially through theatre and performance. As part of the Violence Against Brazilian women project, we created a verbatim theatre play called Efemera written by Gaël le Cornec about the experiences of Ana, a Brazilian migrant woman in London who had insecure immigration status and who had experienced violence (based on the interviews with the women included in the research). The play has been performed 8 times (in London, Rio de Janeiro and Brighton) and we are currently making it into a short film called Ana.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, 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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