Dr Cathy Elliott
My first degree was in French and Czech (with Slovak) from the University of Oxford. I subsequently obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development from the Open University, an MSc in Democracy and Democratisation from UCL and my PhD at University College London with the support of a +3 grant from the ESRC. My Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is from the UCL Institute of Education. I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2020.
Before doing my MSc and PhD, I spent seven years managing development projects for the British Council, including three years based in Islamabad, Pakistan. During that time I was responsible for the DFID-funded Gender Equality Project, a project to support civil society worth £2.6 million, as well as other projects aimed at supporting Pakistan’s education and health systems. I also worked on the British Council’s strategic approach to democracy promotion in Pakistan. My curiosity about, and frequent disillusionment with, this work was what led me to do a PhD.
I am currently working on the politics of the British "new nature writing". I argue that this genre of writing promotes a politics of enchantment that is useful in resisting the narratives that drive planetary destruction. More broadly, I have for a long time been interested in ideas about time, temporality and story-telling in politics and international relations. My current work on nature writing recapitulates these themes in new ways, but I have previously concentrated more on the stories that are commonly told about democracy and voting. I also find myself persistently returning to ideas about gender, race, and sexuality in my writing.I am also interested in the politics of pedagogy and I write and think a lot about teaching and learning. I am a Contributing Editor for Renewal Journal.
- Democracy Promotion as Foreign Policy: Temporal Othering in International Relations (2017) Routledge: London
- “Nature is Healing: The politics of enchantment” (2020) Renewal: a journal of social democracy 28 (2): 31–34
- “Poverty at the UCL Art Museum: Situated Knowledge in a World of Images” (2019) at RAISE: Student Engagement in Higher Education 2 (3): 34–53
- “Learning Lessons: The articulation of antisemitism on campus” (2019) Renewal: a journal of social democracy 27 (2): 75–87
- “All Out War? Brexit, voting and the production of division” (2017) Renewal: a journal of social democracy 25 (3–4): 44–55
- “The Day Democracy Died: The Depoliticizing Effects of Democratic Development” (2009) Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 34 (3): 249-274
- “H is for Heterotopia: Temporalities of the ‘new British nature writing’” (2020) in Ferdinand, Simon, Souch, Irina and Wesselman, Daan (eds.) Heterotopia and Globalisation in the Twenty First Century London: Routledge
- The JewCL podcast (2017) and The NewCL podcast (2019): available on iTunes or any podcast app
- “Health Policy in DevelopmentLand: a practical policy simulation” (2019) Active Learning in Political Science Blog
- “Voting, Violence and Division” (2016) Renewal Blog
Teaching and personal tutoring are a central part of my work as an academic. I am particularly interested in creating inclusive curriculums and learning environment and providing the tools and resources for students to critique existing forms of knowledge and the power structures that exist in, and are reproduced through, universities. I am also interested in engaging with students' imaginations and emotions, as well as intellect, so I use sources like fiction, drama and art, as well as academic readings, as a core element of the learning experience in the curriculum.
I currently teach an undergraduate module, Discourses and Practices of International Development, and a postgraduate module, Qualitative Research Methods: Texts and Images.
I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.