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Professor Cathy McIlwaine
Professor Cathy McIlwaine

Professor Cathy McIlwaine

  • Academics
  • Affiliates
  • Supervisors

Professor of Geography

Vice Dean (Research), Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

Research subject areas

  • Geography

Contact details

Biography

Professor Cathy McIlwaine has a BA (Geography) and MA (Latin American Studies) from the University of Liverpool and a PhD from the London School of Economics. Prior to joining King's, Cathy held positions in the Geography Departments of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1994-5) and at Queen Mary University of London (1995-2017). She also worked at the World Bank as a Social Scientist Research Project Manager (1-year secondment) in Washington DC(1998-9).

Cathy has served or is currently serving as a trustee for the following organisations: Carila Latin American Welfare Group (2006-9), Children Change Colombia (2010-17), Latin Elephant (2014-present) and the Latin American Bureau (2019-present). She is also an advisory board member of the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (2017-present) and is an Advisory Council Member for the Institute of Latin American Studies, London (2013-present).

Cathy became Vice Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Public Policy (SSPP) on 1 October 2020 and was elected as a Fellow to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 2022. She also served as a sub-panel member representing Geography in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF).

Cathy has served or is currently serving as a trustee for the following organisations: Carila Latin American Welfare Group (2006-9), Children Change Colombia (2010-17), Latin Elephant (2014-present) and the Latin America Bureau (2019-present). She is also an advisory board member of the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (2017-present).

Cathy also works with arts and theatre organisations, such as the People’s Palace Projects, CASA Latin American Theatre Festival, Footprint Productions, and Migrants in Action. She has collaboratively produced (with Gaël le Cornec) a verbatim theatre play (Efêmera), a short film based on this (Ana), a sound-performance installation (Believe), and a multi-media video installation We Still Fight in the Dark, all based on her research on violence against women and girls. She co-coordinates the King's Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network (with Jelke Boesten and Rachel Kerr).

Cathy's website

Research

Cathy’s research revolves around issues of gender, poverty and violence in cities, especially in Latin America, and among migrants in London. The latter focuses on low-paid migrant workers in general and specifically the Latin American community in relation to transnational livelihoods, citizenship and gendered violence.

Her current and recent research projects are on gendered violence amongst Brazilian migrants in London and among those living in the favela of Maré in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Newton Fund with People's Palace Projects, Redes da Mare, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and the Latin American Women’s Rights Service) and on the experiences of migrant survivors of VAWG with insecure immigration status (funded by the Latin American Women’s Rights Service through the Lloyds Bank Foundation) as well as a British Academy project on resisting gendered violence and creating dignity among women in Rio de Janeiro. Cathy is also working on several impact/public engagement projects, one with the Latin America Bureau (a podcast, blog and website) on Women Resisting Violence, another with Migrants in Action (a community theatre project - We Still Fight in the Dark).

Cathy also works with arts and theatre organisations, such as the People’s Palace Projects, CASA Latin American Theatre Festival and Footprint Productions. She has collaboratively produced (with Gaël le Cornec) a verbatim theatre play (Efêmera), a short film based on this (Ana) and a sound-performance installation (Believe) all based on her research on violence against women and girls. She co-coordinates the King's Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network.

In the video below Cathy talks us through her new project 'Resisting violence, creating dignity: negotiating Violence against women and girls (VAWG) through community history-making in Rio de Janeiro'

Teaching

Cathy’s teaching focuses on gender and development in the global South, transnational migration and Latin American London.

Undergraduate

  • 4SSG1016 Geography in Action
  • 6SSG3080 Gender and Development in the global South
  • 6SSG0610 Independent Geographical Study

Postgraduate

  • 7SSG5107 Environment, Livelihoods and Development in the South

PhD supervision

Cathy has extensive expertise in supervising PhD students, including on the following subjects. She welcomes students seeking to pursue PhD supervision for:

  • gender and cities in the Global South
  • transnational livelihoods
  • migrant labour
  • migrant citizenship and political participation
  • violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the Global South and amongst migrants in the UK
  • Latin London: the Latin American migrant community in London

Further details

See Cathy's research profile