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Welcome to the website of the multi-award winning Project on Women and the History of International Thought, led from Oxford University. The first iteration of this collaborative and multi-disciplinary project Project ran from 2018 until 2023 and was generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The WHIT Project was the first sustained attempt to write historical women back into the history of international thought and the academic discipline of International Relations (IR).

The history of international thought has experienced a remarkable resurgence. Yet there is a serious lack of engagement with historical women as producers of international thought or founders of the academic study of international relations. Women in the past thought deeply about relations between empires, peoples, and states.

Through the WHIT Project's many publications, a Public Exhibition, collaborations, blogs and other work, the project began the process of recovering and evaluateing this international thought to write a revisionist histories of international thought and disciplinary IR.

The WHIT Project's initial focus was on the major centres of IR research, Britain and the United States, and the early to mid-twentieth century. We examined a variety of sites of knowledge production, including academe, but also occupational fields and less obvious pathways and genres to international thought.

Many of the historical women we uncovered were unknown. But we also analysed some already canonical intellectuals whose international writing was neglected. Given the unrivalled influence of European traditions on Anglo-American IR and the neglect of Black intellectuals we included European and Black diaspora women.

In addition to journal articles and books, an edited volume and anthology, we created a new open access Oral History archive of surviving IR scholars. 

We curated a four-month Public Exhibition in London, showing original documents and photographs, a video wall and audio recordings, gathered through the project and the Women’s Library collection, currently housed at the LSE Library.

Throughout the project, members of the research team and other collaborators write blogs and present podcasts on our findings. Numerous journal fora, including engagements from some of the foremost historians and IR scholars working today, can be found at the bottom of our publication page here

Based on responses to the Project, and other scholarship in History and IR, there is a clear need for collaborative multinational and multidisciplinary work recovering and analysing women's international thought from around the world.

Be sure to regularly visit our news site and X/Twitter page @leverhulmewhit.