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Welcome to the website of the multi-award winning Leverhulme Project on Women and the History of International Thought.

This collaborative and multi-disciplinary project, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust and led from Oxford University, is 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 our many publications, a Public Exhibition, blogs and other work, the project recovers and evaluates this international thought to produce a revisionist history of international thought and disciplinary IR.

Focusing on the major centres of IR research, Britain and the United States, and the early to mid-twentieth century, we are examining 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 are uncovering are currently unknown. But we are also analysing some already canonical intellectuals whose international writing has been neglected. Given the unrivalled influence of European traditions on Anglo-American IR and the neglect of Black intellectuals we are including European and Black diaspora women among our canonical 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. 

In 2022, 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 are writing blogs and presenting 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.

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