photo of Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit

Post:Lecturer in International Security (International Relations)
Location:ARTS C C327
Personal homepage:MelanieRichterMontpetit

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 872520
International:+44 1273 872520

Research expertise:
download vCarddownload vCard to your mobile


Dr. Melanie Richter-Montpetit is Lecturer in International Security and Director of the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT). Before joining the University of Sussex, Dr. Richter-Montpetit worked as a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sheffield. Dr Richter-Montpetit pursued her undergraduate studies in Political Science at the Free University Berlin in Germany and then moved to Tkaronto/Toronto, Turtle Island/Canada, where she completed her MA and PhD studies in Political Science.

She is the recipient of a 2017-2018 Leverhulme Research Fellowship, which she spent as a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto and at the Margherita von-Brentano Center for Gender Studies at Free University Berlin. In 2017, she received the ISA’s (International Studies Association) Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section’s inaugural Early Career Community Engagement Award for her work supporting equity and diversity inside and outside the academy. She is former Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus of the ISA and former Co-Chair of the Working Group ‘Politics and Gender’ of the German Association of Political Science. Her work has appeared among others in Security Dialogue, International Political SociologyMillennium – Journal of International StudiesOxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics and International Feminist Journal of Politics. She has provided TV and radio commentary on the racial and gender politics of security policy, and has blogged about issues of racial-sexual violence for The Conversation and The Disorder of Things.

For a fuller description of her research and publications, see as well as a recent Interview – Melanie Richter-Montpetit.

You can follow her on Twitter.


Dr. Richter-Montpetit was shortlisted for the 2018/2019 Sussex Education Award 'Teaching to Disrupt.' Below the nominations:

Dr Melanie Richter-Monpetit is an incredibly inspiring lecturer. Her teaching methods are transformative. She puts into practice that which most people simply speak about. She is aware of her actions and her positionality,  and inspires her students to think about their own. Her teaching is decolonial, gender inclusive and aware, and inclusive in every aspect of the word. Her classes are meticulously planned, and every element is thought through to ensure this inclusive and intersectional environment. I've never been in an academic setting quite like it before. Her classes are emotional, challenging, and hugely important. Never have I wanted to invest so much of my efforts into a module before. She is by far the best lecturer I've had at Sussex, throughout both my undergraduate and my masters. No one is more deserving of celebration than Melanie.
Prof. Dr. Melanie Richter-Montpetit is one of the most outstanding and critical professor I have ever met. After studying in many different remarkable universities (LaSorbonne, Freie Universität, Tsing Hua University), Prof. Dr. Melanie Richter-Montpetit honestly changed me as a researcher, and truly represents the role model in academia for feminist and decolonial praxis that I was always looking for. She fosters critical thinking through an innovative, intellectually rigorous, interdisciplinary and collaborative pedagogical approach. She engages students with different formats to disrupt the normative claims and understand the intersectionality of power structures, violence, ethics, security, war, and international law. Prof. Dr. Melanie Richter-Montpetit's energy, support, and commitment both within and outside the classroom inspire and will continue to empower most students that had the chance to meet her.
Melanie is very encouraging and supportive of student learning. She dismantles preconceptions, challenges the natural discourse and makes learning exciting, fresh and new again. Each class I have with her is an opportunity to gain knowledge. There is no such thing as being a passive student with her as her energy makes you want to be involved and share your own understandings and ideas. Going to her classes is a privilege and I am grateful to her for what I have learned in her classes. I am truly inspired when I leave her classes and want to know more.



“Sex, Race and Death: Representations of MENA in orthodox and critical security studies”, Annual Conference of the Political Science Department, American University in Cairo (AUC), 12-13 October 2019.

“Counter/insurgency in the (Settler) Colonial Present”, Talk at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, 28 November 2018.

“Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism. Feminist and Queer investments in Liberal War,” Talk at the Margherita-von-Brentano Centre for Gender Studies, Free University Berlin, 28 June 2018.

“The Trouble with Gender: Rethinking Feminist Security Studies in ‘the colonial present’”, Keynote at the Annual Workshop of Women in International Security-Canada, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, 2 May 2018.

“Queerness and the Politics of Intersectionality”, Talk at the Decolonial Feminist Reading Group, University of Sussex, 19 April 2018.

“The Trouble with Gender: Rethinking Feminist Security Studies in ‘the colonial present’”, Keynote at the Annual Gender Studies Symposium, Lewis & Clarke College, Portland, OR, 8 March 2018. 

“Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism: Sexualized torture, antiblackness and the persistence of White terror”, Volksbühne Berlin, The Permeable Stage, 14 December 2017. 

“LGBT vs Queer/Trans theory: Coloniality and Intersectionality ‘in practice’”, Talk at the Department of Social Work, Ryerson University, 21 November 2017.

“Orientalism at War: Verticality, Muslim/ified targets and the politics of the sexed ‘colour line’,” Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, 8 May 2017.

“Beyond the Erotics of Orientalism. Feminist and Queer investments in Liberal War,” Keynote at the Opening of the Centre for Global Studies, Keele University, 9 December 2015.

“Beyond the sexed colour line? Liberal war and the imaginary geographies of Indian country in the Age of the Muslim/ified target,” Centre for American Studies, University of Sussex, 17 March 2015.



  • 2019 Rutgers International Collaborative Grant, Rutgers University (together with Dr. Alison Howell).
  • 2018 Visiting Fellowship at the Margherita von Brentano Center for Gender Studies, Free Universität Berlin (Germany) (summer 2018).
  • 2017-2018 Visiting Scholar at the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto (Canada) (1 June 2017 – 31 May 2018).
  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship 2017-2018.
  • Recipient of the inaugural FTGS Early Career Award for Community Engagement, International Studies Association's 58th Annual Convention, February 2017, Baltimore, MD.
  • 2017-2018 Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, International Studies Association (ISA)
  • 2017-2018 Program Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus, Annual ISA 2018 Convention.
  • 2014-2016 Co-Convenor of the German Association for Political Science’s (DVPW) ‘Politics & Gender’ Working group (‘Arbeitskreis Politik & Geschlecht’).
  • 2014-2016 Book Series Co-Editor, “Politik und Geschlecht” (“Gender and Politics”), Barbara Budrich Publ.
  • Consulting. Member of advisory group on the situation of LGBTI in peacebuilding/conflict-/disaster-affected societies, International Alert, London (UK).


Academic year 2019/2020

Dr. Melanie Richter-Montpetit is Director of the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT). She will teach two modules in Spring term 2020:

  • MA module 'Violence and Insecurity: Feminist, Queer and Anticolonial perspectives' (previously called 'Sex and Violence')
  • 2nd yr module 'The Liberal World Order in Crisis'


Community and Business

ISA-FTGS Early Career Award for Community Engagement. 

Awarded by the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section of the International Studies Association in Baltimore, MD, in 2017. 

Statement from the Award Committee:

We are delighted to announce that Dr Melanie Richter-Montpetit has been awarded the first Early Career Community Engagement Award for her incredible work promoting diversity, equity and tolerance inside and outside the academy. The Awards Committee were blown away by the commitment that Dr Richter-Montpetit has shown to promoting queer, anti-racist and de-colonial approaches in all aspects of her work and the dedication she has shown in raising awareness of these issues.

Some key examples include her work with the ISA-LGBTQA Caucus, in particular efforts to supporting struggles around stigmatized sexualities and gender expression beyond LGBT rights narrowly understood. As a result, the LGBTQA Courage Award 2014 went to No More Silence, a community group working to break the silence around the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women and Two-Spirit people across Canada/Turtle Island. This included organizing a fundraiser to finance a community-run database documenting premature and violent deaths, and honouring the victims. Together with Dr Alison Howell, she co-organized a similar fundraiser along with a special panel for the recipient of the 2015 LGBTQA Courage Award, the New Orleans-based group BreakOUT, an organization of and for queer and trans youth that works to stop the criminalization of LGBTQ youth.

To help promote more diversity in the discipline, Dr Richter-Montpetit has taken an active role in the mentoring of junior colleagues, and has been vocal in her support of colleagues facing sexual harassment. At ISA 2015, her social media criticism of the All-White line-up at the high profile ‘Sapphire Series’ prompted much debate about diversity and equity within the discipline. Most recently, Dr Richter-Montpetit co-organized a set of Special Panels at ISA 2017 on challenging oppression in the discipline. At her home institution, she has been involved in two major cross-departmental teaching and learning projects on equity and diversity. Dr. Richter-Montpetit currently serves as the Chair of the LGBTQA Caucus as well as the LGBTQA Caucus Program Chair for ISA 2018.

Announcing the Award, FTGS President Associate Professor Megan Mackenzie said: “Dr Richter-Montpetit has spent incredible amounts of time and effort to going beyond the basic professional requirements for an early career scholar and working to engage and evoke change in her wider community. This is exactly what the new Early Career Engagement award is meant to acknowledge – unpaid, unrecognized but highly significant and powerful work from early career academics”.