SOAS University of London

Centre for Gender Studies

Alice Finden

BA (Manchester) MA (SOAS) MRes (Birkbeck)
  • Research
  • Publications


Alice Finden
Alice Finden
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Thesis title:
A queer historical analysis of Anglo/Egyptian counter-terrorism and emergency law (Working title)
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

This project asks how a spatio-temporal mapping of experiences of emergency and counter-terrorism law can provide alternative and nuanced ways to understand present day state violence.

In a world increasingly preoccupied with border security and combatting ‘terrorism’, the use of exceptional legal actions is increasingly normalised (Ní Aoláin, 2018). Derogation from human rights obligations are justified by a need to secure the ‘life of the nation’ (Reynolds, 2010, p. 26). Meanwhile, state violence imposed through legal borders is experienced the most by racialised and gendered ‘suspect communities’ (Hillyard, 1993), whose long-lived emotional trauma becomes the accepted norm. Voices of those ‘suspect communities’ are not given space within traditional, rational understandings of evidence within the law, and therefore, their experiences of such violence are erased or invalidated.

This project will carry out a queer feminist comparative case study of experiences of emergency and counter-terrorism law throughout twentieth and twenty-first century UK and Egypt in order to trace historical genealogies of state violence. I explore this question with an understanding of counter-terrorism law in the UK and Egypt as a repeated apparition of its past: based in martial law and colonial exceptionalism. Furthermore, I use queer temporality (Freeman, 2010) as methodology to piece together fragments of time and space, mapping experiences of these laws. I use revolutionary literature and poetry, archives of law-making and mapping, and creative interview processes in order to construct a three-dimensional map of sensory and affective experiences.


  • Processes of counter mapping
  • State violence
  • Emergency law
  • Queer and feminist theory
  • Post-Colonialism
  • Creative and alternative methodology and methods
  • Literature and art as method
  • Affective and sensory explorations of borders