Fletcher Launches Cynthia Enloe Doctoral Scholarship

Scholarship to support doctoral students in gender and intersectional analysis
Cynthia Enloe

The Fletcher School’s gender and intersectional analysis program has trained global affairs scholars and practitioners for years. Most recently, the school announced the formation of a landmark scholarship to honor the contributions of Cynthia Enloe to the field of international affairs. 

“Cynthia Enloe is recognized as one of the founders of feminist international relations,” said Kimberly Theidon, who co-directs Fletcher’s gender and intersectional analysis program with Dyan Mazurana

Enloe is a research professor at Clark University, and she has published several books that have received great acclaim; her latest book, Twelve Feminist Lessons of War, published by the University of California Press in September, “lays out the lessons that women activists have drawn from their immediate experiences of war.”

“She took a field that looked at capital P ‘Power’ as something that occurred at the level of international organizations, between nation-states, and operated in an allegedly gender-neutral way to ask a series of feminist questions: what counts as political and who does that accounting?” Theidon said. “How does ‘gender neutral’ default into a series of masculinist assumptions about how the world works? When she argued that the personal is international, she shifted the questions one could ask and the answers those new questions made possible.”

The Cynthia Enloe Doctoral Scholarship will provide critical financial support to doctoral students in order to train the next generation of feminist international relations scholars and activists. Fletcher students and graduates, Theidon added, use their feminist curiosities to make visible what is frequently left out of the international agenda: the impacts of militarism, the lives of children born of wartime rape and sexual exploitation, the gendered structure of formal peace negotiations, and asylum cases and homophobia.

“She always insists we use our feminist curiosity to ask who sits at the table?” Theidon added. “Who is missing? How come they are missing and who is served by that absence?”

Generations of Research Mentorship

For Dyan Mazurana, the inauguration of the scholarship at Fletcher is personally meaningful, too. 

“Cynthia Enloe is the main reason I went on to study feminist insights into what happens to women and children during war and what can be done about it,” said Mazurana.

Mazurana read Enloe’s book Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives when it was released in 2000 and was “blown away,” inspired by her way of looking at the world.  

“I had never seen anyone do what she did in her scholarship. She could take you from a mother in Chechnya, who is tired of the abuse of her boys inside the Russian army, all the way to one of the biggest anti-military campaigns launched in Russia's history–by mothers,” said Mazurana.

“I said to myself I want to be able to do that, to look at what’s happening every day and have that inform my understanding of global affairs,” she added.

Mazurana was so motivated by Enloe’s work that she completed a second master’s degree and her doctoral studies under Enloe’s mentorship, subsequently bringing her research interests to Fletcher. Through Mazurana, Enloe developed ties to Fletcher. 

“Whether as a regular speaker at the gender conference or meeting with students in Davis Square for coffee to talk about the exciting changes they were enacting at Fletcher, Cynthia was always there to support them and me,” said Mazurana. “She helped me think about how to enlist other Fletcher faculty as allies in bringing feminist and gender perspectives out more clearly in their own important work, and many Fletcher faculty started incorporating these ideas into their own courses. The result is a thriving, vibrant, gender and intersectional analysis program, one of the best in the world. Cynthia has been a part of that every step of the way.” 

Faculty and students across the school expressed their excitement about the new scholarship and the doors it will open for more doctoral students interested in studying gender and intersectional analysis to bring their interests to Fletcher.

“We launch our fundraising campaign during the 90th anniversary of The Fletcher School. How appropriate to consider how far we have come,” said Theidon. “The Cynthia Enloe Doctoral Scholarship is an honor for Fletcher, and we are so grateful that a scholar of Dr. Enloe’s stature has chosen Fletcher as the home for this scholarship.”

Contribute to the scholarship and read more about Fletcher’s gender and intersectional analysis program.