Ms Natalie Jester

Ms Natalie Jester

Ms Natalie Jester
Assistant Teacher

11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
(See a map)

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Mad Dogs and Englishmen: Representations of UK state identity in reporting of the conflict in Libya (2011-13)

Personal profile

I have a BSc in Politics and MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol. My PhD supervisors are Prof. Jutta Weldes and Dr Karen Tucker.

Aside from my PhD research and teaching, I enjoy participating in public engagement events, especially with colleges and schools, as you can see below. If you would like me to speak at your school or event, please do contact me.
Follow me on Twitter: @NatalieJester     Download my academic CV

PhD research

My PhD examines how UK state identity is constructed in online British mainstream media representations of the 2011 conflict in Libya. Using a discourse-theoretic approach, I draw on David Campbell's work Writing Security to show that this conflict is represented as a threat in myriad ways, re/producing the identity of the UK as a state in the process. In this case identity constructions rely upon an identity/difference binary which draws heavily upon gendered-Orientalism to code the UK as positive (moral, enlightened, a leader) and Libya as negative (violent, backward, tempting, childlike). In addition, I argue that the format of online news (with hyperlinks, embedded videos and the facility to use additional images) reinforces these constructions by presenting the same discourse in multiple ways. 

Fields of interest

Security, state identity, gender (especially masculinities), Orientalism, discourse, media, technology. 

Most recent project

From September 2017 to February 2018 I was the research associate and project officer on the ESRC-impact acceleration project PeaceCapacity. From the website: 'PeaceCapacity draws on the research of the EU-CIVCAP project. EU-CIVCAP has highlighted the lack of local ownership, and the need to fully integrate affected communities, in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. Increased capacity/local ownership correlates with increased representativeness, improving the sustainability of peace processes, especially regarding vulnerable groups, e.g. women/minorities.'

Now that the project has finished, you can find our catalogue of lessons identified here, our handbook here, and policy briefing here.

Published articles and working papers

Panels, lectures and presentations

  • 19/11/2018 Panellist, University of Bristol African Caribbean Society, 'Man Up?' Panel discussion about masculinity and mental health in the African Caribbean community
  • 09/10/2018 Guest Lecture, Performing Gender (for third year dissertation students), University of the West of England
  • 05/10/2018 Presentation, Lessons Learned from a Research Capacity Strengthening Project in the States of Somalia, UK Research Capacity Strengthening Group, including the Department for International Development and Wellcome Trust
  • 02/02/2017 Panellist, Why Masculinity Matters, with Meenakshi Bala, Medical student (MBChB) and sub-editor for, Amit Singh, Co-editor, Consented, Dr Patricia Neville and Dr Bradley Stephens. Topic: Masculinity and security in an uncertain world.
  • 24/10/2016 Chair and co-organiser (with Bristol Festival of Ideas), 2017: War with Russia Panel with NATO's former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Sir Richard Shirreff, Prof. Tim Edmunds, Dr Ana Juncos and Samuel Rogers. Photo credit: Julio Hermosilla.
  • 4/5/2016 PanellistSave the Male: masculinity and mental health, Bristol SU
  • 21/10/2015 LecturerAccess to Bristol session for local a-level students on analysing gender in the media
  • 11/3/2015  Panellist, Young People’s Festival of Ideas: The Suppressed Majority?  What does it mean to be a modern man? 
    • Review by Bristol Eye and Storify of Twitter discussion
    • Below: short film with clips from the event 
  • 10/2/2015 Mini-lecture, Red Maid's school conference: de-coding gender in the media
  • 11/3/2014 Panellist, Gender Question Time
  • 6/11/2013 Organiser and panellistThinking Futures panel: Interrogating contemporary masculinities

Magazine articles

I am a contributor for Rife Magazine for young people. My aim is to make academic ideas simple and bring them to a wider audience.


  • 05/03/2019 Co-creator and facilitator, Widening Participation-sponsored Decoding Gender in the Media workshop. i did not organise the workshop this year, this task fell to Jutta Weldes and Henrietta Wilson.
  • 24/02/2017 Co-creator and facilitator, Widening Participation-sponsored Decoding Gender in the Media workshop. Questionnaires are distributed at and analysed following all workshops I organise in order to improve in future: as in previous years, this workshop scored a 100% positive rating for the question 'how satisfied were you with the event overall?' 
  • 18/01/2017 Facilitator, Decoding Diversity: Media Representations of Crime and Community Relations, workshop (organised by Denitsa Pencheva and Neema Beegum)
  • 29/06/2016 Attendee, Discourse in Security workshop (organised by Denitsa Pencheva). Paper presented: 'Toys, Teams and Toughness: A Comparative Analysis of Army Recruitment Advertising,' discussants: Prof. Tim Edmunds and Prof. Vernon Hewitt
  • 5/11/2015 Co-creator (with Prof. Jutta Weldes) and host, ESRC-sponsored Decoding Gender in the Media workshop as part of the Thinking Futures Festival (organised with the Schools-University Partnership Initiative). You can read the blog post reflecting on this workshop on the SUPI website
  • 7/11/2014 Co-creator and facilitator, ESRC-sponsored 'Decoding Gender in the Media' workshop with prof. Jutta Weldes 


  • I maintain the GRC website with Prof. Jutta Weldes
  • 24/10/2016 Chair and co-organiser (with Bristol Festival of Ideas), 2017: War with Russia Panel with NATO's former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Sir Richard Shirreff, Prof. Tim Edmunds, Dr Ana Juncos and Samuel Rogers
  • 4/6/2016 Team memberTEDxUniversityofBristolwhich was nominated for the 2017 Bristol SU Collaboration Award
  • 2014/15 Organiser, GRC reading group with Karen Desborough and Dr Junko Yamashita




I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, which recognises excellence and reflective practice in teaching. I was nominated for the 2014/15 and 2017/18 Bristol Teaching Awards, and was the HPT teaching representative in SPAIS in 2015/16. I teach or have taught the following modules:

  • I act as the first assessment marker for Dr Emma Brännlund's third year Theories and Practices of Securitisation unit (UZQNJN-30-3) at the University of the West of England in 2017-2018.
  • Political Concepts (POLI11101), first year, 2014/15 - present
  • Approaches to the Study of Political Science (POLI11104), first year, 2013/14 - 2015/16
  • Feminisms and International Relations, (POLIM11104), MSc, 2015/16
I was (2015 - 2017) also the unit owner for Gender and Social Research for the international HQRS programme as part of the award-winning Somali First initiative.
In line with my PhD research on online news, I have an interest in technology, and have created websites with additional resources for both the units on which I teach regularly (Political Concepts and Approaches).  These contain blogs, Youtube lectures, news articles and more in order to provide students with different means of learning. In recognition of the fact that teaching is more than just content, these websites also have a dedicated page each for study skills (argument constructon, writing) and numerous links to support for mental health wellness, because healthy, happy students find it easier to learn.
My research always informs my teaching, but sometimes my teaching informs my research: Jester, N. (2018) 'Representation within higher education curricula: contextualising and advocating for feminist digital activism', Teaching in Higher Education, 23 (5): 606-618. Lucy Mercer-Mapstone has written a blog responding to this article and you can read this here.

Professional development

  • 02/04/2019 Attendee, 'Academic, Practitioner and Advocate: Juggling Responsibility and Roles within the Academic Space', workshop with Professor Johanna Olson-Kennedy 
  • 12/12/2018 Attendee, 'TA talks - Doctoral Teacher peer-group: with Digital Education Office', training session by the UoB Doctoral College
  • 20/11/2018 Attendee, 'Trans Awareness: the Basics', training session for UoB staff 
  • 26/06/2018 Attendee, Faculty Education and Pedagogy Conference session, 'Decolonising our Curricula, Decolonising the University: Personal reflections' (by Dr Foluke I Adebisi)
  • 30/11/2016 Participant, Masculinity in the Curriculum Institute of Advanced Studies Workshop, South West and Wales Masculinity Network
  • 5/7/2016 Attendee, War Simulation and (in)Security workshop panel on wargaming in teaching

Widening participation work

I am not just interested in the students we have now, but the ones that might come to university in future, and have a strong commitment to supporting widening participation activities. I authored a commissioned report for the NUS about taught masters students' experiences of finance (2012), and aided in the final stage of the Paired Peers project as a research assistant coding interviews using NVivo software (2013). In July 2014 and July 2015 I delivered a lecture on Marxism and the Hunger Games for the widening participation schools conference, and in October 2015 I participated in Access to Bristol. More recently, our De-coding Gender in the Media workshop was funded by the faculty Widening Participation fund.

Academic citizenship

To me, academic citizenship refers to the less visible, informal responsibilities we have to students and others in academia - I try to play my part:

  • From August 2018 onwards, peer reviewer for CULTIVATE The Feminist Journal of the Centre for Women's Studies
  • 27/02/2019 Speaker, talk for current SPAIS MSc students about my experience of undertaking a PhD
  • 12/07/2018 Panellist 'Reading and responding to article reviewers' session, 'Write Here, Write Now: A Series of Practical Writing Workshops for PhD Students' 
  • 25/05/2018 Speaker, talk for current SPAIS MSc students about my experience of undertaking a PhD
  • 10/04/2018 Speaker, Alumni Association talk for current students: what have alumni done with their studies at the university?
  • 26/01/2017 Panellist, 'Finding Your Teaching Voice: Beyond Starting to Teach'
  • 2016/17 Representative, Faculty Quality Team (ensuring high quality teaching across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law)

Latest publications

  1. Jester, N, 2018, ‘Representation within higher education curricula: contextualising and advocating for feminist digital activism’. Teaching in Higher Education, vol 23., pp. 606-618

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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