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Dr. Katy Jenkins

Associate Professor in International Development

Department: Social Sciences

Katy joined Northumbria University in 2007. Her career has had an interdisciplinary focus, beginning with a degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Birmingham, followed by an MA in Human Geography Research, and a PhD in Human Geography, both from Newcastle University.

Dr Katy JenkinsDr Katy Jenkins is an Associate Professor in International Development. She is an interdisciplinary feminist scholar with specialisms in gender and development; women’s activism; NGOs, professionalisation and the changing nature of civil society. Katy has recently been awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to develop an innovative participatory photography project on women’s anti-mining activism. Katy’s research has a particular focus on Latin America, and she has conducted extensive qualitative research in Peru, Ecuador and Chile. She speaks fluent Spanish. Katy is Associate Editor for the Journal of International Development, co-convenor of the Development Studies Association’s Women and Development Study Group, and Committee Member for the Society of Latin American Studies. Katy is co-Director of the Centre for International Development at Northumbria University.

Campus Address

Lipman Building 212
City Campus

+44 (0)191 227 3061


PhD Human Geography, Newcastle University 2002 - 2005 (ESRC Funded)

MA Human Geography Research Methods, Newcastle University 2001 - 2002 (distinction)

BA (Hons) Hispanic Studies, University of Birmingham 1995 – 1999 (2:1)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Katy Jenkins’ current research explores intersections between gender and natural resource extraction in Latin America (particularly the Andes), and analyses the experiences of rural and indigenous women activists contesting large scale mining projects in Latin America. Other recent research with Matt Baillie Smith examined the life histories of grassroots development activists in India and aims to understand the changing nature of activists' engagement with development and development institutions over time. Katy's previous research in Peru focused on the role of grassroots women in implementing development projects and engaging with debates around NGOs, long term volunteering, and social movement activism. More generally, Katy is interested in women's activism in the global south, social impacts of resource extraction activities, and issues around gender, health and development. She has an interest in qualitative, participatory and feminist methodologies.

Katy particular welcomes enquiries from students interested in undertaking PhDs in the areas of activism, gender and development, natural resource extraction, NGOs, health and development, and projects with a Latin American focus.


PGR Supervision

PhD Completions

  • Lynne Chrisp (2005-2016, part-time) ‘Workers' Responses to the Argentine Crisis: The Case of a Cartonero Co-operative’ (2nd supervisor 2015-2016)
  • Darryl Humble (2007-2013) 'Development Education: An Ethnography of Development Practice' (2nd supervisor)

Current PhD Students Supervised

  • Victoria Ekwughe (2016 onwards) ‘Bridging the Gender Gap in Education For Economic Advancement Through Enhanced Exploitation Of Web 2.0 By NGOs In Nigeria’ (1st supervisor)
  • Inge Boudewijn (2014 onwards) ‘Exploring the Gendered Impacts of Mining and Mining Conflicts in the Andes’ (1st supervisor)
  • Kate Mukungu (2013 onwards, part-time) ‘Women’s activism on violence against women in divided and contested societies’ (2nd supervisor)
  • Clare Wiper (2011 onwards) ‘Feminist Activism and Violence Against Women: Contemporary Challenges in a Neoliberal World’ (2nd supervisor)
  • Laura Hutchinson (2009 onwards, part-time) ‘Identity, Emotion and Authenticity in South Indian Non-Governmental Organisations’ (1st supervisor)

Current/Recent Projects

Women, Mining and Participatory Photography in the Peruvian Andes (2017-2018)

(Principal Investigator)

Funding: Leverhulme Fellowship, £49,994

This project explores the experiences and perspectives of women living in communities impacted by proposed and actual large scale mining projects in Peru. Using participatory photography, the women will capture images that explore their perceptions of the social, economic and environmental transformations brought by large scale mining exploration and exploitation. The research will use the women's photographs and narratives to analyse the gender dimension of processes of resistance, continuity and change in relation to the arrival of mining, and will explore how women conceptualise ideas of wellbeing, Development and progress in this context of ongoing social conflict and change.

For further information about the project, please visit the project’s blog here.


Developing a participatory approach to understanding socio-environmental transformations and conflicts in the Atacama Desert, Chile: Gender, indigenous communities and large scale mining (2016-2019)

(Principal Investigator, with Hugo Romero Toledo, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile)

Funding: British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Grant, £29,886

This project brings together UK and Chilean academics researching diverse
aspects of social and environmental conflicts in relation to large scale mining. The project aims to develop innovative participatory methodologies for capturing
processes of change within rural and urban communities affected by large scale
mining developments in the Atacama Desert region of Northern Chile. The
interdisciplinary collaboration will involve a combination of networking activities,
workshops, teaching, and new collaborative research. It is structured around two
key cross-cutting themes – gender and processes of re-ethnification – and
understanding how these in turn intersect with broader social, political,
environmental and economic transformations brought by the significant expansion and intensification of mining activities in the region. Research will involve the development of community workshops and pilot projects in communities in the Atacama Desert, in order to trial the participatory methodologies developed in the course of the project.The project brings together academics from Northumbria, Durham and Newcastle Universities, with academics from 5 Chilean institutions.


Conflictos Socioambientales y Minería en el Norte Grande (Socio-Environmental Conflicts and Mining in the Norte Grande region of Chile (2014-2015)

(Co-Investigator with Hugo Romero Toledo, Mayarí Castillo and María Luisa Méndez)

Funding: Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies (COES), Santiago, Chile 

This research explores the impact of large scale mining projects on rural and urban communities in the North of Chile, with a focus on access, use and contamination of water resources. The project includes a particular focus on gender, and aims to better understand the positive and negative impacts of large scale mining in the context of Northern Chile.


Unearthing Women’s Mining Activism in Peru (2011-2012)

(Principal Investigator)

Funding: Joint Initiative for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean, £4,000

Working in partnership with an NGO focused on supporting women's anti-mining activism in Latin America (the Latin American Mining Monitoring Programme), this project will provide a gendered perspective on anti-mining activism, foregrounding the experiences of grassroots women activists in Peru. The research will use a feminist, life history approach to explore women's anti-mining activism and how this is shaped by the gendered impacts of mining. The research will explore how women are able (or unable) to sustain their activism over time and in situations of severe social conflict, contributing significant new empirical insights to theorisations of everyday activism and gender. The final report is available in English here and in Spanish here.

Key Publications

(2017, in press) “Women Anti-Mining Activists’ Narratives of Everyday Resistance in the Andes: Staying put and carrying on in Peru and Ecuador” Gender, Place and Culture

(2016) ‘Civil society activists and vulnerability in South India: the relational politics of life history methods and development research’ Social and Cultural Geography DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2016.1216157 (with M. Baillie Smith) – part of a special issue of on 'Doing Geography with 'vulnerable' people: ethics, methods and practice' (edited by L. van Blerk and N. von Benzon)

(2015) “‘Eventually the mine will come’: Women anti-mining activists’ everyday resilience in opposing resource extraction in the Andes’ Gender and Development 23(3): 415-431 (with G. Rondón, LAMMP) – part of a special issue on ‘Resilience’

(2014) ‘Women, mining and development: An emerging research agenda’ The Extractive Industries and Society 1(2): 329-339

(2015) ‘Unearthing Women’s Anti-Mining Activism in the Andes: Pachamama and the “Mad Old Women”’ Antipode 47(2): 442-460

(2012) 'Existing at the Interface: Indian NGO Activists as Strategic Cosmopolitans Antipode 44(3): 640-662 (with M. Baillie Smith)

(2011) ‘Depoliticisation and the Changing Trajectories of Grassroots Women’s Leadership in Peru: From Empowerment to Service Delivery?’ Journal of Latin American Studies 43: 299-326 

For a comprehensive list of Katy's publications see her Northumbria Research Link page here.


Professional Activity

Associate Editor of the Journal of International Development

Committee Member of the Society for Latin American Studies

Co-Convenor of the Women in Development Study group of the Development Studies Association

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


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