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 English Men: Constructions of UK State Identity in Internet News Reporting On the 2011 Libyan Civil War

Personal profile

My PhD supervisors are Prof. Jutta Weldes and Dr Karen Tucker and I successfully passed my viva in September 2019. I also have a BSc in Politics and MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol.

Aside from my 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
On this page: 
  1. Fields of interest
  2. Recent projects
  3. Published articles
  4. Panels and lectures
  5. Workshops
  6. Organisational
  7. Teaching (experience, approach, professional development activities) 
  8. Widening participation work
  9. Academic citizenship

1 Fields of interest

Security, state identity, gender, discourse, digital material.

2 Recent projects

I am currently working on a project about digital media and the arms trade.

My PhD examined how UK state identity is constructed in online British mainstream media representations of the 2011 conflict in Libya. Using a discourse-theoretic approach, I drew 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 argued 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. 

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.

3 Published articles

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

4 Panels and lectures

5 Workshops

  • 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 

6 Organisational

  • 2013-2016 I maintained 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:

  • Sustainable Development (UNIV10001), open unit, 2019/20
  • Political Concepts (POLI11101), first year, 2014/15 - present
  • I was 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.
  • 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.
7B Approach
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 and I have published on this subject in Teaching in Higher Education.
7C Professional development in teaching
  • 10/07/2019 Attendee, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Decolonising the Curriculum. Day-long seminar in the School of Education  
  • 18/06/2019 Attendee, Trans-inclusive Pedagogy. Workshop run by UoB Critically Queer Working Group
  • 20/11/2018 Attendee, Trans Awareness: the Basics. Seminar by Gendered Intelligence
  • 26/06/2018 Attendee, Decolonising our Curricula, Decolonising the University: Personal reflections. Faculty Education and Pedagogy Conference session 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

8 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.

9 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 2019, peer reviewer for the European Journal of Politics and Gender
  • 12/07/2018 Panellist 'Reading and responding to article reviewers' session, 'Write Here, Write Now: A Series of Practical Writing Workshops for PhD Students' 
  • 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)

Fields of interest

Security, state identity, gender, discourse, digital material.

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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