Lorraine Dowler


My scholarship is rooted in a feminist approach to geopolitics that enables more fluid conceptualizations of compassion, identity, and individuality as related to understanding everyday life, private spaces, and the lives of women and other marginalized groups.  Conventional geopolitics pays disproportionate attention to the immediate, dramatic, and masculine actions of statecraft, especially the advancement of arms and explosive demonstrations of force. In the early part of my career, in collaboration with Joann Sharp, I questioned how our respective research projects could expand on the then current theories of critical geopolitics, which we maintained would require engagement with feminist and postcolonial theory. Our article “A Feminist Geopolitics,” maintained the necessity for a feminist geopolitics, with its detail to everyday forms of politics.  In my current research, I expand my initial question of a feminist geopolitics. Drawing from feminist geopolitics and ethics of care literature, I propose a caring geopolitics in a world where hate fuels racist and xenophobic hate crimes; routinized forms of rape culture produce conditions for actual rape; and the slow march of economic and political exploitation incites violent resistance and, in turn, that violent reaction can be deployed to justify oppressive changes to immigration policies, and so on.

In addition to my research and scholarship, I am deeply committed to the University as a site of education to inform social change.  I believe that education is a process whereby students can be empowered to act for social justice. In my classes on cultural, feminist, and political geography, I require that learners recognize the variety of different social locations, backgrounds, and interdisciplinary knowledges while treating one another with dignity, respect, and courtesy.  In both my research and teaching, I emphasize social justice and encourage students to consider their roles in addressing issues of justice globally. In this sense, the classroom is a place of hope where students and teachers gain glimpses into possibilities and garner the tools to make them a reality.

Research Interests

  • political geography
  • gender
  • qualitative methods
  • Feminist Geopolitics


  • Ph.D. Geography, Syracuse University
  • MLA Landscape Architecture, SUNY - Environmental Science and Forestry
  • B.S. Marketing, Business Administration, Manhattan College

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Cultural Geography
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Culture, Space and Place
  • Gendered Geographies
  • Feminist Methodologies- Graduate
  • Gender and Nationalism- Graduate
  • Critical Geopolitics- Graduate
  • Cultural Landscape- Graduate


Dowler, L. and Ranjbar, A, Just Praxis in the City: Positive Security and (Re)injury in Belfast and Orumiyeh, under review, Annals of the Association of American Geographers.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24694452.2017.1392843

Christian, J., Dowler, L., and Cuomo, D., Fear, feminist geopolitics and the hot and banal, Political Geography, 54, 64-72, 2016.


Dowler, L., “Up Against a Wall”, Political Geography, 47, 2015, 88-90, essay.


Dowler, L., Christian, J. and Ranjbar, A., A feminist visualization of the intimate spaces of security, Area, 46(4), 347-349, 2014.

Dowler, L., Cuomo, D. Laliberte, N. ‘“Challenging the Penn State Way’ A Feminist Response to Institutional Violence in Higher Education” Gender Place and Culture, 21/3, 2014.


Dowler, L., “Waging Hospitality: Feminist Geopolitics and Tourism in West Belfast Northern Ireland”, GeoPolitics, 18, 779-799, 2013.


Dowler, L. “In the Shadow of the Berlin Wall: The Peace-Lines of Belfast Northern Ireland”, Political Geography (33) 52-62 .2013, essay.


Dowler, L., “Banal Militarization: Gender, Militarization, and Sovereignty”, Geography Compass, 6/8, 490-499, 2012.


Dowler L., “The Hidden War: The “Risk” to female soldiers in the U.S. Military” in Kirsch S. and Flint C. Reconstructing Conflict: The Hidden War: The “Risk” to Female Soldiers in the U.S. Military, Ashgate, 2011, 295-314, book chapter.


Sharp, J. and Dowler L.,“ Framing the Field” in Del Casino V., Thomas, M. and Cloke P., (eds) A Companion to Social Geography for Blackwell, 2011, 146-160, book chapter.


Agnew, J., Dowler, L., Matthew Hannah, Joanne Sharp, Peter Hugill and Gerry Kearns ‘“Reading Gerry Kearns’ Geopolitics and Empire: The Legacy of Halford Mackinder” co-authors, John Agnew, Matthew Hannah, Joanne Sharp, Peter Hugill and Gerry Kearns Political Geography, (30) 49 -58, 2011, Essay 


Shirlow, P. and Dowler, L. “Wee Women No More: Gender, Resistance and the Post-Imprisonment Experience in Belfast” co-author, University of Ulster, Environment and Planning A 42, 384 – 399, 2010.


Laliberté, N., Dowler, L. and Driscoll-Derickson, K. “Advancements in Feminist Thought: Geography’s Contribution to International Studies” in Denemark, Robert A. The International Studies Encyclopedia. Blackwell Publishing, 2010. Blackwell Reference Online. 23 August 2010. <http://www.isacompendium.com/public/book?id=g9781444336597_9781444336597>


Nyaupane, G., Morais, D. and Dowler, L. “The role of community involvement and number/type of visitors on tourism impacts: A controlled comparison of Annapurna, Nepal and Northwest Yunnan, China, Tourism Management, 27, 1373-1385, 2006.


Morais, D., Yarnal, C., Dong, E., and Dowler L.  “Host women perceptions of ethnic tourism impacts: A comparison between patriarchal Bai and matriarchal Mosuo.” Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 10(3) 2005.


Yarnal, C., Dowler, L. and Hutchinson, S. “If the Bastards See You Sweat the Enemy Wins the War Masculinity and Domesticity in the Volunteer Firehouse” in Environment and Planning A, 36(8), 685-694, 2004.


Yarnal, C., and Dowler, L. “Who is Answering the Call? Volunteer firefighting as serious leisure,” Penn State Leisure Studies, in Leisure/Loisir, Journal for the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies, 27 (3/4), 161-189, 2004.


Kleman Davis, K. Davis, J., and Dowler. L., “In Motion, Out of Place: The Public Spaces of Tourette Syndrome, Social Sciences and Medicine 59(1), 103-12, 2004.


Dowler, L. “Amazonian Landscapes: Gender, War and Historical Repetition” in The Geography of War and Peace: From Death Camps to Diplomats, Flint C. (ed), Oxford University Press, 245-274, 2004.


Dowler, L. and Fluri, J. “Housebound: Women and the Reproduction of White Separatism”, Flint, C. (ed), Spaces of Hate: Geographies of Discrimination and Tolerance in the USA, Routledge, 2003, 69-86, book chapter.


Dowler, L., “Women on the Frontlines: Rethinking Narratives of Heroism post 9/11”, GeoJournal, An International Journal of Human Geography and Environmental Science, 58 159-165, 2002.


Dowler, L., “Till Death Due Us Part: Masculinity, Friendship and Nationalism in Belfast Northern Ireland", in Environment and Planning D, Society and Space, 20 (1) 53-71, 2002.


Dowler, L.,“The Uncomfortable Classroom: Incorporating Feminist Pedagogy and Political Practice into World Regional Geography”, Journal of Geography  (100) 2, 2002.


Fluri, J., and Dowler, L. “Klanbake: Gender, Etiquette and Racialized Space” Historical Geography, (30), 2002.


Dowler, L., and Sharp, J. “A Feminist Geopolitics “Space and Polity, University of Glasgow, Geography (5) 3 165-176, 2001.


Dowler, L., “No Man’s Land: Transgressing the Boundaries of West Belfast, Northern Ireland” Geopolitics 6 (3), 2001.


Dowler, L., “The Four Square Laundry: Participant Observation in a War Zone” Geographical Review 91(1-2): 414-422, 2001.


Dowler, L. “Preserving the Peace and Maintaining Order, Irish Catholic Perceptions of Urban Renewal in West Belfast, Northern Ireland” in Urban Geography, (22) 2 100-105, 2001.


Dowler, L. “Fieldwork in the Trenches: Participant Observation in a Conflict Area” in Qualitative Methods for Geographers Dwyer, C. and Limb, M. (eds), Arnold, London, 2001, 153-164 book chapter


Dowler, L. "And They Think I'm Just a Nice Old Lady": Gender Identities and War, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Gender Place and Culture (5)2, 159-176,1998.


Dowler, L. "The Mother of All Warriors, Women in Belfast, Northern Ireland", in Gender and Catastrophe, Lentin, R. (ed) Zed Publications, 1997, 77-90, book chapter.“Banal Militarization: Gender, Fear and Space”, under review Geography Compass



Edited Volume: Gender and Landscape: (Re)negotiating the Moral Landscape (eds) Dowler, Carubia, and Szczygiel, Women and Place series, eds J. Monk and J. Momsen (eds) Routledge, London, 2005 


2016: The College of EMS, College Mentoring Award

2003: The College of EMS, College Mentoring Award

2001: The College of EMS Wilson Award for Outstanding Teaching