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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)


Holly Porter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies in the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies. An anthropologist focusing on Africa, her work centres around issues of gender, sexualities, violence, and local notions of healing and justice after war—particularly in northern Uganda where she has lived for more than ten years. Previously, she has worked in South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, and Palestine in the fields of access to justice, gender-based violence, transitional justice, peacebuilding and human rights. Prior to coming to Cambridge, she has held positions at the London School of Economics, and a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at the University of Antwerp and Gent University.  She is the author of many articles and the 2018 Herskovitz Book Prize finalist, After rape: violence justice and social harmony in Uganda, published by Cambridge University Press.


Gender, sexualities, intimate relationships, violence, and local notions of healing and justice after war


Key publications: 


Porter, Holly. 2017. After rape: violence, justice and social harmony in Uganda. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Tom Kirk, Duncan Green, Holly Porter, 2021. Crisis Responses, Opportunity, and Public Authority During Covid-19’s First Wave in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South SudanDisasters. 45(SI): 195-215.

Macdonald, Anna and Holly Porter. 2020. The Politics of Return: Understanding Trajectories of Displacement and the Complex Dynamics of ‘Return’ in Central Africa.  Journal of Refugee Studies. Volume 33, Issue 4: 639–662. 

Porter, Holly. 2020. Moving Toward 'Home': Love and Relationships Through War and Displacement. Journal of Refugee Studies

Porter, Holly. 2019. Naked Bodies and Collective Action: Repertoires of Protest in Uganda’s Militarised, Authoritarian Regime. Civil Wars. 22(3): 198-223.

Porter, Holly. 2019. Moral Spaces and Sexual Transgression: Understanding rape in war and post-conflict. Development and Change.

Porter, Holly 2018. Rape Without Bodies?: Reimagining the phenomenon we call “rape.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society 25(4): 589-612.

Hilhorst, Dorothea, Holly Porter and Rachel Gordon. 2018. Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Humanitarian CrisesDisasters 42(S1): S3-S16.

Hopwood, Julian, Holly Porter and Nangiro Saum. 2018. Resilient Patriarchy: Public authority and women’s (in)security in Karamoja, Uganda.  Disasters 42 (S1): S140-S158.

Porter, Holly and Letha Victor. 2017. Dirty Things: spiritual pollution and life after the Lord’s Resistance ArmyJournal of Eastern African Studies.

Macdonald, Anna and Holly Porter. 2016. The trial of Thomas Kwoyelo: opportunity or spectre?  Reflections from the ground on the first LRA prosecutionAfrica. 86 (4): 698-722.

Porter, Holly. 2015. After rape: Comparing civilian and combatant perpetrated crime in northern UgandaWomen’s Studies International Forum. 51 (2015): 81-90.

Porter, Holly. 2015. ‘Say no to bad touches’: Schools, sexual identity and sexual violence in northern UgandaInternational Journal of Educational Development. 41 (1): 271-281.

Porter, Holly. 2015. Mango trees, offices and altars: The role of relatives, NGOs and churches after rape in northern Uganda.  International Journal for Minority and Group Rights. 22 (3): 309-334.

Porter, Holly. 2012. Justice and rape on the periphery: The supremacy of social harmony in the space between local solutions and formal judicial systems in northern UgandaJournal of Eastern African Studies. 6 (1): 81-97.


Teaching and Supervisions


Holly teaches for the MPhil and PhD in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies including: Gender Theory and Controversy; Theorising Gender and Method; Multi-disciplinary Text Seminar; Multi-disciplinary Gender Research Seminar.

Sabbatical and Research Leave 24-25 (Michaelmas, Lent and Easter Terms)
Associate Professor of Gender Studies
University Teaching Officer
Fellow, Peterhouse
Dr Holly  Porter

Contact Details

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