Nominees for BRISMES Vice President (2024-2027)

Sharri Plonski & Lewis Turner

Sharri Plonski

Dr Sharri Plonski is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London. Her work, which is concerned with settler colonial relations, anti-colonial struggles, border dynamics and material infrastructures, is primarily anchored in the case of Palestine/Israel and its regional and global relations. She is currently working on a project that investigates the colonial and capitalist entanglements of Israel’s trade and transit infrastructures (as PI on an ESRC New Investigator Grant) and the materials that undergird, sustain and advance Israel’s ‘normalisation’ project. She is the co-producer of an award-nominated podcast, Surviving Society Presents: Material Crimes, that brings 'True Crime' and academic scholarship into conversation, as it takes a deep dive into the violence of infrastructure, how it shapes the lives of colonised, racialised and marginalised communities everywhere, and how they are mobilising for different, liberationist futures. She also loves to tell stories and her most recent one is about a train

Reasons for Nomination

Dr Plonski has been part of BRISMES council for over four years, taking on key roles including as the current chair of the Prizes and Scholarship Committee. She has worked in particular to cultivate space within BRISMES for early career and precarious researchers, from both the Global South and Global North, through her work to create the BRISMES ECR Development Prize and the Annual Conference Hardship Fund. Beyond BRISMES, she has extensive experience coordinating research clusters and working groups at her own institution and with other associations, including BISA's colonial, postcolonial and decolonial working group and Queen Mary's 'Global Politics Unbound' research group. Dr Plonski would come to the role with a wide ranging network, with which to expand BRISMES' relationship to other disciplinary fora and the communities that might see themselves as part of BRISMES as it continues to evolve in exciting, transdisciplinary pathways. In addition, given the role includes conference leadership, helping to shape policy and developing new modes for sharing/circulating research across its global community, BRISMES will greatly benefit from her interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and creative methodological expertise, as well as her commitment to mentorship and to the politics that have come to underline the association's work.

The nominee is jointly running for the post of 'Co-Vice-President' with Lewis Turner, with the idea of building more capacity (and sustainability) into the job. The particular example of this past year, with the sudden leap in the work of CAF and BRISMES Campaigns, exemplifies the need to think beyond the day to day running of the association, and ensure there is scope to both handle emergency/ad hoc issues, as well as expand what we can do as an association if we have two individuals in this role.

Sharri Plonski & Lewis Turner

Lewis Turner

Dr Lewis Turner is Lecturer in International Politics at Newcastle University. His research offers a critical exploration of humanitarianism, primarily in Jordan, and investigates questions of gender (especially men and masculinities), refugee recognition, vulnerability, labour market integration, and race and racism in humanitarianism. His work has appeared in journals including Journal of Refugee Studies, Mediterranean Politics, Middle East Critique, Review of International Studies, and Social Politics, and has received prizes from professional associations including the British International Studies Association and the Political Studies Association. From 2020-2024, he has been part of the ASILE Project, an EU Horizon2020 funded project investigating the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees.

Reasons for Nomination

Lewis has been a member of BRISMES since 2015, and has attended every annual BRISMES conference since. In January 2020, he joined the Society’s Committee on Academic Freedom, and in June 2020 joined BRISMES Council as a Trustee, a position to which he was re-elected in July 2023. Lewis has been extremely active on the Committee on Academic Freedom for over four years, in particular in recent months in the context of intense attacks on academic freedom on Palestine. He has drafted numerous interventions to support colleagues and defend academic freedom, and has spoken at webinars and to the media on behalf of the committee. One of the key roles of the Vice-President is to serve as chair of the committee on academic freedom, and Lewis would bring over four years of experience on the committee to that position. In addition, as a Trustee, he has sat on the Finance Sub-Committee, the Boycott Working Group, and has been involved in efforts to offer greater support to conference attendees who need visas to travel to the UK.

He is standing together with Dr Sharri Plonski, and if elected they would serve as ‘Co-Vice-Presidents.’ Having had extensive experience of helping to run BRISMES, they have seen how – particularly in the past 6 months – more capacity could help strengthen the organisation, allowing it to both respond to emergencies and build the society in the longer term. Co-Vice-Presidents would also help to make the roles more sustainable, and better support the incoming President.

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