Hannah Cowdell



College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Discipline: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
Department: Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

I am an SWDTP ESRC-funded PhD researcher at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter. My PhD project concerns the influence of legal-administrative, medical and socio-religious constructions of gender upon the legal and medical policy landscapes traversed by Lebanese transgender individuals. I am also interested in broader issues of bioethical consensus-making, and in decolonial and transdisciplinary approaches to research. 

Prior to starting my PhD, I completed an MRes in Middle East Studies at the University of Exeter, also funded by the ESRC SWDTP. My dissertation explored the use of social media by Lebanese LGBTQIA+ activists and influencers. 

In 2020, I graduated from St Antony's College, University of Oxford, with an M.Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies. My M.Phil dissertation explored the politics of British post-conflict heritage aid to Iraq. I also hold a BA in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with Arabic from University College, University of Oxford.