Polly Withers is Research Officer at the LSE Middle East Centre, currently leading the project “Neoliberal Visions: Exploring Gendered Adverts and Identities in the Palestinian West Bank”. She is also a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications, where she teaches MC438 (Mediated Feminisms), MC411 (Media and Globalisation), MC4M1/2 (Research Methods in Media and Communications), and supervises MSc student dissertations (MC499). Her research explores the intersections between gender, race, and class in media, culture and communications in general, and popular culture in particular. She is interested in examining and questioning how different media and cultural practices frame, produce, and/or challenge dominant subjectivities and social relations in the Middle East and beyond.
Prior to becoming Principal Investigator on “Neoliberal Visions”, Polly was the 2018-2019 ESRC LSE Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the department of Media and Communications, and the 2017-2018 Visiting Fellow at the Council for British Research in the Levant’s Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem. She received her ESRC funded PhD in Middle East politics from the University of Exeter in 2017, for which she was awarded the 2018 BRISMES-Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic in the humanities and social sciences. Her doctoral research explored the gendered politics of popular music in Palestine. It is the backdrop to her forthcoming monograph developed from two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Palestine (Haifa, Ramallah, and Jerusalem) and its diaspora (In Amman and London) on the politics of ‘alternative’ music in Palestine.