Madelaine Joyce

Madelaine Joyce


Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a third year PhD candidate in the Geography Department at Royal Holloway supervised by Dr Rachael Squire and Professor Peter Adey. I previously completed my undergraduate (BSc Geography) and masters degrees (MSc Global Futures) within the department. My research interests are centred around feminist geopolitics, and feminist and political geographies more broadly, with a particular focus on volume, elements, territory, non-human agency, assemblages, and resilience. My past areas of study include the visual culture of the Korean Demilitarised Zone, and the geopolitics of the Cypriot Buffer Zone, which involved in-situ fieldwork in negotiation with UNFICYP. 

My doctoral project, funded by RHUL, further explores the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and aims to disrupt hegemonic understandings of the borderland which consider the space solely as a stagnant no-man’s land. Through the application of voluminous approaches and creative methods my project intends to ‘enliven’ the borderland in distinctive yet interrelated ways, with a particular focus on the animals, elements, sounds, and bodies which constitute, inhabit, and abound within the space. In doing so, my project hopes to demonstrate the complexities of and possibilities for the DMZ, moving beyond separation and exclusion to instead consider exchange, solidarity, and perhaps even reconciliation.

Outside of my doctoral research, I am also interested in the current state of higher education in the UK, the challenges of working within the neoliberal academy, and the future of academia. Alongside my co-author, Jasmine Joanes, we employ a feminist geographical approach in order to subvert traditional narratives of resilience which exist within the academy and have recently published our first article on this. Our work remains ongoing as we both attempt to navigate our ways through the academy as PhD students. 

I use she/her/hers pronouns. 

Educational background

MSc Global Futures (Geopolitics and Security), Distinction

Royal Holloway, University of London

21 Sep 2020 → 20 Sep 2021

Award Date: 1 Nov 2021 

Dissertation Project: Landscape of isolation or gateway to peace? Exploring the visual performance of the Korean Demilitarised Zone


BSc Geography, First Class

Royal Holloway, University of London

18 Sep 2017 → 12 Jun 2020

Award Date: 1 Aug 2020

Dissertation Project: Disassembling Wayne's Keep: The contested geopolitics of a Cypriot deathscape


Within the Geography Department, I have contributed to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate teaching on the following courses:

GG2001 Geographical Techniques II (UG) Guest Lecture Speaker

GG2052 Political Geography (UG) Guest Seminar Speaker

GG5011 Key Concepts in Geopolitics and Security (PGT) Visiting Lecturer/Seminar Leader

Other work

Research Assistant and Administrator

Centre for the GeoHumanities, Royal Holloway, University of London

(July 2022-)

Working alongside fellow postgraduate researcher, Cynthia Anyadi, this role involves: producing the Centre's quarterly newsletter; maintaining the Centre's social medias and website; supporting and organising Centre events; documenting Centre activities and maintaining the Centre's archive; and, supporting the Centre's Creative Commissions programme.

Personal Study Mentor

Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London

(January 2022-)

As part of the RHUL Geography department's mentoring scheme, I am a personal study mentor for an undergraduate student. This involves regular meetings with them to discuss their studies and encourage their development.

Research Administrator

Debt-Trap Urbanism Research Project

(May-August 2022)

Working under Professor Katherine Brickell, this role involved transcribing participants interviews as well as writing up their life stories for the Debt-Trap Urbanism research project.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions