Heather Watkins

Heather Watkins

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
History, Languages and Global Cultures


Lecturer on undergraduate modules in Global Studies, including Introduction to European Studies, Memory and Identities in European Writing, Cinema and Society, Researching the Global Experience and Humanities at Work.

Career overview

Dr Watkins worked previously as a Lecturer in Politics at NTU, teaching Media, Power and Politics, and Contemporary European Politics.  Prior to that, she has worked in the School of Politics & International Relations at University of Nottingham as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, mainly teaching political theory, and at University of Sheffield International College and Nottingham Trent International College, where she taught International Relations at postgraduate level.

Research areas

Dr Watkins’ doctorate focused on localism and decentralised politics as responses to global and regional political conditions, specifically in Europe. This means looking at the tensions between local and global ways of thinking, and between neo-liberal political economy and community-based social economies. This work has led to a comparative study of the impact of neoliberalism on political culture and society in both the UK and Chile in the 1970-80s. She has a parallel research interest in the importance of internationalising the curriculum for fostering both students’ critical engagement and their employability in an increasingly globalised world.

External activity

Part of both the Nottingham Political Ethnography Research Group, and the Nottingham Critical Pedagogy Project. Contributing researcher for the NUS on the Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow project, exploring LGBT students’ experiences. Member of the British International Studies Association Learning and Teaching Working Group.

Sponsors and collaborators

Dr Watkins has worked collaboratively with local community groups including The Lenton Centre, North Notts Community Arena and Sneinton Alchemy.  Current collaborative research on the politics of neoliberal transformation in the UK and Chile is being undertaken with Dr Maria Loreto Urbina of University of Wolverhampton and Dr Jon Mansell of NTU Department of Politics and International Relations.


Watkins, H. (2013) ‘A theoretical and methodological approach to the politics of community: the application of political ethnography’, Enquire, 6/1: 39-59.  Available from:  https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sociology/research/enquire/journal/vol-6/index.aspx

Bell, D., Duffy, D., Motta, S. and Watkins, H. (2010) ‘Theorising Critical Pedagogy in the teaching of social and global justice: practice informed by theory’, IN Baker, G. (ed.) Teaching for Integrative Learning: Innovations in University practice, vol 4. Nottingham: Centre for Integrative Learning, University of Nottingham, PP107-114.

Watkins, H. (1990) ‘Women in Libraries: ten years of independent organisation in the UK’, WLW [Women Library Workers] Journal 14, 1 (Fall 1990) pp6, 8.

Contributing researcher for:

National Union of Students (2014) Education Beyond the Straight and Narrow: LGBT students’ experience in higher education.  London: NUS. Available from: http://www.nus.org.uk/global/lgbt-research.pdf

Forthcoming publications:

Mansell, J., Urbina, M. L. and Watkins, H. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘National renewal in the discourse of neoliberal transition in Britain and Chile’, Journal of Political Ideologies.

Smith, R. and Watkins, H. (forthcoming, 2018) ‘Thinking Globally, Working Locally: Employability and Internationalisation at Home’, Journal of Studies in International Education.