Hannah Owens

Thesis title:

Rethinking the vernacular transversally: A methodological reworking of Vernacular Security Studies


This research is a multi-disciplinary project, which brings understandings of the vernacular outside of critically orientated studies of security. Pulling on strands of Sociolinguistics and Anthropology, I will investigate how they articulate and define the vernacular, language formation, communicative practices and the types of language different people speak in different contexts. In doing so I will re-specify and rework established terminology within the subject, critiquing our understanding of Vernacular Security Studies, placing language, and security talk, back at the centre of the discipline.The project will involve operationalising the ‘ordinary’ person, how the politics of identity ‘fits’ into security, and what this might look like, including the methodological implications. Through ethnographic study, I will look at the Za’tari refugee camp in Jordan and how security repertoires can act as a tool to transversalise security knowledge.

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First supervisor:

Jef Huysmans


11 – Global Order, Violence & Security Practice