Debbie Lisle

20 02 2023

Professor Debbie Lisle of Queens University, Belfast, grew up in North Vancouver, in an environment of 'liberal feminism' which gave her a sense of possibility in life, but it was an interesting journey thereafter. Debbie chats with Brent about her decision to go to McGill for college, playing soccer throughout her undergrad and Master's years, and an in-between period of working at a lumber store and then traveling the world including to Southeast Asia and South Africa. Those months of traveling in her early 20s shaped for Debbie the major threads of research she would pursue throughout her academic career. This started at Victoria, where 'chance played a role' when she took a seminar with Rob Walker that would get her thinking of academia as a career. She went to Keele in the UK for PhD, working initially with David Campbell and then, when he left for Newcastle, finishing with Andrew Linklater. She talks about how critical IR, especially in the UK, had a different dynamic back in the late 90s and early 2000s,  before it 'exploded' onto the scene and branched into different streams of research. Debbie reflects on getting a job at Queens, being a working parent, how she handled the criticism of a harsh review of her first book, incorporating it for her second book, and her approach to writing. She closes the conversation discussing her recent health challenge and how she has worked through it in the past year.