Jenny Edkins' research interests revolve around a number of questions that arise from scepticism about the fantasy of security; notions of time, space, and materiality; and ideas of the human and sentience. She asks:
- How and why are we brought to think of ourselves as distinct, separate individuals, rather than intimately entangled in relations? What sort of politics does that enable?
- What are the dangers of thinking that we can change the world, as if we were separate from it? Are certainty and security possible, or just a comforting fantasy?
- What form of being does traversing that fantasy entail? Is such a way of being already practiced? Is it possible?
She has examined these questions through empirical investigations in a series of contexts such as:
- Missing persons and enforced disappearance
- Forensic investigations
- Trauma and memory
- Famine aid
- Humanitarian intervention
- Facial recognition, expression and disfigurement
She is currently exploring the relation between class, race and personhood. She is interested in autoethography, autobiography, fiction and narrative methods. Her work has drawn on postcolonialism (Fanon), Marxism, psychoanalytic approaches (Žižek, Lacan) and feminism (Butler) alongside others.