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M.L. deRaismes Combes

deRaismes Photo

I was born here in DC but grew up outside of NYC in Bedford, NY. In my dreams, I speak 12 foreign languages fluently, am a black belt in every martial art there is, and can do the Saturday NYT crossword in pen. In my waking hours, however, I content myself in knowing that at least I have a well-developed imagination. I became interested in international relations because everything else seemed small in comparison: I wanted to know and explore the whole world, not just a piece of it. My journey has led me to France, the Middle East, and now back again to DC. Recently, I've discovered the joys of Boot Camp and am getting to the point where I can almost see an abdominal muscle!

Why I chose SIS?

I came to SIS for its interdisciplinary approach to international relations and its proximity to the very heart of US foreign policy-making. SIS combines cutting-edge theoretical scholarship with policy-relevant empirical work, a union I pursue in my own research. I was also drawn to SIS for the opportunity to work with Patrick T. Jackson, a rising star in the field who strongly advocates for broadening the scope of what is considered 'acceptable' IR scholarship. His encouragement of me to pursue alternative theoretical approaches to both my research topic and my pedagogy has made me a more effective (and happy) scholar. Finally, I chose AU for its collegial atmosphere: fellow students and professors are enthusiastic and always willing to lend an ear, which makes all the difference when faced with the long – and often solitary – dissertation-writing process.

Previous Education

  • MA, Department of International Affairs, American University of Paris (2009)
  • Master Sociologie des conflits (M2), Institut catholique de Paris Paris, France (2009)
  • BA, French Language and Literature; War and Peace, Dartmouth College Hanover, New Hampshire (2002)

Employment Experience

  • Intern, The Carter Center (summer 2010)
  • Intern, Tomorrow's Youth Organization (Summer 2008)

Research Interests

I focus on security studies and foreign policy within the field of International Relations. Specifically, I concentrate on identity, terrorism, and securitization. I critically engage with existing scholarship on security by utilizing poststructuralism and discourse analysis to question what we think we know about the world and our place in it.


Curriculum Vitae

My Dissertation

Title:  "Securing American Identity through the Re/Telling of '9/11'" 

Committee:  Patrick T. Jackson, Dissertation Chair; Craig Hayden (SIS); Mlada Bukovanski (Smith)

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Grants

  • Summer Pre-dissertation Grant, American University (2013)
  • Summer Alternative Research Methods Grant, American University (2013)
  • Summer Pre-dissertation Grant, American University (2012)
  • Graduate School Assistantship Stipend, American University (2010-present)
  • Research Grant, American University of Paris (Winter 2009)
  • James B. Reynolds Fellowship for International Study ($25,000), Dartmouth College (2007-2008)
  • Graduate School Tuition Scholarship, American University of Paris (2007-2009)  

Selected Presentations

  • "Gendered Bodies: Legitimizing Drone Attacks in the War on Terror," paper presented on panel 'Securitizing' American Identity, International Studies Association Annual Conference, Toronto, CANADA, 26-29 March 2014.  
  • "Turkish Rambo and the Rhetoric of American Exceptionalism," paper presented on panel The Proliferation of Identity Networks and US Identity Abroad, International Studies Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, 3-6 April 2013.