Lorraine Bayard de Volo
Women and Gender Studies

Pronouns: She/her/hers

 Office Hours: Thursday 1:50pm - 3:50pm & by appointment


Lorraine Bayard de Volo (PhD in political science, Graduate Certificate in women’s studies, University of Michigan, 1996) joined the faculty at CU Boulder in 2006.

Dr. Bayard de Volo’s areas of interest include gender and sexuality as they relate to war, revolution, violence, and social movements. Her regional area of specialization is Latin America, and she has done fieldwork in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico (Chiapas), and Nicaragua. She also does work on gender and violence in the U.S., with particular focus on sexual assault and the military

Her Latin American research is based on grants from the National Science Foundation and the United States Institute of Peace. She is currently working on a comparative research project on women, war, and peace processes in Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Her first major publication out of this research is a book on gender and the Cuban insurrection, published February 2018 by Cambridge University Press.

Women and the Cuban Insurrection:
How Gender Shaped Castro’s Victory

Using gender analysis and focusing on previously unexamined testimonies of women rebels, political scientist Lorraine Bayard de Volo shatters the prevailing masculine narrative of the Cuban Revolution. Contrary to the Cuban War Story's mythology of an insurrection single-handedly won by bearded guerrillas, Bayard de Volo shows that revolutions are not won and lost only by bullets and battlefield heroics. Focusing on women's multiple forms of participation in the insurrection, especially those that occurred off the battlefield, such as smuggling messages, hiding weapons, distributing propaganda, Bayard de Volo explores how gender - both masculinity and femininity - were deployed as tactics in the important though largely unexamined battle for the 'hearts and minds' of the Cuban people. Drawing on extensive, rarely-examined archives including interviews and oral histories, this author offers an entirely new interpretation of one of the Cold War's most significant events.

Dr. Bayard de Volo’s research interests on gender and militarization also extend to the U.S. With co-author Lynn Hall, she has a 2015 article in Signs that engages with intra-military sexual violence through analysis of a gendered continuum of violence at the U.S. Air Force Academy: “‘I Wish All the Ladies Were Holes in the Road’: The US Air Force Academy and the Gendered Continuum of Violence.”

Another research project focuses on military drones. She is co-director of Project Society within CU Grand Challenge’s Integrated Remote & In Situ Sensing Initiative (IRISS). Project Society aims to create a collaborative multidisciplinary environment on the CU Boulder campus that will be a national model for organizing and further developing expertise in the social sciences, humanities, and law for understanding the social, ethical, political, economic, and cultural implications of the rapidly growing use of drones and associated remote sensing technology. Dr. Bayard de Volo’s drone research uses gender as an analytical tool to identify and explore meanings and implications of drone warfare. She has a 2016 article in Politics & Gender: “Unmanned? Gender Recalibrations and the Rise of Drone Warfare.”

She is the author of Mothers of Heroes and Martyrs: Gender Identity Politics in Nicaragua, 1979-1999 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) as well as articles in journals including Signs, Politics & GenderComparative Politics, Gender & Society, Social Politics, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Mobilizations, and PS: Political Science and Politics.