London: Angelina Jolie is an Oscar winning actress, a political campaigner and now Angelina Jolie Pitt can add academic to her list of roles. The Hollywood star has been appointed a visiting professor at the London School of Economics (LSE), one of Britain’s most prestigious universities.
She will join former foreign secretary William Hague as a lecturer at the university’s Centre for Women, Peace and Security where she will help to teach students studying for a Master’s degree.
Jolie Pitt, who has been a goodwill ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency and is currently one of its special envoys, has been a vocal campaigner on refugee rights, and against the female genital mutilation and the use of rape as a weapon of war.
She said: “I am very encouraged by the creation of this master’s programme. I hope other academic institutions will follow this example, as it is vital that we broaden the discussion on how to advance women’s rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict.
“I am looking forward to teaching and to learning from the students as well as to sharing my own experiences of working alongside governments and the United Nations”.
Lord Hague, who worked with Jolie-Pitt on hosting a four-day summit on ending sexual violence in war in London two years ago, said he was “delighted” to be appointed.
He said: “This course will help underpin our work in preventing sexual violence in conflict, developing expertise and research to assist us in tackling the culture of impunity. I look forward to working with the LSE students and my fellow visiting professors.”
The one year course will include modules on Women, Peace and Security, Gender and Militarisation and Gender and Human Rights. Jolie-Pitt has recently been vocal about the refugee crisis, and the failure of European governments to address it.
Speaking as part of the BBC’s World on the Move day of coverage of global migration issues earlier this month, the 40-year-old actress and humanitarian warned against a growing politics of fear.
“Fear of uncontrolled migration has eroded public confidence and the ability of governments and international institutions to control the situation,” she said. “It has given space to a false air of legitimacy to those who promote politics of fear and separation”.
“It has created the risk of a race to the bottom with countries competing to be the toughest in the hope of protecting themselves whatever the cost or challenge to their neighbours, and despite their international responsibilities,“ she added.
She also warned against policies of isolationism, saying that no country can seal itself from the repercussions of the migrant crisis. “If your neighbour’s house is on fire you are not safe if you lock your doors. Strength lies in being unafraid,“ she said.