Dr. Elisabeth Militz

Postdoc

Social and Cultural Geography

Phone
+41 31 631 86 05
E-Mail
elisabeth.militz@giub.unibe.ch
Office
315
Postal Address
University of Bern
Institute of Geography
Social and Cultural Geography
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
Monday, 15:30-16:30

I am a feminist political and cultural geographer and explore affects and emotions. My research brings together feminist political geography, (queer) feminist theories of affect, geographies of the body and intimacy, digital geographies and empirical research in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.

 

From an intersectional research perspective, I want to understand how spaces of intimacy, emotions, and everyday experiences of identity politics such as nationalism are interwoven. In my doctoral work ( 2017 ) I developed the concept of affective nationalism and examined how feelings of national belonging arise in banal everyday encounters between different bodies, objects, practices and places. The concept of the "global intimate" (Mountz & Hyndman 2006), which means that intimate bodily and life experiences and global flows of bodies, technologies and knowledge are interconnected, inspires my current research on digital geographies of intimacy. In this research, for example, I investigate the role of affects/emotions in the creation of knowledge spaces about the intimate body on social media.

 

I also like to experiment with qualitative and ethnographic research methodologies in geography. I am particularly interested in the limits, possibilities and challenges of affectual methodologies and feminist-geographic online research.

Fields of Research

  • Emotions and affects
  • Geographies of the body
  • Digital geographies
  • Geographies of sexuality
  • Global intimate
  • Affective nationalism
  • Feminist methodology

Education

2019 Visiting scholar at the Central Asian Studies Insitute of the American University of Central Asia, Bishkek
since 2018 Postdoc in Social and Cultural Geography, University of Bern
2018 Postdoc with the Feminist Geography Collective, University of Texas at Austin
2017-2018 Postdoc at Transcultural Studies, University of St. Gallen
2015 Visiting PhD candidate at the Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington
2013-2017 PhD at the Geography Graduate School Zurich, University of Zürich
2005-2006 Exchange student University of Massachusetts, Boston
2003-2010 BA and MA in geography (minors: sociology, anthropology, biology), Heidelberg University

Professional career

since 2018 Research assistant and lecturer in Social and Cultural Geography, University of Bern
2016-2018 Research assistant and lecturer at Transcultural Studies, University of St. Gallen
2013-2016 Research assistant at Space & Organization, University of Zürich
2011-2013 Research assistant and lecturer in Economic Geography, University of Jena
2012 Visiting Scholar at the Azerbaijan Tourism Institut, Baku
2010-2011 Lecturer of the Robert Bosch Foundation, State Agricultural University of Azerbaijan
2010 Lecturer at the Department of Geography, University of Heidelberg

Affiliations and memberships

Twitter: @ElisabethMilitz

2019

Militz, Elisabeth, Faria, Caroline and Carolin Schurr. ‘Affectual Intensities: writing with resonance as feminist methodology’, online first, Area, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12584

Militz, Elisabeth. Affective Nationalism. Bodies, Materials and Encounters with the Nation in Azerbaijan. Zürich: LIT Verlag.

Militz, Elisabeth. "Towards affective Nationalism." Gender, Place and Culture, 26 (2): 296-300. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1484704.

Militz, Elisabeth, und Karine Duplan. „A Space for Feminist Geographies at the 16th Swiss Geoscience Meeting“. GeoAgenda 2019, Nr. 1 (2019): 26–29.

2018

Schurr, Carolin, and Elisabeth Militz. ‘The Affective Economy of Transnational Surrogacy’. Environment and Planning, 50(8): 1626-1645. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X18769652.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Feministische Geographien: Ankommen, Wohlfühlen und Weiterkommen.’  Feministisches Geo-RundMail 77 (Oktober 2018). http://ak-geographie-geschlecht.org/rundmail.

Klosterkamp, Sarah, and Elisabeth Militz, eds. ‘Feministische Politische Geographie’. Feministische Geo-RundMail 75 (April 2018). http://ak-geographie-geschlecht.org/rundmail/.

2017

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Affective Nationalism: Bodies, Materials and Encounters with the Nation in Azerbaijan’. PhD dissertation, University of Zurich, 2017.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘On Affect, Dancing and National Bodies’. In Everyday Nationhood: Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism, edited by Michael Skey and Marco Antonsich, 177–95. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-57098-7_9.

Militz, Elisabeth, and Diana Griesinger. ‘Book Review: Visuelle Geographien: Zur Produktion, Aneignung Und Vermittlung von RaumBildern’. Geographica Helvetica 72, no. 1 (22 March 2017): 137–40. https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-72-137-2017.

2016

Militz, Elisabeth, and Carolin Schurr. ‘Affective Nationalism: Banalities of Belonging in Azerbaijan’. Political Geography, Special Issue: Banal Nationalism 20 years on, 54 (1 September 2016): 54–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.11.002.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Public Events and Nation-Building in Azerbaijan’. In Nation-Building and Identity in the Post-Soviet Space: New Tools and Approaches, edited by Rico Isaacs and Abel Polese, 176–94. Post-Soviet Politics. London, New York: Routledge, 2016.

Sex, shame and (insta-)stories: digital geographies of intimacy

Duration 2019
Funding Faculty of Science of the University of Bern (field research 2019)
Description

Digital spaces of social media become places where globally circulating intimate body knowledge is produced and negotiated in socio-spatial contexts of tabooing and stigmatization of female and LGBT sexualities. As places of encounter between online and offline everyday worlds and differently positioned users, technologies, objects, stories and perspectives, digital spaces of social media offer possibilities for resistance and solidarity against the social normalization and stigmatization of female and LGBT sexualities. By creating an anonymous intimacy, partially anonymized forums and hashtag structures involve users in the continuous production and negotiation of body knowledge, thus enabling independence from hegemonic knowledge about sexual practices, identities and norms. At the same time, the powerful emotions and affects circulating in and through digital spaces of social media also regulate who, when, how and where helps to shape knowledge about intimate bodies and sexualities, and who does not. 

The research project asks about the role of emotions/affects in the emergence and mobilization of digital knowledge spaces in predominantly Russian-language forums and accounts on social media of users* from Kyrgyzstan. The aim of the research project is to develop a digital geography of intimacy.

Collaborators

Central Asian Studies Insitute (AUCA)
Novi Ritm
Aida Niyazbek

Becoming a virgin: bodies, technologies and affectual geographies of the reconstruction of the hymen

Duration 2017-2018
Description The project hypothesizes hymen repair as an emergent transcultural phenomenon that reproduces female virginity as a global commodity. It explores how technologies of hymen surgery produce corporeal geographies, putting sexualized organs and bodies into circulation as commodities in the global reproductive economy. Specifically, the project is interested in unraveling the different emotional and affectual mechanisms substantiating powerful narratives around virginity, femininity, female sexuality and pleasure.
Collaborators Novi Ritm

Clad in hope: affective geographies of the bridal dress

Duration 2018
Funding SNF Scientific Exchange
Description Despite an observed decline in marriage rates, the heterosexual wedding remains popular around the world. While many communities grant the status of an adult only after consummating a heterosexual wedding, marriage also seems to promise future happiness. The white bridal dress, in particular, plays a key role in attracting feelings of hope, desire and joy during wedding celebrations. This project aims to develop a critical understanding of the affective dynamics at play in conflating marriage with happiness.

Collaborators

Prof. Dr. Caroline Faria, University of Texas at Austin
Dominica Whitesell, University of Texas at Austin
Links https://universityoftexas.wixsite.com/femgeogcollective

Affective Nationalism: Bodies, Materials and Encounters with the Nation in Azerbaijan

Duration 2013-2017
Funding Forschungskredit Universität Zürich
Description The project unpacks the ways in which nationalism – understood as a feeling of national belonging and alienation – unfolds in moments of affective encounter between different bodies, objects, practices and places. Based on eight months of ethnographic field work in Azerbaijan, consisting mainly of observant participation within families, field notes from attendance at public holidays and commemoration ceremonies and qualitative interviews, the project develops the concept of affective nationalism - the banal affirmation of the national emerging in moments of encounter between different bodies, objects, practices and places. In times nationalist and populist narratives of good and evil, right and wrong and outside and inside gain ground, the project proposes to focus on moments of bodily encounter, on bodies’ different capacities to affect and to be affected and on the spatial and temporal contextualities of national becomings, in order to understand the persistence of nationalism.
Collaborators Prof. Dr. Martin Müller, Université de Lausanne
Prof. Dr. Anna Secor, University of Kentucky
Links http://www.research-projects.uzh.ch/p21647.htm
Output

Militz, Elisabeth, Faria, Caroline and Carolin Schurr. ‘Affectual Intensities: writing with resonance as feminist methodology’, online first, Area, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/area.12584

Militz, Elisabeth. Affective Nationalism. Bodies, Materials and Encounters with the Nation in Azerbaijan. Zürich: LIT Verlag.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘On Affect, Dancing and National Bodies’. In Everyday Nationhood: Theorising Culture, Identity and Belonging after Banal Nationalism, edited by Michael Skey and Marco Antonsich, 177–95. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-57098-7_9.

Militz, Elisabeth, and Carolin Schurr. ‘Affective Nationalism: Banalities of Belonging in Azerbaijan’. Political Geography, Special Issue: Banal Nationalism 20 years on, 54 (1 September 2016): 54–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.11.002.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Public Events and Nation-Building in Azerbaijan’. In Nation-Building and Identity in the Post-Soviet Space: New Tools and Approaches, edited by Rico Isaacs and Abel Polese, 176–94. Post-Soviet Politics. London, New York: Routledge, 2016.

Spaces of freedom in Azerbaijan: an action-oriented network analysis of environmental NGOs

Duration 2009-2010
Funding DAAD
Hiele Stiftung
Description The project focuses the practices, organisation and guiding narratives of environmental NGOs in the South Caucasus Republic of Azerbaijan. Drawing primarily on ethnographic and qualitative interview material from four month of field research, the study experiments with a qualitative network analysis and presents novel insights on civil society activities in the fields of nature conversation, ornithology and environmental justice in Azerbaijan.
Collaborators Prof. Dr. Heiko Schmid †
Output Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Zivilgesellschaftliche Freiräume in Umwelt-NGOs in Aserbaidschan: Eine Netzwerkanalyse’. In: Rückkehr zum Autoritarismus? Vormoderne, Moderne und Postmoderne im postsozialistischen Europa. Beiträge für die 19. Tagung Junger Osteuropa-Experten, edited by Apelt, B. & I. Hahn. Bremen: Forschungsstelle Osteuropa, 59-60, 2011.

Militz, Elisabeth. ‘Spaces of freedom in Azerbaijan: an action-oriented network analysis of environmental NGOs’, Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, 2010 (unpublished diploma thesis).

 

Selection since 2017

2019  
September „Jungfräuliche #Scham? Instagrams Räume des Widerstands gegen sexuelle Stigmatisierung“, DKG 2019, Kiel.
2018  
October “Affektiver Nationalismus: Reiseberichte aus dem Globalen Osten”, Vortrag im Murnau Club, Murnau a. Staffelsee
October (mit Jasmine Truong) „Exploring feminist geographies of the global intimate, reproductive bodies and affects”, Vortrag im BHK 2018, Bern.
April "Geographies of Beauty", AAG 2018 New Orleans
April (with Carolin Schurr) “Complicating (Un)Comfortable Alliances in the Brave New World of Reproduction”, AAG 2018 New Orleans
2017  
November "Affektiver Nationalismus: Zur Entstehung nationaler Gemeinschaftsgefühle am Beispiel Aserbaidschans", Geography Colloquium, University of Münster  
October (with Carolin Schurr) "Transcorporeal Geographies", DKG 2017, Tübingen
September (with Carolin Schurr) "Zugänge: Emotionale Geographie als Forschungspraxis", KKG 2017, Türbingen
April "Close the gap: corporeal geographies of hymen reconstruction", AAG 2018 Boston

 

Selection since 2017

2019  

December

(mit Laura Perler) Workshop „Normierte Körper im Globalen/Intimen“, Bern
November (mit Karine Duplan) „Human Geographies: Bodies, Cultures, Societies“, Symposium Nummer 21 auf dem 17. Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Fribourg
November (mit Karine Duplan) „Intersectionality, bodies and space“, Panel auf dem 17. Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Fribourg
November (mit Karine Duplan) “Intimate technologies, bodies and space“, Panel auf dem 17. Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Fribourg
October „Ästhetik oder Exzision? Transkulturelle Perspektiven auf Operationen der Vulva“, Workshop auf dem 3. Frauengesundheitstag Vorarlberg, Feldkirch
September

(mit Thilo Wiertz) “Politische Geographien digitaler Medien”, Fachsitzung auf dem DKG 2019, Kiel.

2018  
November (mit Karine Duplan) “Bodies, Space and Difference in the Global/Intimate”, Panel auf dem 16. Swiss Geoscience Meeting, Bern
September (with Sarah Klosterkamp) "Affectual Methodologies" and "Affect and Emotion as key concepts of feminist geographies", Workshops at the Human Geography Summerschool Gender & Space, Herzberg
April (with Carolin Schurr) "Author meets Readers: Stacy Alaimo’s (2016) Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times", Panel at the AAG 2018, New Orleans
2017  
November (with Christoph Creutziger and Sarah Klosterkamp) "Affects, Emotions and Geographies writing", Workshop at the Department of Geography, University of Münster
April (with Hannah Lyons) "The power of enchantment: exploring the affective entanglements between bodies, objects and space in constituting national identifications", Panel at the AAG 2018, Boston
March (with Carolin Schurr) "Transcultural Bodies: Geographies of Embodiment", Workshop, University of St. Gallen

Past Teaching

Spring 2019 BA Seminar "Digital Geographies of the global/intimate" (with Carolin Schurr and Mario Sturny)
Fall 2018 MA Seminar "Political Geographies of Emotion and Affect"
Fall 2018 MA Lecture "Kulturgeographie II: Theorien der Sozial- und Kulturgeographie nach dem Cultural Turn" (with Marina Richter)
Fall 2017 BA Seminar "Economies of Beauty: transcultural corpreal aesthetic between marketing and cosmetic surgery", University of St. Gallen
Spring 2017 MA Seminar "Love/ hate: The transcultural politics of emotions" (with Carolin Schurr), University of St. Gallen
Fall 2016 MA Seminar "Culture, Mobility and Space" (with Carolin Schurr), University of St. Gallen
Spring 2016 BA Tutorial Small Group Teaching "Globalization", University of Zürich
Fall 2014 BA Tutorial Small Group Teaching "Global Uncertainty", University of Zürich
Spring 2013 BA Seminar "Cultural Geography I", University of Jena
Fall 2012 MA Seminar "Cultural Geography II", University of Jena
Fall 2012 BA Seminar "Migration, urban infrastructures and transnational mobilities" (with Julia Rösch), University of Jena
Fall 2012 Excursion Genoa (5 days), University of Jena
Fall 2011 MA Seminar "Cultural Geography II" (with Karsten Gäbler), University of Jena
Fall 2011 BA Seminar "Economic Geography III" (with Manuel Meier), University of Jena
Spring 2010 Excursion "Cultural Geographies of Upper Bavaria: beyond laptops and Lederhosen" (with Julia Rösch), University of Heidelberg