Laura Perler

Research Assistant

Social and Cultural Geography

+41 31 631 52 39
Postal Address
University of Bern
Institute of Geography
Social and Cultural Geography
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

I completed my MA in Social Anthropology and Gender Studies at the University of Bern. In my dissertation at the University of St. Gallen, I am dealing with transnational egg donation in Spain. I am affiliated at the Social and Cultural Geography Bern and part of the coordination group for the mLab.

My research interests include (social and biological) reproduction, bioeconomies, feminist technoscience, migration, care work and feminist and postcolonial theories. I am also interested in qualitative methods, especially audiovisual approaches and participant observation. My regional focus is on Spain, Latin America and Switzerland.

Fields of Research

  • Feminist Technoscience and Geographies of the Body
  • Medical Anthropology/Geography
  • Care and reproduction
  • Migration 
  • Intimacy and globalization
  • Multi-media methods
  • Affects/Emotions


Since 2016 Doctoral Student in Organizational Studies and Cultural Theory, University of St.Gallen (
2013-2015 MA Social Anthropology and Gender Studies, University of Bern
2007-2011 BA Social Anthropology and public law, University of Bern
2010-2011 Formation "global education GLEN-Géco", including three months Internship Natitingou, Benin

Professional career

Since 2018 Collaborator in Social and Cultural Geography, University of Bern
Since 2016 PhD student, University of St. Gallen
Since 2016 Scientific collaborator with Carolin Schurr
2014-2015 Tutor for Undergraduate-Course and assistant to Prof. Sabine Strasser. Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern
2013-2014 Project collaboration NFP-Project 67 "Informal Caregivers in Critical End of Life Situations", Sottas Formative Works, Fribourg.
Since 2012 Care / Family
2010-2011 Replacement Teachings in Secundary and Primary Schools
2009 Interviewer Project "Ambulante Betreuung im Alter", University of applied Sciences, departement of social work
2005-2010 Care / Night Watch / Assistance, VHD Schmitten


Perler, Laura and Schurr Carolin 2020: Intimate Lives in the Global Bioeconomy: Reproductive Biographies of Mexican Egg Donors. Body& Society Special Issue. Edited by Michal Nahman and Diane Tober. (accepted)

Molas Anna and Perler Laura 2020: Selecting women, taming bodies? Body ontologies in egg donation practices in Spain. Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society Special Issue. (accepted)

Schurr, Carolin, Laura Perler, Nora Komposch, and Mirko Winkel 2020: "Reproductive geopolitics: Mapping global fertility networks". Catalyst: Feminist technoscience. (under revision)


Perler, Laura and Schurr Carolin 2018: Kinderwunschlinik. Buchbeitrag in "Räume der Kindheit. Ein Glossar". Jürgen Hasse and Verena Schreiber (editors).


Perler, Laura and Rickli Francesca 2017: "From Harry Potter to Jesus - A transfigurative conference report." Published online on somatosphere and und


Brügger Sarah, Perler Laura, Jaquier Adrienne, Sottas Beat 2015: "Dadurch, dass wir Mädchen sind, war die Erwartung von allen viel grösser." Geschlechtsspezifische Besonderheiten der informellen Pflege. Gender 2/15: 113-129.

Schurr, Carolin and Perler Laura 2015: Trafficked into a better future: Why Mexico needs to regulate it’s surrogacy industy (and not ban it). Published online on openDemocracy: https://www.opende

Sottas Beat, Perler Laura, Brügger Sarah 2013: Soziales und Seelsorgerisches im Vordergrund! Führung, Geld und Bildung: Was wollen Freiwillige in der Palliativversorgung wirklich? Praxis Palliative Care 20: 20f.

Reproductive Precarities: The case of Swiss-Spanish egg-provision arrangements

Duration 2016-2020
Funding (SNF)

In my dissertation, I am investigating the practices of a transnationally operating fertility clinic in Spain. I understand the phenomenon of egg donation as a transnational market that connects different actors in a very visceral way. In this market, not only economic, medical and biological connections are important, but also very specific values. An example for this is the importance of a certain understanding of “health”, closely linked to the concept of "free choice". These visions and ideas are main vectors of the practices in the field of reproductive medicine, yet as they are perceived as a matter of fact and self-evident, they often remain imperceptible. In my dissertation, I examine a certain conceptualization of health as a significant “Sociotechnical Imaginary” (Jasanoff and Kim 2015: Dreamscapes of Modernity. Sociotechnical Imaginaries And The Fabrication Of Power) in the field of egg donation. My ethnographic field research shows how these imaginaries link future, past and present, and how bodies are normed and medicalized reproduction gets normalized through those imaginaries. The study of different point of views within the clinic also shows the extent to which the imaginaries have a stratified effect along further categories of difference. Following Jasanoff, the specific "topographies of power" (Jasanoff and Kim 2015, 18), which characterize the transnational egg donation market, become apparent. 


Selection since 2015

(Dis)entangling the global/intimate: The logics of care in reproductive biographies. LASA conference, Mai 2020, Guadalajara, Mexico.
Co-organizer international BIOS-Network Workshop “worlding bodies, situating technologies: geography meets feminist STS”. July 2020, Appenzell.
"Negotiating subjectivity in objectifying practices: Becoming an Egg donor in times of (economic) precarity”. XI AFIN International Conference, September 2019, Granada, Spain
Co-organizer Workshop „Normierte Körper - Eine Begegnung von Künstler*innen und Wissenschaftler*innen“, December 2019, University of Bern
Presentation at the summer school  „Gender and Space“, Herbberg
"Reproductive Precarities: A 'rhizomatic' Dissertation: Researching Egg Donation Arrangements between Switzerland and Spain." MAYS Conference, FU Berlin (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars)
(with Carolin Schurr) "Biopolitische Transfigurationen in der mexikanischen Bioökonomie" and "Transfigurationen: Medizin macht Gesellschaft macht Medizin", Medical Anthropology Conference, University of Basel.
Co-organizer international workshop „Transcultural Bodies: Geographies of Embodiment“, University of St. Gallen
Co-organizer international workshop „The ART of reproducing difference. Discussing (in) equality in the context of reproductive travel.“ Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern (2015)



Past Teaching

Fall 2017 Exercise "Ökonomien der Schönheit: transkulturelle körperliche Ästhetik zwischen Vermarktung und Schönheitschirurgie" (with Elisabeth Militz), University of St. Gallen
Fall 2014 BA Tutorial "Verwandtschaftsanthropologie", Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern