Prof. Dr. Carolin Schurr

Unit Leader Social and Cultural Geography

Social and Cultural Geography

Phone
+41 31 631 89 12
E-Mail
carolin.schurr@giub.unibe.ch
Office
314
Postal Address
University of Bern
Institute of Geography
Social and Cultural Geography
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
Agreement via email

I am a feminist geographer interested to understand how processes of globalization affect the most intimate spheres of our lives. Departing from Pratt and Rosener’s notion of the global intimate, I currently study transcultural arrangements of surrogacy. In my research, I look at the way the value of bodies, life and intimacy is renegotiated across national, cultural, social and racialized borders in an increasingly global bioeconomy. I develop what I call global geographies of the intimate by combining approaches from feminist geographies with theories of affect, feminist and postcolonial Science and Technology Studies, and new materialist conceptualizations of the body.

After studying geography, sociology and Latin American Studies at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt and Quito, Ecuador, I came to Bern in 2008 for my PhD. During my postdoc, I spent time at the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hil, the University of Bonn, the University of Zürich and the King’s College in London. In 2013, I received The Branco Weiss Fellowship from the Society in Science for my postdoctoral project “Making transnational baby markets”. In 2015, I was appointed as assistant professor of transcultural studies at the University of St Gallen. As associate professor, I head the research group Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern since August 2018.

Theories

I explore the connections between the intimate and the global through theories of performativity and intersectionality, affect and emotion, feminist and postcolonial Science and Technology Studies, and new materialist approaches to the body.

Issues

My empirical work focuses on two different topics:

  • The global bioeconomy (assisted reproductive technologies, surrogacy and oocyte donation)
  • Processes of political change (with a focus on the political participation of women and minorities)

The two research interests are linked through my interest in bodies, the intimate and affect.

Regions

While my empirical research used to focus on Latin America in general and Ecuador and Mexico in particular, my recent work expands the regional scope by taking into account the global connections between Mexico’s bioeconomy with markets for reproduction in East Europe and South Asia.

Methods

In my PhD, I have combined feminist and postcolonial methodologies with visual ethnography, while my recent research works on spelling out what a mobile and multi-sited ethnography can methodologically look like.

Education

2015 Postdoc King’s College London
2013-2015 Postdoc Department of Geography, University of Zürich
2012 Visiting Fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of British Colombia, Vancouver
2008-2012 PhD at the Department of Geography and the Interdisciplinary Center for Gender Studies (IZFG) at the University of Bern
2002-2007 BA- and MA studies in geography, sociology and Latin American Studies at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
2004 DAAD exchange program at the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito

Professional career

Since 2018 Associate Professor for Social and Cultural Geographies at the University of Bern
(4 month maternity leave in 2018)
2015-2018 Assistant Professor for Transcultural Studies at the University of St. Gallen
(4 month maternity leave in 2015)
2013-2015 Lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Zürich
2013 Lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Bonn
2008-2012 Lecturer at the Department of Geography at the University of Bern

Awards

2019 Ashby prize for the most innovative paper in the journal „Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space“ in the year 2018 
2013-2018 The Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science
2013 Swiss Award for Latin American Studies
2007 Bickhoff Prize for the best final degree at the University of Eichstätt

Affiliations and memberships

 

google scholar: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?hl=de&user=sKb8iqgAAAAJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolinSchurr

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2019

Schurr, Carolin; Militz, Elisabeth (2019). Winners of the Ashby Prizes 2019. Environment & planning. A, Economy and space, 51(7), pp. 1409-1414. Sage 10.1177/0308518X19864251

Bauriedl, Sybille; Marquardt, Nadine; Schurr, Carolin; Vogelpohl, Anne (2019). Celebrating 30 years of feminist geographies in the German-speaking countries Germany, Switzerland* and Austria. Gender, Place and Culture, 26(7-9), pp. 1049-1063. Routledge 10.1080/0966369X.2018.1563524

Truong, Jasmine; Schurr, Carolin (2019). Global geographies of the intimate: new research group at the University of Bern. GeoAgenda(1), pp. 8-10. Verband Geographie Schweiz (ASG)

Perler, Laura; Schurr, Carolin (2019). Kinderwunschklinik. In: Hasse, Jürgen; Schreiber, Verena (eds.) Räume der Kindheit. Ein Glossar (pp. 173-178). Bielefeld: transcript

Militz, Elisabeth; Faria, Caroline; Schurr, Carolin (2019). Affectual intensities: writing with resonance as feminist methodology. Area Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/area.12584

2018

Schurr, Carolin (October 2018). Carolin Schurr, Bern. 30 Jahre AK - autobiographische Notizen. Feministisches Geo-RundMail(77), pp. 14-16.

Schurr, Carolin (2018). Multiple mobilities in Mexico’s fertility industry. Mobilities, 14(1), pp. 103-119. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 10.1080/17450101.2019.1522881

Schurr, Carolin; Militz, Elisabeth (2018). The affective economy of transnational surrogacy. Environment and planning. A, Economy and space, 50(8), pp. 1626-1645. Sage 10.1177/0308518X18769652

Schurr, Carolin (2018). The baby business booms: Economic geographies of assisted reproduction. Geography compass, 12(8), pp. 1-15. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/gec3.12395

2017

Schurr, Carolin; Verne, Julia (2017). Science and Technology Studies meets development geographies. Geographische Zeitschrift, 105(2), pp. 125-144. Franz Steiner Verlag

Schurr, Carolin (2017). From biopolitics to bioeconomies: The ART of (re-)producing white futures in Mexico's surrogacy market. Environment and planning. D, Society and space, 35(2), pp. 241-262. Sage 10.1177/0263775816638851

2016

Schurr, Carolin; Strüver, Anke (2016). "The Rest": Geographien des Alltäglichen zwischen Affekt, Emotion und Repräsentation. Geographica Helvetica, 71(2), pp. 87-97. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/gh-71-87-2016

Schurr, Carolin; Abdo, Katharina (2016). Rethinking the place of emotions in the field through social laboratories. Gender, Place and Culture, 23(1), pp. 120-133. Routledge 10.1080/0966369X.2014.970138

Schurr, Carolin (2016). ¡¿Otras geografías son posibles?! Geografías feministas en Suiza, Austria y Alemania. In: Ibarra García, María Verónica; Escamilla-Herrera, Irma (eds.) Geografías feministas de diversas latitudes (pp. 153-188). México: UNAM

Müller, Martin; Schurr, Carolin (2016). Assemblage thinking and actor-network theory: conjunctions, disjunctions, cross-fertilisations. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 41(3), pp. 217-229. Wiley 10.1111/tran.12117

Militz, Elisabeth; Schurr, Carolin (2016). Affective nationalism: Banalities of belonging in Azerbaijan. Political geography, 54, pp. 54-63. Elsevier 10.1016/j.polgeo.2015.11.002

Laliberté, Nicole; Schurr, Carolin (2016). Introduction: the stickiness of emotions in the field – complicating feminist methodologies. Gender, Place and Culture, 23(1), pp. 72-78. Routledge 10.1080/0966369X.2014.992117

2015

Schurr, Carolin; Perler, Laura (17 December 2015). ‘Trafficked’ into a better future? Why Mexico needs to regulate its surrogacy industry (and not ban it). Open Democracy OpenDemocracy

Schurr, Carolin; Friedrich, Bettina (2015). Serving the transnational surrogacy market as a development strategy? In: Coles, Anne; Grey, Leslie; Momsen, Janet (eds.) The Routledge handbook of gender and development. Routledge handbooks (pp. 236-243). London u.a.: Routledge

Grünenfelder, Julia; Schurr, Carolin (2015). Intersectionality – A challenge for development research and practice? Development in practice, 25(6), pp. 771-784. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group 10.1080/09614524.2015.1059800

2014

Schurr, Carolin (28 August 2014). Leihmutterschaft in Mexiko: Retortenbabys aus der Retortenstadt. Die Wochenzeitung

Schurr, Carolin (26 August 2014). Mütter zu verleihen. Erst Indien, dann Thailand – und jetzt auch Mexiko: Warum das globalisierte Baby-Business boomt. Süddeutsche Zeitung

Schurr, Carolin; Walmsley, Heather (May 2014). Reproductive tourism booms on Mexico’s Mayan Riviera. International Medical Travel Journal

Schurr, Carolin (2014). Emotions, affects and more-than-representational geographies. Geographische Zeitschrift, 102(3), pp. 148-161. Franz Steiner Verlag

Schurr, Carolin (2014). Performativity and Antagonism as Keystones for a Political Geography of Change. In: Glass, Michael; Rose-Redwood, Reuben (eds.) Performativity, Politics, and the Production of Social Space. Routledge

Bauriedl, Sybille; Schurr, Carolin (2014). Zusammenprall der Identitäten. Soziale und kulturelle Differenz in Städten aus Sicht der feministischen Forschung. In: Vogelpohl, Anne; Oßenbrügge, Jürgen (eds.) Theorien in der Raum- und Stadtforschung? Eine Einführung (pp. 136-155). Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot

2013

Schurr, Carolin; Kaspar, Heidi (January 2013). Vorwort zu Feministisches Geo-RundMail Nr. 54. Feministisches Geo-RundMail(54), pp. 2-3.

Schurr, Carolin (2013). Towards an emotional electoral geography: The performativity of emotions in electoral campaigning in Ecuador. Geoforum, 49, pp. 114-126. Elsevier 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.05.008

Schurr, Carolin (2013). Performing Politics, Making Space: a visual ethnography of political change in Ecuador. Erdkundliches Wissen. Schriftenreihe für Forschung und Praxis (EW): Vol. 152. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag

Bauriedl, Sybille; Schurr, Carolin; Kaspar, Heidi (2013). Vorwort zu Feministisches Geo-RundMail Nr. 55. Feministisches Geo-RundMail(55), p. 1.

2012

Schurr, Carolin; Wintzer, Jeannine (eds.) (2012). Geschlecht und Raum feministisch denken. Gender Wissen: Vol. 13. Wettingen: eFeF-Verlag

Schurr, Carolin (2012). Rensando emoções a partir de uma perspectiva interseccional: as geografias emocionais das campanhas eleitorais equatorianas. Revista Latino-Americana de Geografia e Gênero, 3(2), pp. 3-15. Ponta Grossa: Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa 10.5212/Rlagg.v.3.i2.003015

Schurr, Carolin (2012). Performing Politics, Making Space: Women in Ecuadorian Local Politics. Bern: Geographisches Institut der Universität Bern

Schurr, Carolin; Segebart, Dörte (2012). Engaging with feminist postcolonial concerns through participatory action research and intersectionality. Geographica Helvetica, 67(3), pp. 147-154. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/gh-67-147-2012

Schurr, Carolin (2012). Visual ethnography for performative geographies: how women politicians perform identities on Ecuadorian political stages. Geographica Helvetica, 67(4), pp. 195-202. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/gh-67-195-2012

2011

Amlinger, Fabienne; Schurr, Carolin (17 September 2011). "Feminism" - a contested term. The understanding of "feminism" by women politicians (Unpublished). In: Reframing gender, reframing critique. Universität Basel, Swiss Graduate Schools in Gender Studies. 17.09.2011.

Schurr, Carolin; Fredrich, Bettina (May 2011). Editorial: ‚Are we there yet?‘ Feminist Political Geographies. Feministisches Geo-RundMail(48), p. 1.

Schurr, Carolin; Stolz, Miriam (2011). Geographien der Remigration - Vom Versuch ecuadorianischer Rückkehrerinnen ein neues Leben in der alten Heimat zu beginnen. In: Hillmann, Felicitas; Wastl-Walter, Doris (eds.) Geschlechtsspezifische Migration. Berichte zur deutschen Landeskunde: Vol. 85 (pp. 89-104). Leipzig: Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde

2010

Schurr, Carolin; Stolz, Miriam (2010). "Bienvenid@s a casa" - Return Schemes and the Remigration Process of Ecuadorian Female Migrants. Revista Iberoamericana - América Latina - España - Portugal, 10(39), pp. 55-76. Madrid: Iberoamericana/Ed.Vervuert

Segebart, Dörte; Schurr, Carolin (2010). Was kommt nach Gendermainstreaming? Neue Impulse für die Geographische Entwicklungsforschung aus der Geschlechterforschung. Geographische Rundschau, 62(10), pp. 58-63. Braunschweig: Westermann

Schurr, Carolin (2010). Intersektionalität. Feministisches Geo-RundMail(44)

2009

Schurr, Carolin (2009). Andean Rural Local Governments in-between Powerscapes. Die Lokalregierung der Provinz Cotopaxi, Equador. Mesa Redonda: Vol. 25. Eichstätt-Ingolstadt: Zentralinstitut für Lateinamerika-Studien

Making transnational baby markets

Duration 2013-2019
Fund The Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science
Description The project asks how the innovation and spread of assisted reproductive technologies has created a transnational market of reproductive materials (ova, sperm, embryos) and reproductive services such as artificial insemination, in-vitro-fertilization and surrogacy. To understand how these markets are made, maintained and extended within the Global South, the project follows the transnational circulation and traveling of bodies, reproductive materials, technologies, knowledge, and socio-technical devices that constitute and transnationalize this market. On the conceptual side, the project integrates feminist and postcolonial Science and Technology Studies into geographies of marketization, making latter more attentive to the way bodies, gender and technology intersect in markets in the Global South. On the empirical side, it develops a better understanding how ART markets are made and expand in the Global South and how this spread affects the bodies of women and men in the Global South. The empirical results of the project inform (inter-)national debates on the regulations of these transnational markets.
Links https://brancoweissfellowship.org/carolin-schurr.html
Output

Schurr, Carolin (forthcoming). Multiple mobilities in Mexico’s fertility industry. Mobilities, online first.
 

Schurr, Carolin (2018). The Baby Business Booms: Economic Geographies of Assisted Reproduction. Geography Compass, online first.
 

Schurr, Carolin, and Militz, Elisabeth (2018). The affective economy of transnational surrogacy. Environment and Planning A, online first, 1-20.
 

Müller M, Schurr C, 2016, "Assemblage thinking and actor-network theory: conjunctions, disjunctions, cross-fertilisations" Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41(3) 217-229. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, 2016, "From biopolitics to bioeconomics: The ART of (re-)producing white futures in Mexico's surrogacy market, Environment and Planning D. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, Abdo K, 2016, "Rethinking the place of emotions in the field through social laboratories" Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 23 120-133. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, Fredrich B, 2015, "Serving the transnational surrogacy market as a development strategy?", in Handbook of Gender and Development Eds A Coles, L Grey, J Momsen (Routledge, London) pp 236-243.
 

Schurr C, Perler L, 2015, "'Trafficked' into a better future? Why Mexico needs to regulate its surrogacy industry (and not ban it)" Open Democracy, 17.12.2015. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, Walmsley, H, 2014, "Reproductive tourism booms on Mexico's Mayan Riviera" International Medical Travel Journal, May 2014. (pdf)

Performing Politics, Making Space: A visual ethnography of political change in Ecuador

Duration 2008-2012
Fund SNF
Description Constructing more inclusive political spaces has been a central concern of social movements in postcolonial societies. This project engaged with Ecuador’s recent processes of political transformation by questioning to what extent these contribute to a decolonization of Ecuador’s democracy. Based on visual ethnographic research in Ecuadorian local politics, the research interrogated the effect of women’s and indigenous people’s political participation on building more inclusive, intercultural political spaces. It developed a poststructuralist electoral geography capturing the embodied, emotional, and intersectional performances that produce political spaces. In doing so, it breaks new empirical ground and expands the field of electoral geography, connecting it to current conceptual debates in human geography. This approach is supported by Mouffe’s antagonistic politics, Butler’s discussion about performativity of gender and Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality.
Output

Schurr C, 2013 Performing politics, making space: a visual ethnography of political change in Ecuador (Franz-Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart). (link)
 

Schurr C, 2012, "Visual ethnography for performative geographies: how women politicians perform identities on Ecuadorian political stages" Geographica Helvetica, 67, 195-202. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, 2012, "Pensando emoções a partir de uma perspectiva interseccional: as geografias emocionais das campanhas eleitorais equatorianas. Revista Latino-Americana de Geografia e Gênero" Revista Latino-Americana de Geografia e Gênero, 3, 3-15. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, Segebart D, 2012, "Tackling feminist postcolonial critique through participatory and intersectional approaches" Geographica Helvetica, 67, 147-154.
 

Schurr C, 2013, "Towards an emotional electoral geography: the performativity of emotions in electoral campaigning in Ecuador" Geoforum, 49, 114–126. (pdf)
 

Schurr C, 2014, "Performativity and antagonism as keystones for a political geography of change", in Performativity, politics and the production of social space Eds M Glass, R Rose-Redwood (Routledge, New York), pp 95-120. (pdf)

Invited Presentations

2019  
September

Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, Kiel | Deutschland
Keynote-Vortrag „From Margin to Center? Theoretische Aufbrüche in der Geographie seit Kiel 1969“ (mit Peter Weichhart) 

May

Geographisches Kolloquium der Universität Wien | Österreich
Wunschkinder made in Mexico: Reproduktive Geographien zwischen Biopolitik und Bioökonomie 

2018  
May Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille | France
The affective economy of surrogacy
February Centre Norbert Elisa, Marseille | France
Circumvention, experimentation and improvisation as response to legal changes in global surrogacy markets
January Neue Kulturgeographie, Freiburg | Germany
Ethics in geographic research practice
2017  
May Gender Studies, University of Zürich | Switzerland
Reproductive geographies and the reconfiguration of race, gender and sexuality
2016  
December Institute of Biomedical Ethics, University of Zürich | Switzerland
India, Thailand, Mexico – uneven geographies of assisted reproduction
November School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of St. Gallen | Switzerland
Transcultural bodies
November Department of Geography, HU Berlin | Germany
White Babies made in Mexico: Biopolitical geographies of reproduction
May Department of Geography, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona | Spain
Reproducing the nation? Biomedical geopolitics

Regular Presentations

2018  
April Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans | USA
‘Complicating (Un-)Comfortable Alliances in the Brave New World of Reproduction’ (with Elisabeth Militz)
April Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans | USA
‘Geographies of Beauty between Postcolonial Geographies and Critical Whiteness Studies’
2017  
October Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, Tübingen | Germany
‘Transcorporeal geographies’ (with Elisabeth Militz)
October Kritischer Kongress für Geographie, Tübingen | Germany
‘Affective methodologies’ (with Elisabeth Militz)
February Transfigurationen: Medizin Macht Gesellschaft, Basel | Switzerland
‘Biopolitical transfigurations in Mexico’s bioeconomy’ (with Laura Perler)

 

Selection since 2017

2018  
April Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans | USA
'Author-meets-readers: Reading Stacy Alaimo's "Exposed"' (with Elisabeth Militz)
2017  
October Deutscher Kongress für Geographie, Tübingen | Germany
'Geographies of the new materialism' (with Nadine Marquardt)
March Transcultural bodies: geographies of racialized embodiment, St. Gallen | Switzerland
January Bios: Commodification of bodies, Frankfurt | Germany

 

Current Teaching

2019 Fall BA Lecture 'Human Geography I' (University of Bern)

Past Teaching

2019 Spring BA Proseminar 'Digitale Geographien des global/intimate' (University of Bern)
2019 Spring BA Field Trip 'Soziale Ungleichheiten in der Stadt Bern' (University of Bern)
2017 Fall MA Seminar 'Making mobile markets' (University of St. Gallen)
2017 Spring MA Seminar 'Love/ hate: The transcultural politics of emotions' (University of St. Gallen)
2017 Spring BA Project-Seminar 'Bodies for sale? Global markets for babies, bodies, and organs' (University of St. Gallen)
2016 Fall MA Seminar 'Culture, mobility and space' (University of St. Gallen)
2016 Fall BA Project-Seminar 'Follow the market: Researching transcultural economies' (University of St. Gallen)
2016 Spring BA Project-Seminar 'Culture, migration and work' (University of St. Gallen)
2015 Spring BA Seminar 'The sharing economy' (University of Zürich)
2014 Fall MA Seminar 'Gender, space and work' (University of Zürich)''
2014 Fall MA Field Trip 'Gender, space and work in Zürich' (University of Zürich)
2014 Fall BA/MA Workshop 'Feminist geographies' (Zürich, Frankfurt, Bayreuth, Hamburg)
2014 Spring BA Seminar 'Heterodox economic geographies' (University of Zürich)
2013 Spring MA Seminar 'Ethnography is not what it used to be' (University of Bonn)
2013 Spring MA Seminar 'Postcolonial studies' (University of Bern)
2013 Spring BA Field Trip 'Die exklusive Schweiz' (University of Bonn)
2012 Fall MA Lecture 'Postcolonial development geographies' (University of Bern)
2012 Fall BA Seminar 'Identity and space' (University of Innsbruck)
2012 Spring BA Field Trip 'Exclusion and inclusion in urban space' (University of Bern)
2011 Fall MA Guest Lecture 'Geographies of the alps and mountains: Mining from a postcolonial perspective' (University of Bern)
2011 Spring BA Field Trip 'Urban geographies of difference' (University of Bern)
2011 Spring BA Seminar 'Identity and space' (University of Innsbruck)
2010 Fall BA Guest Lecture 'Postcolonial development geographies' (University of Bern)
2010 Fall BA Seminar 'Identity and space' (University of Innsbruck)
2010 Spring BA Lecture 'Visual methods in qualitative research' (University of Bern)
2010 Spring BA Field Trip 'Migration and integration in the city of Bern' (University of Bern)
2010 Spring BA Seminar 'Identity and space' (University of Innsbruck)
2009 Fall BA Lecture 'Introduction to human geography' (University of Bern)
2009 Fall BA Guest Lecture 'Feminist geographies' (University of Neuchâtel)
2009 Spring BA Lecture 'Qualitative methods' (University of Bern)
2009 Spring BA Seminar 'Geographies of migration' (University of Bern)
2009 Spring BA Field Trip 'Geographies of migration' (University of Bern)
2008 Fall BA Lecture 'Globalisation of cultures' (University of Bern)
2008 Fall BA Seminar 'Globalisation of cultures' (University of Bern)
2008 Spring MA Project Seminar 'World heritage and tourism' (University of Eichstätt)
2007 Fall MA Seminar 'Geographies of (post-)development' (University of Eichstätt)