Becoming a virgin: bodies, technologies and affectual geographies of the reconstruction of the hymen
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.
Clad in hope: affective geographies of the bridal dress
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.
Affective Nationalism: Bodies, Materials and Encounters with the Nation in Azerbaijan
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.
Spaces of freedom in Azerbaijan: an action-oriented network analysis of environmental NGOs
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.