The space-times of post-capitalist transformation: More-than-human affects in eco-communities in the wider Barcelona area
Elisa began her DPhil in human geography in October 2017. Her research is on the space-times of post-capitalist transformations, focusing in particular on three eco-communities in the South of France and Catalonia. It is funded by the German National Academic Foundation and Rotary International.
Elisa holds a BA of Sciences Po Paris (cum laude, top 10%), and Master's degrees in International Relations (Research) from the London School of Economics (distinction) and in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance from the University of Oxford (distinction).
She is the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance for 2020/2021 and has previously taught undergraduates in environmental geography, including on fieldtrips.
Elisa was also a Europaeum Scholar in 2018-2019, a program for multi-disciplinary social science PhD students, interested in bridging the divide between academia and policy, particularly on the European level. In this context, she has worked on participatory politics and energy poverty, examining the efficacy of grassroots initiatives.
Small-scale living communities, eco-housing or similar 'place-based niches' have been proposed in recent years as a means to address the excesses of capitalism and the associated climate crisis. Despite this emergent interest, these sites have only been studied in fragmented and partial ways, failing to adequately examine their complexities and possibilities, particularly with regards to everyday practices.
Elisa's DPhil attempts to fill this gap, by considering the space-times of post-capitalist transformations in and around three eco-communities in South West France and Catalonia. How is a post-capitalist life made possible and actionable in those sites, how might this spread beyond the sites and how do they endure over time? What kind of reconfigurations occur and what brings them about?
Importantly, Elisa also considers the role of the 'more-than-human' in understanding the profoundly material and entangled way through which transformations towards post-capitalism occur, contesting the conception of non-humans as predictable, passive and irrelevant to politics. Such a problematic understanding of plants, animals, ecosystems and objects is arguably also at the heart of the current socio-ecological crises, and therefore requires reconsideration. How, then, were relations with non-humans reconfigured in ways that contributed to post-capitalist world-making?
To answer these questions, she has conducted ethnographic research in and around these sites between June 2018 and January 2019, including participant observation and interviews in English, French, German and Spanish. Her work draws on more-than-human geographies, non-representational theories as well as economic sociology and geography.
- Asimakopoulos, I., Damgaard, C., Dorion-Soulié, M., Güerri, C., Hobmaier, F., Santos, L., Schramm, E., Tkalec, I. and Barnes, J. (2019) Reconnecting Citizens: European Solutions to Energy Poverty: EUROPAEUM Policy Report. EUROPAEUM 14 pp.