Amber joined the School of Geography and the Environment in September 2018, having previously held academic positions at the American University in Cairo, Clark University in Massachusetts and Jimma University in Ethiopia. She held a Dissertation Write-Up Fellowship in African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College.
Amber is a decolonial political geographer, ethnographer and educator. Her research on resistance and social change in Africa is empirically grounded and integrates the political geographies of environmental and socio-political struggles with decolonial theory, non-Western epistemologies, colonial difference and resistance studies. For the last decade, her work has considered the connections between resource extraction (particularly crude oil), social change and the knowledge-development nexus in contemporary African societies. She has published more than a dozen chapters, articles and reviews, some of which have featured in the pages of Political Geography, Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, Third World Quarterly, Review of African Political Economy and more. She is the editor of 'A Certain Amount of Madness': The Life, Politics and Legacies of Thomas Sankara (2018).
A full list of her publications is available at oxford.academia.edu/AmberMurrey
Through a comparative ethnography of two towns along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline, Amber weaves together narratives of violence and resistance with a nuanced attention to local political ecologies. The result is an interdisciplinary work that articulates some of the material and emotional shifts across the lifescapes and landscapes of oil pipelines. She offers a theoretical re-articulation of structural violence as (i) highly visible and tangible through the body; (ii) slowly unfolding and historically compounded; and (iii) spatially compressed in a globalized geopolitical nexus by actors who are spatially nested within a racialised and gendered hierarchy of scale.
This theory of divergent but interrelated and co-existing manifestations of structural violence is attentive to the ways in which people in two towns in Cameroon draw upon powerful epistemologies (including la sorcellerie or 'witchcraft') to describe pipeline actors that are otherwise 'invisible'. This work emphases the need to move beyond the invisible/visible dichotomy that often informs work on structural violence (including scholar-activist projects). Yet, despite resistance narratives, explicit and collective resistance practices remain uncommon in both communities. As people struggle and live within composite landscapes of structural violence, the particular processes and mechanisms of uneven power influence the tendencies for resistance struggles to be slow, impromptu, and/or labor-based. Emotional geographies of resistance, however, elucidate long-term struggles to survive—what Amber calls 'slow dissent'—including the accumulation of a collective emotional consciousness grounded in an awareness of historical patterns of injustice. The work offers a re-articulation of the theory of structural violence and broadens our understanding of place-based resistance(s) to extraction in Central Africa.
Amber delivers lectures for the Preliminary Examination in Human Geography as well as Space, Place and Society. She convenes an FHS option on "Geographies of Resistance and Dissent."
At Mansfield College, Amber tutors students across a breadth of geographical topics, including North/South Divides, postcolonial geographies, colonialism and anti-colonialism and more.
Amber delivers lectures for Nature and Society and Research Methods as part of the MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance.
Amber welcomes enquiries from individuals wishing to undertake doctoral or post-doctoral research in the following, or related, areas: decolonial political geography and/or decolonial political ecology; contestations of resource extraction (particularly in the global South); geopolitics of knowledge and social change; resistance and dissent; queering development, post-development, contesting development; Pan-Africanism and/or non-western political geographies; epistemic violence and political-epistemic assassinations; the spatial politics of 'invisibility' and 'disposability'; environmental justice.
- Bush, M., Skhosana, N., Rojas, A., Murrey, A. and Mkwesha, F. (forthcoming) A Decolonial Textbook for the Social Sciences. .
- Murrey, A. (forthcoming) Lifescapes of a Pipedream: A Decolonial Mixtape of Structural Violence and Resistance in Two towns along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline. .
- Murrey, A. (ed.) (2018) “A Certain Amount of Madness”: The Life, Politics and Legacies of Thomas Sankara. Pluto Press, London.
- Murrey, A. (forthcoming) Slow dissent and permanent counterrevolution. Political Economy, 46(156).
- Murrey, A. and Tesfahun, A. (2018) Conversations from Jimma, Ethiopia on the geographies and politics of knowledge. Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, 40(2): 27-45.
- Murrey, A. (2017) Decolonising the imagined geographies of 'witchcraft'. Third World Thematics, 2(2-3): 157-179.
- Smith, T., Murrey, A. and Leck, H. (2017) 'What kind of witchcraft is this?' Development, magic and spiritual ontologies. Third World Thematics, 2(2-3): 141-156.
- Murrey, A. (2016) Slow dissent and the emotional geographies of resistance. Singapore Journal for Tropical Geography, 37(2): 224-248. Winner of Best Annual Graduate Student Article.
- Murrey, A. (2015) Invisible power, visible dispossession: the witchcraft of a subterranean pipeline. Political Geography, 47: 64-76.
- Murrey, A. (2015) Narratives of life and violence along the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline. Human Geography - A New Radical Journal, 8(1): 15-39.
- Campbell, H. and Murrey, A. (2014) Culture-centric preemptive counterinsurgency and US Africa Command: assessing the role of the US social sciences in military engagements in Africa. Third World Quarterly, 35(8): 1457-1475.
- Elliott-Cooper, A., Murrey, A., Kumar, A. and Younis, M. (2014) Labour and resistance across global spaces: Introduction. City - analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 18(6): 771-775.
Special / Edited Collections
- Smith, T., Murrey, A. and Leck, H. (2017) 'What witchcraft is this?' Development, magic and spiritual ontologies. Third World Thematics, 2(2-3).
- Elliot-Cooper, A., Murrey, A., Kumar, A. and Younis, M. (2014) Special Feature 3: Labour Pains: Resistance Across Global Spaces. City - Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action, 18(6).
- Murrey, A. (forthcoming) Constant questioning on-and-off the page: Race, decolonial ethics and women researching in Africa. In, Jackson, R. and Kelly, M. (eds.) Women Researching Africa. Palgrave MacMillan, London.
- Murrey, A. (forthcoming) When spider webs unite they can tie up a lion: anti-racism, decolonial options and theories from the south. In, Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. and Daley, P. (eds.) The Handbook of South-South Relations. Routledge, London.
- Murrey, A. and Jackson, N. (forthcoming) Africa and the resource curse idea. In, Falola, T. and Mbah, E. (eds.) Routledge Encyclopaedia of African Studies. Routledge, London.
- Murrey, A. (2018) Africa’s Sankara: On Pan-African leadership. In, Murrey, A. (ed.) “A certain amount of madness”: The life, politics and legacies of Thomas Sankara. Pluto Press, London.
- Murrey, A. (2018) Conclusion. In, Mubangizi, O. (ed.) What and whose justice? African perspectives on transitional justice. Fahamu Press, Nairobi, Dakar, Oxford.
- Murrey, A. (2018) Introduction. In, Murrey, A. (ed.) “A certain amount of madness”: The life, politics and legacies of Thomas Sankara. Pluto Press, London.
- Murrey, A. (2017) A post/decolonial geography beyond 'the language of the mouth'. In, Woons, M. and Weier, S. (eds.) Borders, Border Thinking, Borderland: Developing a Critical Epistemology of Global Politics. E-International Relations Publishing. pp. 79-99.
- Murrey, A. (2015) Sankara, Thomas (1949-87). In, Ness, I. and Cope, Z. (eds.) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism. Palgrave Macmillan, London and New York.
- Murrey, A. and Jackson, N. (2018) The Lives and Afterlives of Thomas Sankara. Pluto Press Blog.
- Murrey, A. and Phaswana, E. (2018) Reflections on Toyin Falola @65 Conference at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Review of African Political Economy Blog.
- Murrey, A. (2017) Peer review: What to remember when reading reviewers’ critiques. AuthorAID Blog - Network for Scholars in the South.
- Murrey, A. (2017) Remembering Thomas Sankara—30 years after his assassination. Pambazuka News and The African Exponent.
- Murrey, A., Mokhtar, H., Daley, P. and Bush, M. (2017) Decolonizing academic praxis with "words that remake life". Human Geography - A New Radical Journal, Blog.
- Murrey, A. (2016) "Our stomachs will make themselves heard": What Sankara can teach us about food justice today. African Arguments.
- Murrey, A. (2016) Scholars, activists and farmers join in Harare to address rural social justice. farmlandgrab.org.
- Murrey, A. (2016) Thomas Sankara: 'Let us consume only what we ourselves control.'. The Afrikanist, 1(1).
- Murrey, A. (2016) Writing revolution - the autobiography of Stokely Carmichael. The African Exponent.
- Murrey, A., Islam, M. and Mubangizi, O. (2016) Reflections on Setting Forth At Dawn: A Workshop on the Geopolitics and Practices of Academic Writing, Jimma University (Ethiopia). The Review of African Political Economy and POLLEN Blog.
- Murrey, A. (2014) African Study Classics - Walter Rodney. Africa in Words.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Burkina Faso: 'Get out Blaise! Sankara lives!'. Green Left Weekly.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Geographies of Resistance: Neoliberal Violence and Crisis. Ceasefire Magazine.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Le Président. The Postcolonialist, June 2014.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Pan-African Classics: Walter Rodney’s Legacy. Ceasefire Magazine.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Travelling to the UK? On the pain, separation and dehumanisation of student families from 'high risk' countries. Politics in Spires: Cambridge-Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2014) “Blaise Dégage! Sankara Vit!”: Burkina Faso’s Revolution. Ceasefire Magazine.
- Murrey, A. (2012) Le rap mboa: Conversations on Cameroonian rap and politics. Politics in Spires: Cambridge-Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2012) Slackers and saviours: Kony 2012. Politics in Spires: Cambridge-Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2012) The political-economic roots of haggling in Dakar. Politics in Spires: Cambridge Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2012) The revolution and the emancipation of women: A reflection on Sankara's speech, 25 years later. Pambazuka, 590.
- Murrey, A. (2012) Thoughts on 30 years of Biya power in Cameroon. Pambazuka, 605.
- Murrey, A. (2012) US military finances research on rape in DR Congo. Politics in Spires: Cambridge Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2011) Connections between the hydrocarbon scramble and U.S. troop deployment in Uganda? Politics in Spires: Cambridge-Oxford Politics.
- Murrey, A. (2017) Leonard, Lori (2016) Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad. Bloomington: Indiana University PressLeonard, Lori (2016) Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. The Extractive Industries and Society, 4(2): 419-420.
- Murrey, A. (2016) Hannah Appel, Arthur Mason and Michael Watts (eds) Subterranean Estates: Life Worlds of Oil and Gas, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0-8014-5344-1 (cloth); ISBN: 978-0-8014-7986-1. Antipode, 48(2).
- Murrey, A. (2015) Review "Concerning violence." Directed by Göran Olsson. Produced by Final Cut for Real, Helsinki Filmi Oy, Louverture Films. 2014. Journal of Black Studies, 46(8): 837-842.
- Murrey, A. (2014) Learning from the African awakenings of 2011 - struggle and acts of imagination. Capital and Class, 38(3): 622-625.
- Murrey, A. (2011) Barack Obama and twenty-first century politics, Horace Campbell. Imhotep: Africana Studies Graduate Student Journal, 2(1): 38-41.