Academic Profile

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

Current Research

Book project

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.

Teaching

Undergraduate

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.

Postgraduate

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.

Selected Publications

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Books

Journal Articles

Special / Edited Collections

Book Chapters

Other Publications

Book Reviews