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Barbara Orth



Malteserstr. 74-100
Room K 164
12249 Berlin
barbara.orth[at]fu-berlin.de / Twitter: [at]BarbaraOrth

Office hours

Appointments are scheduled by mail.

I am a doctoral researcher in the working group Globalisation, Transformation & Gender at Free University Berlin.

I studied International Relations in the United Kingdom, Japan, and China, focusing on issues of international trade policy & development, global inequalities, and migration. I was a full-scholarship recipient of the University of Oxford, where I graduated with an M.Sc. in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies.

Previously, I have worked on several applied research projects and served as an academic editor of the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration Review. Outside of academia, I have worked primarily for NGOs and foundations in Germany as well as in Nepal, Jordan, Lebanon, and India.

  • Racism, Migration & the City (research project seminar), summer term 2022
  • Going Local: Negotiating Urban Contestations in Berlin (UG spring school), summer term 2022
  • Introduction to Migration and Border Studies (UG seminar), autumn terms 2020, 2021
  • Geographies of Difference (UG seminar), summer terms 2020, 2023
  • Geographies of Globalisation (UG seminar), autumn terms 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

Currently, I am exploring the digitisation of household-related services such as cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping or companionship for the elderly. I am specifically interested in the experience of migrant workers and their perception of digital labour platforms. My doctoral project explores the new opportunities and challenges that arise within the digitisation of care work carried out by migrant workers.


  • Orth, B. The Importance of Gender and Migration in Platform Regulation. Keynote at  “Trade Union Platfor(u)m” conference, September 2023

  • Orth, B. Visa Categories in Platform Labour: The Working Holiday Visas Fuelling Berlin’s Gig Economy, Colloquium, BIM (Berliner Zentrum für Empirische Integrations- und Migrationsforschung), Humboldt University Berlin, July 2023

  • Orth, B. Platforms as Infrastructures of Migration?, Workshop Infrastructures of Migration and The Architectures of Fulfilment, University of Uppsala, May 2023

  • Orth, B. Engaging Feminist Geographies in Platform Research, Gender Lunch Talk Series hosted by Margerita-von-Brentano Zentrum, Freie Universität Berlin, November 2021


  • Migration & the Gig Economy I: Labour Organising &
    Migration & the Gig Economy II: Visa and Residence Status, IMISCOE Annual Conference, July 2023
  • (In)Visibility, Identity & Value in Platform Work &
    Trajectories of Care Platforms, Global Perspectives on Platforms, Labor & Social Reproduction Conference, University of Amsterdam, June 2023
  • Economic Geographies of the Platform Economy, Symposium at Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB), March 2023
  • Uber, Taxis and Urban Mobility Infrastructures: Exploring Pathways towards Platform Futures, Workshop at Einstein Centre for Digital Cultures Berlin, February 2023
  • Understanding Care Platforms, Workshop at Free University Berlin, February 2023
  • Labour Geographies Annual Standing Committee Conference, Berlin, February 2023
  • Feminist Geographies Conference, Berlin, April 2022
  • Crises as Vantage Points for Geographical Migration Research, Annual Meeting Standing Committee on Geographical Migration Research, Free University Berlin, November 2021
  • (Un-)Doing Borders, 17th Annual Conference of the Network for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies (Kritnet), Humboldt University Berlin, November 2018


Orth, B. (2023). Stratified pathways into platform work: Migration trajectories and skills in Berlin’s gig economy. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 0(0). Online first available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X231191933

Orth, B., Jahre, S. & Schmiz, A. (2023) Infrastrukturelle  Perspektiven auf Plattform-Urbanismus - Die Rolle von Körpern und Migrationsregimen. In: Sub\Urban Zeitschrift für kritische Stadtforschung 11(1/2): 47-67, https://doi.org/10.36900/suburban.v11i1/2.851

Orth, B. (2023) Feministischer Aktivismus. In: Belina, B., Neumann, M. & Strüver, A. (2023) Handbuch Kritische Stadtgeographie. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot.

Orth, B. (2022) “Riders United Will Never Be Divided? - A Cautionary Tale of Disrupting Platform Urbanism". In: Strüver, A. and S. Bauriedl (eds.) Platform Urbanism, Transcript in collaboration with Columbia University Press.

Orth, B. (2021) Engaging Feminist Geographies in Platform Research. In: Feministische Georundmail: 16-22.

Orth, B. (2021) “Krisenbearbeitung durch digitale Plattformen. Rezension zu Moritz Altenried, Julia Dück und Mira Wallis (Hsg.) (2021): Plattformkapitalismus und die Krise der sozialen Reproduktion.” In: Sub\Urban Zeitschrift für kritische Stadtforschung 9(3/4), 380–386. 

Orth, Barbara (2019) „Queer.Works: Dialog, Vernetzung und Bestandsaufnahme zur Situation queerer Menschen auf dem Berliner Arbeitsmarkt“, available here.