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Katja Girr


PhD Candidate

Malteserstraße 74-100
12249 Berlin

Since January 2024, I am enrolled at Freie Universität Berlin for my doctorate and am part of the Globalisation, Transformation & Gender working group. Previously, since October 2019, I was employed as a researcher at the Bonn Centre for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn.

During my studies of Human Geography at the Gothe University Frankfurt and my Master in International Development Studies at the University Grenoble Alpes, I mainly focussed on the topic of migration. For both theses, I did research in Tunisia with scholarships.

My current focus is on gender, intersectionality, emotions, research ethics, dependencies, and knowledge production. As an active member, I am part of the AK Feministische Geographien and the Commission de Géographie Féministe du CNFG. In addition to my academic work at universities, I am active in activist and non-university (research) projects on migration policies and border regimes.

Academic Work for Social Sciences (MA seminar), Summer Term 2021, University of Bonn

Participation in the education programme "Professional Teaching Skills for the University" of the university didactics programme in North Rhine-Westphalia (basic module: leaching and learning (term course); teaching portfolio)

My research interests are in international migration, illegalization, geopolitics and borders, especially the European border regime, with a regional focus on Nord Africa. I further focus on gender, intersectionality, dependency, (mental) health, ethics and safety in research. Recently, I look deeper into emotions and affect, academia, working conditions and knowledge production.


Dissertation Project

‘Researchers well-being in the neoliberal university: challenges and coping strategies while researching migration’ (working title)

My dissertation project focuses on researcher’s challenges and coping strategies while researching migration. The aim is to find out how the intersection of ‘fieldwork’ experiences and working within the neoliberal university influence researchers’ well-being. In a wider context, the research addresses research ethics and questions asymmetrical dependencies within knowledge production.


Girr, K., Tillous, M. (2022): From Attacks in France to International Support Networks, Feministische Georundmail Nr 91, Available at: https://ak-feministische-geographien.org/rundmail/

Girr, K., Hussain, A. and Kloß, S. (2021): BCDSS Researchers’ Challenges and Coping Strategies in Times of Unprecedented Uncertainty, DEPENDENT 21/1, p. 52-54


Selected presentations

“’Where I kind of felt like ‘Hm’’: Researchers’ reflections on (self-)care and (self-)harm”, 20th IMISCOE Annual Conference, Migration and Inequalities. In search of answers and solutions, Warsaw, 03-07 July 2023

“‘Oh la la, eh ethics did not prepare me for that’: Challenges and Coping Strategies while Researching Illegalized Migration”, DeZIM Conference 2022, Berlin, 05-07 October 2022

“Weaving links against reactionary attacks on critical studies in general and feminist geography in particular”, Crisis, Recovery and Gender: Feminist Spatial Perspectives – Commission on Gender and Geography International pre-Conference for the 100th International Geographical Union Congress, Barcelona, 14-15 July 2022


“Tisser des liens par-delà les frontières”, Rencontres de Géographies Féministes, Ligures, 31 March – 03 April 2022