Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Geographisches Institut

Dr. Laura Kemmer



Postal address

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Department of Geography
Geography of Gender in Human-Environment Systems
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin

Office location

Rudower Chaussee 16


Open office hour

on appointment

  • Research interests

    urban studies
    urban infrastructures; transport; soil
    climate urbanism, transition technologies, more- than-human collectivities
    affect theory & feminist new materialism
    assemblage theory, science and technology studies
    qualitative research methods (ethnography, mobile methods, multimodal methods)


  • Qualifications

    PhD in Urban Studies (Dr. Phil.), HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany (Supervisors: Prof. Alexa Färber, Prof. AbdouMaliq Simone)

    Master of Arts, International Relations (MAIB), Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Universität Potsdam, Berlin, Germany

  • Academic positions

    Since 01/2021
    Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Geography (Geography of Gender in Human-Environment-Systems, Prof. Dr. Sandra Jasper), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

    10/2020 – 12/2021
    Postdoctoral Researcher Center for Metropolitan Studies (Prof. Dr. Dorothee Brantz), Berlin University Alliance Seed Fund, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

    10/2020 – 01/2021
    Guest Lecturer (Seminar) – “Concepts and Methods in Human Geography – Urban and Mobility Studies”, Department of Geography, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

    10/2019 – 04/2020
    Guest Lecturer – “Ethnographies of Urban Railway Transport”, Institute for European Ethnology, University of Vienna, Austria

    10/2019 – 04/2020
    Guest Lecturer – “Ethnographies of Urban Railway Transport”, Institute for European Ethnology, University of Vienna, Austria

  • Fellowships

    01/2020 – 06/2020
    Visiting Fellow, “Public Transport as Public Space”-project, funded by the HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Joint Research Programme, based at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, Germany.

    03/2018 – 08/2018
    Visiting Fellow, Sociology Department (Prof. Fraya Frehse), University of São Paulo, Brazil (funded by the German DAAD)

    01/2015 – 01/2018
    PhD Fellow, Graduate School ‘Loose Connections. Collectivity in Digital and Urban Space’ (Prof. Dr. Urs Stäheli, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Klein), Sociology Department, University of Hamburg, Germany

    03/2014 – 08/2014
    Research Internship, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (funded by DAAD, Carlo-Schmid Programme)

    11/2011 – 12/2011
    Research Stay, Sociology Department, Mexico City, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico (funded by DAAD)

    12/2009 – 02/2010
    Research Stay, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), Population Division, Santiago de Chile, Chile (funded by DAAD)

  • Publications (selection)

    - For an updated list of publications, see -

    Kemmer L (forthcoming) Bonding. Infrastructure, affect, and the emergence of urban collectivity, Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books.

    Journal Articles (peer reviewed)
    Kemmer L Kühn A Otto B and Weber V (2021, forthcoming) Standby. Organizing modes of in/activity”, Special Issue in: Ephemera. Theory and Politics in Organization 21(1).

    Kemmer L Kühn A Weber V (2021) Pandemic times. A conversation with Lisa Baraitser about the temporal politics of COVID-19. Online first. []

    Kemmer L and Simone A (2021) Standing by the promise. Arts of anticipation in Rio and Jakarta, in: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. January 2021 (online first).

    Kemmer L (2020) Free Riding Rio: Protest, Public Transport and the Politics of a Footboard, in: City and Society, 32:1, 157-181. .

    Kemmer L, Krämer S, Peters CH, Weber V (2019) Locating Affect. On the Ambivalence of Affective Situatedness, Special Issue in: Distinktion. Journal of Social Theory, 20:1.

    Kemmer L (2019) Promissory things: how affective bonds stretch along a tramline, in: Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory, 20:1, 58-76.

    Kemmer L, Peters CH and Weber V (2019) On Right-Wing Movements, Spheres, and Resonances. An interview with Rainer Mühlhoff and Ben Anderson, in: Distinktion. Journal of Social Theory, 20:1, 25- 41,

    Kemmer L and Velho R (2016) Science, Technology, Society – and the Americas?, Special Issue in: CROLAR. Critical Reviews on Latin American Research, 5.1.

    Book chapters
    Wemheuer-Vogelaar W, Peters I, Kemmer L, Kleinn A, Linke-Behrens L, and Mokry S (2020) The Global IR debate in the classroom, in: Tickner AB and Smith K (eds.) International Relations from the Global South: Worlds of Difference. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 17-38.

    Bergmann M and Kemmer L (2019) ‘Streetworks’ – Street Networks and Designing Diversity in Berlin Neukölln, in: Mameli, F. et al. (Eds.) Urban Appropriation Strategies. Exploring Space-making Practices in Contemporary European Cityscapes, Transcript Verlag, pp. 113-134.

    Kemmer L (2016) ‘Platz machen’. Representation and participation of diversity in Neukölln/Berlin, in: Eckard, F. and Seyfarth, R. (Eds.) Urban Minorities, Bauhaus Urban Studies.

    Kemmer L (2019) Book Review. Nikhil Anand, Akhil Gupta and Hannah Appel (eds.) 2018: The Promise of Infrastructure. Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press. In: IJURR International Journal for Urban and Regional Research, 43: 606-608. .

    Kemmer L (2017) Revisiting the urban cosmos—an intervention into the politics of urban assemblages. In: City, 21:5, 685-689. .

    Kemmer L (2016) Book Review. Anne Huffschmid (2015): Risse im Raum. Erinnerung, Gewalt und städtisches Leben in Lateinamerika, in: Peripherie 141(36), 123-142.

  • Presentations (selection)

    “New forms of collectivity in urban Latin America”, invited presentation, conference ‘Latin American Urban Research in Dialogue’, Hochschule Bremen, Architecture/Urban Theory, Prof. Dr. Christian v. Wissel (org.)

    “The politics of urban grounds in Rio de Janeiro“ (with Frank Müller), Annual Conference of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) and the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), Prague, Czech Republic

    “Train spotting: On research methods & multi-modal ethnography”, 1st meeting of the PUTSPACE-Project: Public Transport as Public Space in European Cities: Narrating, Experiencing, Contesting, Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, Germany.

    “The promise of the city: Conditions of urban change and collective endurance”, Roundtable Organizer with Alexa Färber, joint conference of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA) and American Anthropological Association (AAA), Vancouver, Canada

    “Public Transport and Political Collectivity in Post-Olympic Rio de Janeiro“, Annual Meeting of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) and the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), Ottawa, Canada

    “Standby Infrastructures“, Panel Organizer with Annika Kühn and Vanessa Weber, Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), Boston, USA.

    “Urban Promises as Loose Bonds”, presentation with Alexa Färber, Annual Meeting of the Graduate School “Loose Connections. Collectivity in Urban and Digital Space”, Hamburg, Germany

    “Berlin.Global.City”, Conference organized with Julia Roth and Frank Müller, sponsored by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung), Germany

    “(Un)learning IR beyond the classroom” (with Ingo Peters, Wiebke Wemheuer et al.), Annual Meeting of the International Sociology Association (ISA), USA

    “Streetworks - Street Networks and Designing Diversity in Berlin” (with Malte Bergmann), Joint Conference of the UN-Habitat and the Future of Places Group, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Initial Meeting for building a "Global Platform for the Right to the City", org. by Polis Institute for Studies, Training and Consultancy in Social Policies, NGOs and Researchers, Brazil

    “Berlin-Buenos Aires. Memory, Crisis, Resistance”, roundtable participant, sponsored by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education, Germany

  • Membership in Scientific Communities

    Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)
    American Anthropological Association (AAA)
    Association of American Geographers (AAG)

    Associate Member, Center for Metropolitan Studies , Technische Universität Berlin .