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Dr Naomi Millner

Dr Naomi Millner

Dr Naomi Millner
BA(Cantab.), MSc(Bristol), PhD(Bristol)

Lecturer in Human Geography

Area of research

Food and environmental justice

Office 2.7n
University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 9107


I am a human geographer who works primarily in the following areas:

  • Post-colonial, de-colonial and political ecology approaches to environmental politics, with a focus on the politics of knowledge

  • The cultural politics of race, nature and social exclusion

  • Food justice, agrarian social movements and food sovereignty, especially in the context of Central America

  • Concepts of 'commons' and 'commoning'

  • Migration, border politics and transnational forms of belonging

  • Theories of politics and aesthetics, especially through Walter Benjamin and Jacques Rancière

  • Community education, radical education and pedagogies for social change, including feminist approaches 


My current work focuses on the conditions of emergence for transnational agrarian movements, including food sovereignty, as well as community-managed forms of environmental governance. I am interested in the relationships of specific practices of 'bottom up' environmental conservation with neoliberal (market) economic forms of regulation, and the possibilities for political and cultural autonomy these allow or foreclose.

In this sense the intersection of notions of 'race' and 'nature' are central to my empirical projects, which draw on feminist insights, theories of translation, and cultural theory to emphasise how some voices and forms of knowledge obtain legitimacy and visibility over others. In particular I draw on theorists of politics and aesthetics such as Walter Benjamin and Jacques Rancière, as well as post-colonial accounts of literature, to explore how the 'mediation' of the world, through image, literature, and performance, affects political possibility. I also use these theories to revisit notions of 'class' and 'consciousness,' mobilised in Marxist approaches to identify patterns of structural social exclusion, with fresh attention to the multiple axes of difference through which exclusion takes place (including gender, race, and citizenship status), as well as the role of cross-border mobilities in constituting alternatives.

Methodologically I mobilise ethnographic and participator y approaches in combination with oral histories and archival work to explore and elicit dimensions of situated cultural struggle. Insodoing I aim to contribute toward the co-creation of social histories and resistance practices that challenge colonial and exclusionary power geometries.


I completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge in 2006, and later completed a Masters in Society and Space and a PhD in Human Geography at the University of Bristol.

As part of my academic practice I am committed to practices for just and equitable social change as well as the dissemination of useful knowledge through popular education networks. To this end I work closely with community partners and social movements in my research. I am also involved in several refugee and asylum-seeking organisations in Bristol and co-founded the Bristol Hospitality Network, for which I remain a Trustee. I am involved in the UK food sovereignty movement and Landworker Alliance, and work collaboratively on environmental and food justice issues with community groups in the UK and in Central America.

I am also a member of the Authority Research Network (ARN), an interdisciplinary group of early career scholars who try to understand how authority relations are produced and transformed. Through theoretical work and collabrorative interventions they seek to practically engage with questions of positive power, political subjectivity, experience and authority.  The ARN was nitiatied with support from the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol in 2008, and has worked on three successful projects as part of the AHRC Connected Communities Programme.



I lecture, or has lectured, in the following areas:

  • More-than-human Geographies: Cultures of Nature (second year, unit convenor)
  • Postcolonial Matters (Master's levell)
  • Social Theory and Philosophy for Geography (second year)
  • Qualitative methods (second year, unit convenor)
  • Contemporary Debates (Masters, unit convenor)
  • Gender, Migration & Labour (third year)
  • Political & Economic Geography (first year)
  • Social Geography (first year)

I also teach outside the academy, giving lectures on migrants & health to medical students, supporting popular education processes within networks like the UK Food Sovereignty Network, and developing Action Research within farmers' networks in Central America. I participate in a number of public engagement schemes and am interested in working with schools groups, young people out of education, and adult learners.


  • Food and environmental justice
  • transnational social and agrarian movements
  • food sovereignty
  • post-colonial and decolonial politics of knowledge
  • cultures of biodiversity
  • Central America
  • political theories of Michel Foucault and Jacques Rancière
  • aesthetics and aesthetic histories
  • authority & the production of knowledge
  • critical and radical pedagogies.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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