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Department of Geography

Sarah Hartmann
Sarah Hartmann, Dr.

Labour Geography

Tel.: 044 63 55243


Postdoc Project 2021 - 2022:

Building and assessing trust in platform-mediated care and domestic work in Delhi

This project explores platformisation in the feminised sectors of care and domestic work and focuses on trust as a critical factor in digital labour mediation. The aim is to analyse strategies of trust building and assessing trustworthiness from a multi-stakeholder perspective (platforms, gig workers and customers). This to better understand issues arising from digitalisation in a sector that that requires location-based work in private spaces. The project looks at the situation in Delhi, India, a global hub in digital work with a booming gig economy, to analyse how digital labour platforms shape trust and employment relations in a sector known for highly gendered, informal, precarious and invisible labour.

PhD Project 2016 - 2020:

Medical travel facilitation between Oman and India: Articulating spaces, creating smoothness and negotiating ethical complexities

My thesis is set in the context of transnational healthcare and looks at medical travel from Oman to India with a specific focus on practices of medical travel facilitation. This offers a route into better understanding how these practices contribute to making transnational healthcare, and care, possible, feasible and possibly ‘good enough’ for patients to consider. Working through different dimensions of medical travel facilitation in conversation with recent work on care in Science and Technology Studies and the ethics of care, I explore three interrelated ways in which these practices are integral to transnational healthcare: first, for how they articulate spaces and spatialities, second, for the way they make transnational healthcare ‘smooth’ and third, for how they negotiate ethical complexities.     
The empirically-informed theorisation of the relationships between facilitation and care as encountered in ethnographic fieldwork in Oman and India contributes to current debates about (transnational) configurations of care in the fields of ethics, policy, and Science and Technology Studies in geography and beyond.


2021 – 2022 Postdoc project, Department of Geography, University of Zurich
2020 – 2021 Postdoctoral teaching and research associate, Department of Geography, University of Zurich
2016 – 2020 PhD in Geography, Department of Geography, The Open University
2015 – 2016 Studying for Teaching Diploma in Geography, Department of Educational Sciences, University of Zurich
2013 – 2015 Master of Science in Economic and Human Geography, Department of Geography, University of Zurich
2014 Erasmus Semester, Department of Geography, University College London
2010 – 2013 Bachelor of Science in Geography, Department of Geography, University of Zurich


  • Hartmann Sarah (2021): Caring for and caring about international patients in Delhi – between strategy and sympathy, in: Vindrola-Padros C. Carework and Medical Travel – Exploring the emotional dimension of caring on the move. Lexington Books/ Rowman & Littlefield Book chapter
  • Hartmann Sarah (2020). Medical Travel Facilitation between Oman and India: Articulating Spaces, Creating Smoothness and Negotiating Ethical Complexities. Thesis: The Open University 
  • Hartmann Sarah (2019). Mobilising patients towards transnational healthcare markets – insights into the mobilising work of medical travel facilitators in Delhi. Mobilities, 14(1), 71–86. Article
  • Backhaus Norman & Hartmann Sarah (2018): Das 100-Jahr-Jubiläum des Nationalparks in der Presse. In: Haller, Rudolf Michael; Rapp, Maja; Hämmerle, Andrea. Am Puls der Natur: Der Nationalpark und sein Direktor im Spannungsfeld zwischen Forschung, Management und Politik. Bern: Haupt, 134-151 Zora book section
  • Hartmann Sarah (2017): The work of Medical Travel Facilitators: Caring for and Caring about International Patients in Delhi. Vol. 6 Geographien Südasiens. Heidelberg: CrossAsia-ebooks eBook
  • Kaspar Heidi, Hartmann Sarah, Schurr Carolin (2016): Themenheft Health Mobilities. Feministisches Geo-Rundmail, No 69 Article
  • Backhaus Norman, Hartmann Sarah & Müller-Böcker Ulrike (2016): Biosfera Val Müstair: Einheimische und Gäste. Zürich: Geographisches Institut Universität Zürich Zora research report