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Department of Geography Economic Geography

Johanna Herrigel

Johanna Herrigel, Dr.

My research

I am interested in alternative respectively transformative economies, and how these relate to the capitalist world-economy. My research focuses on food economies, especially on diverse ‘alternative’ food initiatives and how economic practices of production, exchange, and consumption are re-organized therein. From this grounding in food economies, I engage with debates about how concretely we conceptualize and perform – and could perform differently, that is change in progressive ways – food provisioning and the economies in and through which we live. 


Conceptually and methodologically, I subscribe to an intersectional feminist perspective and seek to combine feminist political economy and performativity approaches. Both of these feminist approaches conceptualize the economy as an iceberg, with the formal exploitation of wage labour by capital forming only the tip of the iceberg. These approaches thus de-center and provincialize the economy inter alia from formal wage-work, the capitalist firm, market exchange and ‘normal’ capital accumulation. For combining both of these feminist approaches, I draw on Stuart Hall’s meso-concept of ‘articulation’ and its recent reworking into ‘dis/articulation’ by critical commodity chain scholars. 

In line with activist scholarship, that is research engaging with and contributing to specific political struggles, I am involved in multiple ‘alternative’ food initiatives in the city of Zurich and see this as part and parcel of my scholarly work.