Alice Kern

Alice Kern

PhD student

Political Geography

Tel.: 044 63 55209

Room number: Y25 L 70


agricultural geographies, brokerage, marginality, indigenous communities, rural livelihoods, state of nature

Regional focus

South Asia: Sri Lanka, Nepal

Research interests

Alice is interested in sustainable development and resource access. Her current research focuses on rural livelihoods and indigenous communities in Sri Lanka, particularly the case of the East coast Veddas. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funds her PhD project. Before beginning her PhD, she conducted a research project on labour migration brokers in Nepal as part of the NCCR North-South. Alice studied political science, geography and economics in Zurich and Paris. Her master’s thesis on marginality in Nepal was funded by the SNSF and awarded with the NZZ Top Master 2013. Besides university, she has been working for the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, in an economic consultancy, for theatre projects, and in agriculture. She has also won several prizes for her photography.



Kern, Alice. 2019. Invited Book Review: "Manuka Wijesinghe: Ein Mann des Mittleren Weges". Südasien 39(3): 89.

Kern, Alice. 2016. "Life on the Edge of Existence: Change and Everyday Life in Eastern Sri Lanka". In: Transactions. Exhibition Catalog. Ed.: Graduate Campus, University of Zurich, p. 30., also see the article based on an interview.

Kern, Alice. 2016. "Sri Lanka. Audiobeitrag". In: Transactions. Manifesta11 Parallel Event der Universität Zürich. Audioguide zur gleichnamigen Ausstellung. ed.: Graduate Campus der Universität Zürich. 

Kern, Alice. 2015. Accept the Unexpected. Ethnographie als Lernprozess. In: Wintzer, Jeannine ed. Herausforderungen in der Qualitativen Sozialforschung. Forschungsstrategien von Studierenden für Studierende. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer: 43-50.

Kern, Alice & Müller-Böker, Ulrike. 2015. The middle space of migration: A case study on brokerage and recruitment agencies in Nepal. In Geoforum, 65: 158-169.

Kern, Alice. 2014. "Marginal Magars, Mainstream Migrants: Bridging Strategies of an Ethnic Community in Rural Nepal". In: Poerting, J; Lennartz, T (Hrsg): "Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien". Geographien Südasiens 2: 10-13.

Kern, Alice. 2012. The Violence of Marginality. Living through Political Conflict and Transition in Rural Nepal. MA Thesis, Department of Geography, University of Zurich.

Kern, Alice 2012. "So nah, so fern: Marginalisierte Magar. Eine ethnographische Fallstudie über ein Janajati-Dorf in Mid-Western Nepal". Südasien 32(3+4): 64-68.


 •  GEO 511: Master Research Colloquium: HS 2014, FS 2015

 •  GEO 122: Humangeographie II: FS 2016, FS 2017

 •  GEO 326: Bachelor Thesis: FS 2016, FS 2017

 •  GEO 288: Small Group Teaching: FS 2017

 •  GEO 242: Humangeographische Methoden der Datenerhebung: FS 2020